The good news at the Daimler annual stockholders’ meeting in Berlin last week was that the company had declared a record quarterly dividend of $3.25 a share. Mercedes Benz sales were up 20% over last year in the first quarter. The bad news was that a poll by Autobild found that 2 out of 3 Germans would buy a Tesla Model 3.
Several stockholders had tough questions for senior management, asking them what the company plans to do to meet the challenge from Tesla. The best answer they could get was that Daimler would introduce an all electric car of its own by 2020 — 8 years after the Tesla Model S went on sale.
Then things got ugly over lunch. One woman felt another shareholder was taking too many sausages from the buffet. When she denounced the man for taking more than his fair share of the fat, tasty treats, a fight erupted. The local police had to be summoned to restore order.
According the The Telegraph, the man was wrapping up several sausages in napkins so he could stuff them in his pants pockets and take them home with him after the meeting. Apparently, these were very special sausages. Known as saitenwürschtle, they are a local delicacy in southern Germany where Daimler has its headquarters. They are seldom available in Berlin where the meeting was held.
Germans from the Swabian region of Germany near Munich have a reputation for being stingy. Apparently the woman made a rude remark to the sausage hoarder and he took offense. In all, Daimler served 12,500 of the tasty treats to the 5,500 people in attendance. Daimler chairman Manfred Bischoff told the press afterwards, “We had to call the police to resolve the matter. Either we need more sausages, or we’ll have to drop them completely,” he said.
There is nothing to take a person’s mind off the fact that one of the world’s largest car companies is years away from having an answer to Tesla Motors than a good food fight over the wurst on the buffet table.
Photo credit: Alamy viz The Telegraph