Probe of DaimlerChrysler marketing unit grows

More managers are being investigated

Berlin. A scandal that has rocked DaimlerChrysler AG's German sales organization is escalating.

According to information from a high-ranking company official, auditors have more "black sheep in their crosshairs." The investigators are trying to determine if the employees are involved in the export of grey market cars to protected markets such as Japan, and the misuse of company funds.

The source didn't say how many employees are being investigated.

According to press reports, the prosecutors' office in Stuttgart is investigating at least three but fewer than 10 individuals from Daimler, all accused of breach of fiduciary duty.

"The economic dimensions of this affair are incalculable for Daimler," said one attorney.

On February 23, DaimlerChrysler suspended Juergen Fahr, the head the German sales organization, and Walter Missing, the director of the organization's Hamburg branch.

According to information given to Automobilwoche, a sister publication of Automotive News, the so-called performance center at the organization's marketing headquarters in Berlin also is being investigated for "unacceptable business practices."

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