So who needs a steamy novel? The hottest title making the rounds in the auto industry right now is "Gebauer, Where Are the Girls?"
It's an English translation of an article from the Sept. 29 edition of Stern, a German magazine. The subject: An interview with Klaus-Joachim Gebauer, a former Volkswagen AG personnel executive who says he set up lavish trips and procured prostitutes for members of Volkswagen's works council, on VW's tab.
The hijinks, say investigators, were aimed at gaining support for management from the works council, the powerful group that represents workers on VW's supervisory board.
The scandal is still under investigation by German prosecutors. It already has led to the resignations of Klaus Volkert, chairman of the VW works council, who also sat on VW's supervisory board; and human resources chief Peter Hartz, a member of the board of management, the top-ranking group of executives that run the company. Gebauer and Helmut Schuster, a management board member at VW affiliate Skoda, have been fired.
In a lengthy Stern Q&A, Gebauer tells a tale worthy of a steamy summer beach book. Among Gebauer's claims: