FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) Chief Executive Herbert Diess apologised to the company’s supervisory board for having made “inappropriate and wrong” statements at an internal event, the carmaker said on Tuesday.

The public acknowledgment that Diess had been forced to apologise to the 19-member board of directors amounts to a severe admonishment of Diess, who had his portfolio of responsiblities curtailed on Monday.

“The members of the Supervisory Board accepted the apology of Dr. Diess, and will continue to support him in his work,” the statement added.

Volkswagen replaced Diess as chief executive of the VW brand on Monday and installed chief operating officer Ralf Brandstaetter to lead cost cutting efforts at the company’s largest plants in Germany.

Diess remains chief executive of a group which also includes brands such as Audi, Bentley, Skoda, Lamborghini and Porsche.

Reporting by Jan Schwartz and Ilona Wissenbach and Edward Taylor, writing by Edward Taylor; Editing by Keith Weir

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