Leif Östling said in a statement that his comments about Germany had been ”interpreted in a way that was not intended.”
In an interview with Swedish broadcaster TV8 on Wednesday, Östling was quoted as saying that ”the German is an expert at blitzkrieg, but has also lost many of them,” comparing MAN’s US$13.7 billion takeover bid for Scania with the war tactics used by Nazi Germany.
In another interview with newspaper Dagens Nyheter, he was quoted as saying that Germans ”in leading positions” don’t have any respect for small nations like Sweden.
In a brief statement Östling said ”These statements were never meant to be perceived as offensive, but if that is the case, I deeply regret it and apologize.”
Scania has rejected Munich-based MAN’s bid, saying it undervalues the Swedish company.