Cake Served at Volkswagen Annual Meeting

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Cake is often served as a dessert at business meetings, but not like this.

Activists crashed Volkswagen's annual meeting in Berlin to throw cake at executives.

Add that to the list of sentences I never thought I'd ever write.

According to Automotive News (sub req'd), the activists were claiming that a VW plant in Xinjiang, China, has been using forced labor. Other protesters were upset with VW's decisions, claiming the company is harming the climate.

There were around 10 activists at the event and they interrupted Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume's speech. They waved banners saying "End Uyghur Forced Labor." One woman was topless with the phrase "Dirty Money" painted across their back.

Someone threw a piece of cake at 80-year-old Wolfgang Porsche, the chairman of Porsche SE, and missed. Crumbs apparently splintered off and headed toward VW Group Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch.

Security tossed the protesters, and Volkswagen of course denied any use of forced labor at its plant.

Not only are investors concerned about the possibility of forced labor at its plants, but they also worry VW isn't doing well enough in the Chinese market. They are also unhappy with the automaker's stock price.

I suppose they want to have their cake and eat it too?

[Image: Ruth Black/]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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11 of 24 comments
  • Wolfwagen Wolfwagen on May 12, 2023

    Was this the same group that glued themselves to the floor of the VW/Porsche museum?

    Im tired of protestors. Bring back the good old fashion wood shampoos and watch them disappear

    • See 2 previous
    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on May 12, 2023

      I have to agree with Art. Freedom of Speech doesn't include damaging property or intimidation.

      The saying, "your right to swing your fists ends at the tip of my nose" applies here.

      You can tell me you don't like my vehicle and explain why, but don't touch it.

      You can tell me you don't like my job and explain why, but don't stop me from doing my job.

      Just because it's cake, doesn't change one's rights.

  • Bullnuke Bullnuke on May 12, 2023

    As someone famously said,"Let them eat cake.".

    • RHD RHD on May 13, 2023

      Somehow cheating on diesel emissions on hundreds of thousands of cars results in no arrests, but tossing a single slice of dessert at a multi-millionaire is worthy of derision. If the suits can't take the heat, they should stay away from the kitchen.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on May 12, 2023

    Topless protesting really helps to get your points across.

  • RHD RHD on May 13, 2023

    She should have written her message on the front side, where people were looking, not on her back side.