Car Club Reform

ADAC Changes Gear

ADAC provides emergency roadside assistance and air ambulance services.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germany has many large member associations but they exist in a legal gray area. ADAC’s transition into a company could set a precedent.

  • Facts


    • The Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club has almost 20 million members.
    • It provides roadside recovery, medical evacuation and other services, and sells insurance and tours.
    • New proposals, set out following a financial scandal, would see ADAC split into a core club, business operation and foundation.
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In late 2014, August Markl took the driver’s seat of Germany’s automobile association and chief road-user’s lobby group, the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club.

He replaced Peter Meyer, whose time at the wheel plunged ADAC – also Germany’s leading roadside-assistance provider – into one of the deepest crises of its history. First, the club falsified the voting figures for its Car of the Year award, and then financial authorities questioned its whole structure.

Since then, Mr. Markl has been trying to change ADAC. He plans to have a vote on his “reform for trust” plans at the organization’s annual general meeting this weekend in Lübeck, northern Germany. At issue is whether ADAC is a club or a company.

“It’s a matter of ADAC’s future. If we stay with the old form of the club, we will be putting our status as a club and also the honorary position at risk,” Mr. Markl said. “Whoever shirks their responsibilities now after two years of intensive talks and work is acting irresponsibly.”

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