About a dozen journalists, including some television crews, found their way to the Ingolstadt district court on Tuesday.

No wonder, because the case negotiated there between the car manufacturer Audi and a Volkswagen employee could have a signal effect on the local corporate landscape.

A verdict is expected to be announced on July 29.

Ilka Kopplin

Business correspondent in Munich.

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The civil lawsuit relates to a guideline that Audi introduced last March on gender-appropriate language in order to “contribute to improving the visibility of gender diversity”.

At the time, Audi announced that it would use gender-sensitive formulations in internal and external written communication in the future, for example with neutral terms such as "manager" instead of "boss" or with the help of an underscore between male and female forms, for example Audi employees.

This notation is called the gender gap.