BRUSSELS -- The European Commission said it had fined car safety equipment makers Autoliv and TRW 368.3 million euros ($417 million) for setting up an illegal cartel to supply car seat belts, airbags and steering wheels to Volkswagen Group and BMW in Europe. The Commission, which is responsible for antitrust policy in the 28-nation European Union, said Japan's Takata also was part of the conspiracy, but not fined because it was granted immunity in exchange for revealing the cartels to the Commission. The EU said it has fined suppliers 2 billion euros ($2.26 billion) for parts cartels. A similar U.S. antitrust investigation over several years yielded more than $2.9 billion in fines against 46 suppliers -- most of them Japanese -- along with 32 executives, the U.S. Justice Department said last May. "This is the second time we fine car safety equipment suppliers for participating in a cartel," EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said. "The three suppliers … [Read more...] about EU fines Autoliv, TRW $417 million for cartel
FILE PHOTO: European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager talks to the media at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 6, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Tuesday it had fined car safety equipment makers Autoliv and TRW 368.3 million euros for setting up a cartel to supply car seat belts, airbags and steering wheels to European car producers. The Commission, which is responsible for antitrust policy in the 28-nation European Union, said Japan’s Takata was not fined because it revealed the cartels to the Commission. “This is the second time we fine car safety equipment suppliers for participating in a cartel,” Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said. “The three suppliers colluded to increase their profits from the sale of these life-saving components. These cartels ultimately hurt European consumers and adversely impacted the competitiveness of the European automotive … [Read more...] about EU fines car safety equipment makers 368 million euros for cartel
Cooperation is commonplace among automakers. Chrysler has worked with, or been purchased by, just about everyone at this point, but it’s far from the only manufacturer to get chummy with a rival company. Ford and Volkswagen are busy discussing their future together and Toyota tapped other brands to help it co-develop performance models like the 86 and Supra. Despite their longstanding and occasionally bitter rivalry, Mercedes-Benz and BMW could be the next duo to cozy up to one another. According to German outlet Handelsblatt, BMW chairman Harald Krüger and Daimler management board member Ola Källenius are currently examining the possibility of an automotive alliance. The primary goal would be the joint absorption of billions in development costs and the establishment of a common industry standard for autonomous vehicles. However, self-driving tech appears to be a secondary issue. With the margins (and demand) for small cars looking slimmer than ever, the … [Read more...] about BMW and Mercedes-Benz: The Next Automakers to Buddy Up?
Volkswagen will hold an emergency supervisory board meeting on Wednesday to discuss recent allegations that Germany’s automakers have been operating as an automotive cartel since the 1990s. Meanwhile, Daimler’s workers council is demanding answers from management as the automaker reels from a one-two-punch of collusion and emissions cheating accusations. “I advise the car industry to clear the air now, to say what has happened, and then we can look to the future together again,” parliamentary group leader Volker Kauder, said Monday on German television. “If the antitrust violations prove true, and there’s a lot to suggest that, then one must really say the clear sentence: the rule of law also applies to the car industry.” However, claiming there is sufficient proof to prosecute is a little premature. With the exception of a somewhat damning letter intercepted from VW, no hard evidence of collusion has been made … [Read more...] about Volkswagen to Conduct ‘Crisis Meeting’ Over EU Cartel Allegations
Roughly one year ago, German automakers were confronted with a crisis. Following Volkswagen’s diesel emissions fiasco, European antitrust regulators became suspicious that BMW, Daimler, and VW Group were involved in a longstanding automotive cartel that cooperated on decisions regarding technical issues, development, supplier management, and illegal price fixing. Investigators were also concerned manufacturers worked together to standardize diesel treatment fluid (AdBlue) reservoirs to reduce exhaust emissions, then encouraged each other to cheat on emissions tests when they were deemed insufficient. This resulted in a series of raids and then almost a full year of silence on the matter. However, if Volkswagen’s dieselgate has taught us anything, it’s that German authorities prefer a snail’s pace when pursuing a criminal probe. Apparently unsatisfied with the initial findings, the European Commission opened an in-depth and official investigation on Tuesday … [Read more...] about EU Launches Emissions Collusion Investigation Against German Automakers