Antitrust Regulators Worried German Auto Industry Has Been Running Secret Cartel For Decades

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
antitrust regulators worried german auto industry has been running secret cartel for

Government authorities are concerned that Germany’s automakers have been running one of the biggest CARtels in history. Allegedly active since the 1990s, automakers used secret working groups to remain in cahoots on decisions regarding technical issues, suppliers, and cost suppression. The groups may have even set the table for Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal by encouraging regulatory cheating.

Major manufacturers had apparently agreed on the size of the tanks containing AdBlue, Germany’s preferred diesel treatment fluid to reduce exhaust emissions, and decided the units should be small to keep fluid prices up. When the entire system turned out to be insufficient in meeting regulatory guidelines, illegal software manipulation became the alternative solution.

At least that’s how Der Spiegel framed the news when it broke on Friday. Meanwhile, government authorities aren’t ready to issue any concrete accusations. “The European Commission and the Bundeskartellamt have received information on this matter, which is currently being assessed by the Commission,” a spokesperson said on Saturday. “It is premature at this stage to speculate further.”

Der Spiegel reported that Germany’s antitrust authorities had been investigating Volkswagen over the possible manipulation of steel prices. But, while that probe was underway, evidence of an illegal collusion within the auto industry emerged. VW essentially outed itself to committing anti-competitive behavior in a letter to cartel authorities on July 4th. Early information stemming from the letter seems to indicate that sixty industry committees, made up of about 200 employees, debated vehicle development, engines, transmissions, brakes, exhaust treatment systems, and more.

Any company found guilty of breaching the European Union’s cartel could face fines resulting in as much as 10 percent of their global turnover.

Volkswagen, BMW, Audi, and Porsche have yet to respond to the accusations.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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  • Jkross22 Gavin Newsom may not be aware of the fiscal problems of the state he leads, as his focus is on criticizing other states. It's actually better that he has someone shining a laser light on a map so he can stop making things worse here. Just lace his hair gel with some catnip and have him hit himself trying to get to it. Things in LA are getting so bad that even the leftists and progressives are showing up to LA city council meetings with mirrors to protest, well, everything - gas prices, the homeless pandemic, the house pricing pandemic, the crime pandemic. It shocked the City Council that their subjects dare attempt to ask for accountability. The Council president insisted that people with mirrors be escorted out, lest the council be reminded of their incompetence and hubris. That being said, there is no connection being made between the way LA subjects vote and the results it yields. Never underestimate the stupidity of the typical CA voter. The state is a basketcase but voters keep electing the same retreads every time.
  • ScarecrowRepair Too much for too little, unless you treat it strictly as a toy.
  • DedBull Mk2 Jettas are getting harder to find, especially ones that haven't been modified within an inch of their life. I grew up in an 85 GLI, and would love to have one in as close to stock configuration as I could get. This car isn't that starting point, especially sitting 3-4 years in the NY dirt. It's a parts car at best, but there might still be money in it even at that price, if you are willing to take it down to absolutely nothing left.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I bet it has some electrical gremlins as well. Nonetheless it might make an interesting El Camino pickup truck conversation with one of those kits.
  • GrumpyOldMan "A manual transmission is offered, as is a single-clutch auto. "What is a single clutch auto?
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