August 23, 2017

BMW 'Categorically Rejects' Allegations of Emission Cheating

28 July 2017, 01:34 | Virginia Santiago

German carmakers under investigation, again

The car industry has been hit with billion-euro fines on both sides of the Atlantic in recent years related to anti-competitive behaviour within lighting systems engine coolers and bearings

Further, the carmakers were reported to have worked on diesel emissions standards. According to Dr. Dieter Zetsche, the chair of Daimler's board and the head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, the upgrade is meant "to reassure drivers of diesel cars and to strengthen confidence in diesel technology".

After Daimler and other truckmakers were accused in 2011 of price fixing and subsequently fined, the German company at least in part pulled out of the industry tie-ups that are now the subject of inquiries, Sueddeutsche Zeitung said.

Shares in German vehicle manufacturers lost ground over Monday and Tuesday after the European Commission said it would be investigating allegations of collusion between the likes of Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler.

Beyond the potential cost, "holding transactions secret, with the scandal of the diesel in the background, is also an absolute catastrophe for the credibility of the German automotive industry", warns Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management (CAM).

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And on Friday, Audi said it would retrofit 850,000 diesel cars to improve their emissions in "real driving conditions".

In 2015, Volkswagen admitted to U.S. regulators it had cheated on emissions tests using software installed in as many as 11 million diesel vehicles sold worldwide. This has been confirmed by VW, while Daimler has declined to comment. Margins improved to 10.2% from 6.4% in the year-earlier period, mainly thanks to sales of a new E-Class limousine.

German carmakers could face antitrust fines of up to 20 billion USA dollars in the United States, the newspaper Bild reported on Thursday with reference to a first lawsuit being prepared against Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW, Audi and Porsche. That might not seem bad, but in the European Union it's against the law. The company said Wednesday it could not answer questions about either investigation.

Since about 2008, Daimler and its Munich-based rival have purchased significant volumes of components like windscreen wipers and tires together, totaling some €2 billion in annual orders. In retaliation, it has cancelled several co-operation agreements with Daimler including plans to merge their respective smartphone vehicle rental services, joint electro-auto charging facilities and joint component purchases. Audi, BMW and Daimler bought digital-mapping company HERE in 2015 for €2.5 billion, and have run it jointly since then.

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