Volkswagen in Hot Water Again, this Time for Colluding with Mercedes and BMW!
Just how crooked is the automotive industry these days?by Robert Moore, on
With the Dieselgate scandal setting Volkswagen back some $25 billion, one would think that the German brand would get its act together and quit playing around. Unfortunately, it’s all too little too late, if these recent reports are to be believed. According to various sources, including Bloomberg and German magazine Der Spiegel, Volkswagen is in some serious hot water, this time alongside Daimler AG and BMW AG. According to Der Spiegel, BMW, Mercedes, and Volkswagen have been colluding since the early 1990s, apparently in an attempt to obstruct the competition. It’s one thing to be a team player, but to collude with your competition is a whole different story. So, what are the potential charges this time around?
Well, word has it that the three brands worked together to share technology and set pricing for just about everything you can think of, including transmission, convertible roofs, infotainment systems, and the like. It might not sound like a big deal to some, but this is a serious violation of American and European antitrust laws, and as such, the European Commission, German Cartel Office, and U.S. Justice Department are reportedly all investigating the matter. According to sources, like Der Spiegel, the scandal even involves some 200 employees that were split into as many as 60 teams to work together. Bloomberg reports that this scandal could turn out to be just as bad as Dieselgate, while the Financial Times reports that Volkswagen AG alone could be fined as much as $22 billion under full penalty of the law. But, it could get even worse for the war-torn brand as the U.S. could also levy a fine against it as well, should it be found guilty of this alleged collusion. As for Daimler/Mercedes and BMW, it’s hard to say, but you can bet they’ll take some pretty big fines as well, should it all prove to be true.
Keep reading for the rest of the story
This is Just Getting Ridiculous
It seems like corruption is running rampant these days, doesn’t it? I mean, most of the larger governments have some kind of corruption going on, and every time we turn around, an automaker is being accused of cheating on emissions, fuel economy figures, pricing, or – in this case – colluding with other automakers. I mean, I’m all about partnerships and sharing technology, but to collude on price fixing is actually quite dirty. It surely gave the German three an advantage over the rest of the competition – assuming the accusations are true, that is.
It does kind of explain a few things, though. It’s kind of hard to ignore how similar some of the pricing and technology is between the automakers. I mean, we mention “German DNA” all of the time, and that’s because a lot of the design characteristics are the same. It could also explain how the three brands manage to succeed with charging so much for their higher-end models. Kind of makes things fair when neither of the German three has the advantage over one another but manage to beat out other automakers with ease.
At the end of the day, something tells me this isn’t even the last of the automotive scandals that we’re going to hear about in the coming years. It seems as if everyone is doing something shady, and Volkswagen is really about as crooked as a barrel of snakes these days. Surely a guilty verdict against Daimler, BMW, and VW would be a massive blow to all, but VW will certainly suffer the most as it still tries to recover from Dieselgate. I mean, seriously, how much more can the brand really take before it begins to unravel?
What do you think? Are the German three really in collusion with one another and currently scrambling to cover their tracks, or is this all a bunch of drama like all of those crazy lawsuits against Tesla over its AutoPilot system? Do you think more automakers are colluding, too? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Check out the latest news and reviews for Volkswagen
Check out the latest news and reviews for BMW
Check out the latest news and reviews for Mercedes