Volkswagen in Hot Water Again, this Time for Colluding with Mercedes and BMW!
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.
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Stash your Checkbooks: Volkswagen Has No Plans To Sell Bentley Or Bugatti
The depths of despair that the Dieselgate scandal has inflicted on Volkswagen has forced the German auto giant to make tough decisions just to be able to keep its business upright. Fortunately, Volkswagen hasn’t reached the point of actually being forced to sell some of its companies, including Bentley and Bugatti. While there have been rumors that both brands could be let go in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume doused those rumors as far as both brands are concerned.
Speaking with Reuters, Blume shot down any thought of a possible sale even as speculation rises that either Bentley or Bugatti could be on the chopping block. Apparently, Blume claims that there are “no considerations to sell anything.” More importantly, Porsche and Bentley have had a lot of success in cross-brand collaborations so selling Bentley in order to keep its numbers afloat doesn’t make any sense. Then again, with Bentley and Bugatti appearing safe from the seller’s block, other brands don’t appear to be as lucky. Italian motorcycle brand Ducati has been a name that’s being thrown out as a possible candidate to be sold to help generate enough money to fund Volkswagen’s new business strategies moving forward.
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