Volkswagen denies price fixing by German car-makers
Volkswagen’s Chief Executive Matthias Mueller said on Wednesday that German car-makers being investigated over possible collusion in price fixing did not engage in such act or an illegal cartel.
Mueller said at a conference in Stuttgart that such an act had never existed.
“I have no knowledge of price fixing. We very much respect the cartel law,” he said.
European Union antitrust staff raided Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW as part of an investigation into whether they conspired to fix prices on diesel and other technologies over several decades.
The EU’s competition watchdog said in July that it was investigating German car-makers in response to a tip-off after Der Spiegel magazine reported that the car-makers had colluded to the detriment of customers and foreign rivals.
The German car-makers being investigated included Daimler, BMW, VW and its Audi and Porsche arms.
Mueller said the German car-makers had cooperated on standardization issues under the leadership of Germany’s VDA industry lobby without being more specific.
Mueller’s comment was corroborated by the remarks made by his counterpart at Daimler, Dieter Zetsche, who told the conference late on Tuesday that cooperation among German rivals was for the good of customers and had not harmed them.
Also on Wednesday, Mueller said VW could live with a Chinese compromise on electric vehicle quotas to combat air pollution.
Beijing wants electric and hybrid cars to make up at least a fifth of China’s auto sales by 2025 and plans to loosen joint-venture regulations to achieve its aim.
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