Media reports on industrial collusion between German carmakers

Series Title
Series Details July 2017
Publication Date 21/07/2017
Content Type

Background and further information:

The existence of secret meetings between employees of different car firms was reportedly to the knowledge of the European Union since it investigated evidence in the context of the Dieselgate case. Media sources indicated that the European Commission had already started analysing further elements in this case of potential industrial collusion and called in the first witnesses.

Germany's government highlighted the need for further investigation, while the automobile industry dismissed the claims as speculation.

The report published by Der Spiegel points out that five German car firms started holding meetings in the 1990s to coordinate activities relating to their vehicle technology, costs, suppliers and strategy as well as emissions controls in diesel engines. The discussions allegedly involved more than 200 employees in 60 working groups. Talks may have also involved the size of tanks for AdBlue fluid for diesel autos which is at the heart of the emissions case.

Media sources reflected in July 2017 on allegations that five of Germany's car firms were engaged in a massive case of industrial collusion since the 1990s, by holding secret meetings where they agreed on technologies, costs, suppliers and even how to work on emissions from diesel engines.

Subsequently, politicians and representatives of the German automotive industry convened on the 2 August 2017 for a Diesel Summit on the future of diesel cars. German carmakers that manipulated the emissions data of their diesel cars agreed to update the software in five million vehicles. Consumer protection agencies in particular criticised the measure, saying it did not go far enough. Europe's press also concluded that the summit failed to produce a viable model for the car industry of the future.

Related Links
Deutsche Welle, 02.08.17: Dieselgate: the cozy ties between Germany's car industry and Berlin exposed
Politico, 04-07.08.17: Politicians, carmakers fail to put brakes on German diesel debate
EurActiv, 08.08.17: German financial watchdog probing carmakers’ ‘cartel’
Deutsche Welle, 09.08.17: Dieselgate forces German carmakers to rethink their future
Deutsche Welle, 21.07.17: Fresh reports of massive collusion amongst German automakers
Bloomberg, 22.07.17: EU, German Regulator Studying Reports of Automaker Collusion
Politico, 22.07.17: EU probe into alleged German carmaker cartel
The New York Times, 23.07.17: BMW Denies Colluding With Carmakers on Emissions Equipment
Bloomberg, 25.07.17: U.S. Is Said to Review Allegations German Carmakers Colluded
Deutsche Welle, 24.07.17: Collusion cloud follows German carmakers
Politico, 24.07.17: 24.07.17: Brussels vows to untangle latest German car scandal
Deutsche Welle, 24.07.17: [Opinion] Cartel of cheats
Reuters, 24.07.17: [Opinion] Carmakers need more collaboration, not less
EurActiv, 24.07.17: Cartel probe looms over German car industry
EUObserver, 24.07.17: German car cartel case may take long time to prove
EurActiv, 02.08.17: Germany’s car bosses bid to head off diesel ban with software patch
Euro|Topics: Debates, July-August 2017: Which way to go on diesel?
Deutsche Welle, 01.08.17: A political tug-of-war over diesel
Euro|Topics: Debates, August 2017: No real change after the diesel summit?
Deutsche Welle, 02.08.17: [Opinion]: Trust in diesel running on empty
Deutsche Welle, 02.08.17: Diesel summit deal limited to software upgrades
The, 03.08.17: German car bosses bid to head off diesel ban with software fix for 5 million cars
The, 02.08.17: What you should know about the 'dieselgate' scandal shaking up Germany's car industry

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