Competition Commission moves to investigate car industry

The Competition Commission is to investigate alleged collusion in the automotive industry, it said on Monday.

The investigation was based on allegations of price fixing, market division, and collusive tendering in the market for the manufacture and supply of automotive components supplied to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

“The investigation arises from information received by the commission that automotive component manufacturers colluded when bidding for tenders to supply automotive components to the OEMs,” said commission spokesperson Mava Scott.

“The investigation is launched against automotive components manufacturers, such as Denso Corporation, Maruyasu Industrial Company Limited, Hitachi Company Limited, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Tokai Rika Company Limited, NGK Spark Plug Company Limited, Mikuni Corporation, Aisin Industries Company Limited, Panasonic Corporation, Futuba Corporation, and Fijistu-Ten Limited.”

These companies supplied parts to Toyota, Daihatsu, Nissan, Isuzu, Honda, Suzuki, General Motors, Hyundai, Yamaha, Volvo, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Ford.

It was alleged that from 2000 to date, 82 automotive component manufacturers colluded in respect of 121 automotive components. The components include inverters, electric power steering, glow plugs, rear sunshades, pressure regulators, pulsation dampers, purge control valves, accelerator pedal modules, power management controllers, evaporative fuel canister systems, knock sensors, spark plugs, and clearance sonar systems.

Competition commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele said the investigation joined similar investigations launched in other jurisdictions internationally. “The commission will prioritise the investigation of cases that involve automotive components that are in vehicles assembled in and supplied to the South African market”, he said. – Sapa

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