Car part makers in SA price fix probe

Car part makers in SA price fix probe

2014-10-13 12:02

Cape Town - The competition authorities are investigating price fixing and collusive tendering in the automotive industry, with top Japanese component suppliers Panasonic and Mitsubishi among those being probed.

Information received by the Competition Commission suggested collusion among automotive component manufacturers when bidding for tenders to supply parts, such as electric power steering and spark plugs, to car makers.

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), reports Sapa.

"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, 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.

Competition authorities said information in their possession pointed to 82 component manufacturers colluding over prices for 121 different automotive parts in the 14 years since 2000.

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 Africa market," commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele said in a statement.

Officials have clamped down hard on collusive activity, fining construction companies millions of rands recently in a bid to break anti-competitive behaviour in the economy.

- Reuters, Sapa

Note: This article has been updated to add more detail.

  • Vuyani Ntlhati - 2014-10-13 12:41

    Nail them.

  • Bertus Pretorius - 2014-10-13 14:05

    Bloody time. Nail them!

  • sxp - 2014-10-13 15:59

    The real thieves in all this is the state who imposes sickening high import taxes on cars.

  • Matthew - 2014-10-14 02:06

    Blame ANC mmm

  • Amanda Strydom - 2014-10-14 15:34

    No Vuyani!! Nail them twice!! I can not believe that people are so greedy.This is why nobody in this country can go forward.Greed have come to stay!!! No more live and let live!! No wonder parts are so expensive!!! You mentioned above you ALL SUCK!!!!!!

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