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New documents substantiate agreement suspicion German automaker

New documents substantiate agreement suspicion German automaker

Dusseldorf, FrankfurtThe words were underlined, bold and apparently chosen to stifle any contradiction in the bud. According to an e-mail from Audi's technical department, which reached many managers in October 2008, there was a clear "order to cut costs" for this exhaust system. An extension of the tanks for Adblue, a mixture of urea and water to neutralize the diesel exhaust, is therefore excluded.

Audi is not alone with the opinion, it says in the newspaper. It is expected that it will only be a solid basis for a long-term strategy for tank volumes in the US in the autumn of 2009, the letter continues. Then it is referred to the prominent colleagues: "This assessment is also carried by the houses VW, BMW and Daimler."

Strategy plans are common in companies. But also between competitors? Already months ago, the Handelsblatt reported on an Audi presentation about the "Clean Diesel Strategy", which suggests that there was agreement in the area of ​​Adblue tanks on where else competition should prevail.

There was talk of a "Commitment of German car manufacturers at board level". It was a binding obligation of the participating car manufacturers to limit the Adblue tanks installed in their diesel vehicles to certain volumes. No automaker can go out.

A day later, the & # 39; mirror & # 39; a great story about a comprehensive agreement in many areas, from technology to contract terms for suppliers. First, Daimler reported the possible antitrust violations for the EU competition authority, followed shortly by Volkswagen. Both clearly hope for a leniency discount. Anyone who first displays the anti-competitive machinations can then hope for a subsidy of up to 100 percent.

Still carrying out the preliminary investigation. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager hinted in the spring that it could be expensive: "If the suspicion against German car manufacturers is confirmed in court, they are faced with heavy fines."

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