Well, this would be nutty. German car companies have allegedly been working together in “secret working groups” on suppliers and costs in what may be one of “the biggest cartel cases” in German history, according to news magazine Der Spiegel.
According to Der Spiegel, Volkswagen reported in a filing to German authorities that every major German car manufacturer has been involved in the agreements—VW, Audi, Porsche, BMW and Daimler.
Politico had a rundown of the magazine’s findings, and you’re going to be stunned to find what’s tied into all of this:
The working groups even set the stage for the Dieselgate scandal, Der Spiegel reported. The companies agreed on the size of tanks containing AdBlue fluid, which reduces exhaust emissions — but the tanks proved too small to do the job so manipulation became the only way to keep emissions readings low, the magazine said.
Der Spiegel reports that antitrust authorities in the nation had been investigating VW for possible collusion of steel prices. While that probe was underway, evidence of potential illegal collusion in the auto industry emerged. How about that.
None of the companies involved in the alleged scheme offered comment to Der Spiegel. I can’t say I’m surprised.