The US Department of Justice has been on a campaign over the past few years to crack down on price fixing in the auto industry, especially from Japanese parts suppliers. In the agency's most recent count, it has indicted 46 people with 26 guilty pleas and raised over $2.4 billion in fines from 31 companies, including nine at once in 2013. Unfortunately, about 20 of these men remain fugitives from the DoJ and catching them might be very difficult.
Fisker Automotive appears to be wrangling up its proverbial ducks and properly aligning them again after halting production nearly two years ago. After filing for bankruptcy, the Chinese company Wanxiang, like an angel made of money, scooped up the maker of the Karma range-extended electric sports car for the sizeable sum of $149.2 million. Now, Wanxiang is looking to relaunch the Karma by early 2015, and the car that we see upon its revival will likely look quite familiar.
Two well-known companies in the industry will combine to create the second-largest auto parts supplier in the world. ZF Friedrichshafen AG, best known for its transmissions, has announced it is buying TRW Automotive Holdings, a major player in safety tech, as part of an approximately $12.4-billion cash deal based on equity value that is already approved by both companies' boards.
China's recently instigated push to go after price fixing and monopolistic practices in the automotive sector has garnered a lot of ink, but regulatory bodies around the world have been tackling the issue for years. Lithium-ion battery makers were targeted in 2012, the US Department of Justice hit a cabal of Japanese suppliers for $740M in 2013 and Toyo Tires after that, the EU went after exhaust parts makers earlier this year. Nor are the investigations confined to the auto industry: aluminum p
The defective ignition switch that led General Motors to recall an additional 3.4 million large sedans earlier this month was manufactured in China, according to a report filed with safety regulators obtained by Reuters.
We've seen automotive price-fixing scandals in the past, most recently against nine Japanese suppliers that received $740 million in fines from the US Department of Justice. Now the European Union is cracking down hard on the anti-competitive practice. On March 25, its regulators raided several exhaust system suppliers, including one based in the US, and more busts could be on the way.
In 2010, automotive supplier Faurecia showed off a car seat that, via Bluetooth communication with a smartphone app, would adjust itself based on information the occupant had entered. It looks like that was too much work for a busy executive to do, because Automotive News has a story on how that seat has progressed, and it's now almost fully automatic.
In the auto industry, running into a car with the familiar "Brembo" moniker on its brake calipers is not uncommon. Ford fitted a set to its last-generation Mustang, and the Nissan Z and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution featured the company's stoppers for years. Combined with all the brakes Brembo supplies for Porsche, Ferrari and other high-end marques (to say nothing of its extensive motorsports efforts), it should come as no shock that the man in charge of the company is quite wealthy.
There would be reason to be happy if North American auto industry production exceeds 16-million vehicles in 2014, but if it does, a new survey of suppliers by IRN, Inc. concludes that automakers can expect spot shortages of parts, Automotive News reports. Electronics suppliers and chassis and suspension suppliers would have the most trouble keeping up with parts demand.
Nine Japanese suppliers have pleaded guilty in US court over charges of price fixing in the automotive parts industry, resulting in the Department of Justice doling out a total of $740 million of fines, according to a report from Bloomberg. The scandal, which has resulted in General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Chrysler spending up to $5 billion on inflated parts and driving up prices on 25 million vehicles has sent the DoJ hustling into investigations. "The conduct this investigation uncovered invo
The three-year investigation by the US Department of Justice into price-fixing allegations by auto parts suppliers continues, with two more fish from the swamp of corruption the latest to be sentenced. Reuters reports that Denso executives Yuji Suzuki and Hiroshi Watanabe will do 16 months and 15 months in US jails, respectively, for their roles in setting prices for parts like heater control units and power window systems. They will also each pay $20,000 fines.
An explosion at a Magna International divisional plant in Newmarket, ON, a manufacturing facility for Dortec Industries, occurred on Wednesday afternoon. Some nine people were injured in the accident and five or six (reports vary) were sent to the hospital. Magna has reported that all workers have since been released from the hospital.
At one time, recently at that, the 22-way adjustable seat was a marvel – especially since we didn't know our own bodies even had 22 different ways to be seated comfortably. Automotive supplier Faurecia plans on going well beyond that, however, with its prototype Bluetooth-enabled SmartFit seating system.
Back in 2009, OEM supplier Caparo Vehicle Components pledged to put $10.5 million back into its two plants in Novi, Michigan. That move was so warmly received by the state of Michigan that the company was awarded $1 million in tax credits over five years. The company got its credits in 2010, reports The Detroit News, and may have collected a credit in 2011, as well, although the Michigan Economic Development Corporation reports the proper paperwork was not filed with the state. Caparo had been t
Before financial Stargate opened in September of 2008 and transported us to an entirely new economic dimension, it was oh so common to read about domestic automakers hammering Tier One suppliers to lower their prices. Of course, suppliers are still asked to find efficiencies, but pre-2008, it seemed a point of honor to hold a supplier's feet to the fire. No more: in the latest Working Relations Index survey of suppliers by Detroit firm Planning Perspectives Inc., General Motors and Chrysler rock
Two more Japanese auto industry suppliers, Yazaki and Denso, have been fined by the U.S. Department of Justice and four executives from Yazaki will go to jail, according to reports in the New York Times and Automotive News. Yazaki's $478 million fine and Denso's $78 million fine come on top of the $200 million penalty paid by another Japanese supplier, Furukawa Electric Company, last November as part of a probe into price fixing. Three Furukawa execs also were sentenced to prison.
A few years ago, the U.S. auto industry was in serious trouble. Automakers received most of the press, but suppliers appeared to be in even more dire straits. Fast-forward to 2011 and the Detroit Three are in better shape, and suppliers apparently aren't doing so badly either.
The Japan earthquake and tsunami tragedy proved that disruptions at a few key suppliers could wreak havoc on the delicate auto supply chain. That point has again been proven, as weather-related flooding at a automotive carpet supplier has lead to decreased production at six North American plants.
The Detroit News is reporting that a federal judge has thrown out a portion of the lawsuit brought against the federal government by Delphi retirees. The former employees of the automotive supplier brought suit against the federal government after their pensions were terminated in bankruptcy proceedings. U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow dismissed claims against the U.S. Treasury Department, Timothy Geithner, the auto task force, Steven Rattner and Ron Bloom, though the judge did allow the lawsu