Toyota to Join Automakers in Cutting Prices in the Middle of a China Antitrust Probe

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Toyota to Joins Automakers in Cutting Prices in the Middle of a China Antitrust Probe

Toyota Motor Corp and Hondo Motor co. Chinese business have cut prices of spare parts, after Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen AG’s Audi did so, in the wake of an antitrust probe into the car-making industry.

GAC Toyota Motor Co., Toyota’s joint venture with China’s GAC Group, will reduce prices of certain parts from Aug. 18, the company said on its website. Guangqi Honda Automobile Co., which is jointly owned by Honda and GAC, will cut prices of some components from Sept. 1, a separate statement said.

China, the largest car market in the world, is intensifying its oversight over how much foreign car manufacturers charge for vehicles and spare parts. The government started investigating potential con-compliance to antitrust rules in the auto industry at the end of 2011 as state-run media claimed manufacturers inflated prices and overcharged users, Bloomberg reported.

BayerischeMotorenWerke AG will revise downwards prices for more than 2,000 parts by an average of 20% as from Aug.11, the German car maker said.

Daimler intends to reduce spare-part prices for its Mercedes-Benz brand in China by an average of 15% as from next month. Audi’s Chinese partnership announced late July it would cut replacement costs of its parts by about 38% on Aug.1.

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Mercedes-Benz dealerships Toyota Motor Corp and Hondo Motor co.  in five cities, such as Suzhou and Wuxi are already being probed by Jiangsu province antitrust officers, while National Development and Reform Commission, NDRC officials raided the Shanghai office of Mercedes-Benz, spokesman Li Pumin said in Beijing on Aug.6.

He added that the government would slap Chrysler Group LLC and Audi with punitive measures for monopolistic actions.

According to Reuters, China’s Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Shen Danyang said China’s antitrust probes aimed at checking monopolistic tendencies to enhance competition and safeguard consumer interests.

Danyang said both local and foreign firms must bear commensurate liabilities for violation of antitrust rules.

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