Chinese fines foreign car makers as price fixing probe continues

China is the largest car manufacturer in the world with foreign firms still leading the sector
CHINESE regulators announced major fines worth nearly £30m for large western car makers yesterday, as a probe into alleged price fixing continued to hit foreign auto firms in the country.

Two of the biggest car companies in the world, Volkswagen and Chrysler, will see their local operations in China hit by fines totalling 281m yuan (£28.2m) between them.

Antitrust regulators in Hubei province said Volkswagen would face a fine of 249m yuan, while Shanghai regulators said Chrysler would face a 32m yuan penalty.

In August Chinese regulators also fined 12 Japanese car parts suppliers a record 1.235bn yuan.

The antitrust probes and fines had increased concerns from the US and EU that Chinese regulators might be unfairly targeting foreign companies operating in Asia’s largest economy, a claim Chinese officials have strongly denied.

A wide range of car companies operating in China have been targeted for investigations, with many including BMW, Daimler and Toyota cutting prices in response.