Truck manufacturers speak out after cartel investigation

Four of the five truck manufacturers who were found to have been operating a cartel have responded after the European Commission (EC) handed out a record €2.9bn (£2.5bn) fine.

The EC yesterday (19 July) found that they had colluded for 14 years on truck prices and passing on the cost of meeting emissions standards to customers.

Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, which was hit with a €1bn fine, received a 40% reduction in the amount it initially faced after co-operating with the EC’s investigation. A spokesman said it regretted what had happened and had taken appropriate action some time ago.

The spokesman added: “The company has strengthened its internal controls and has intensified its regular and comprehensive employee training with regard to antitrust law and competition law.”

Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO at Volvo Trucks and Renault Trucks owner Volvo Group, said the events had not had any impact on its customers..

“We have taken these events very seriously from the outset and our full cooperation with the commission resulted in a very substantial reduction in the fine,” added Lundstedt. It received a 50% reduction in its fine to €670m.

A Daf spokesman said it believed the exchange of factory list prices had no effect on customers and said the final amount it was fined,  €752m, was lower than expected. It was granted a 10% reduction in the charge for settling the case with the EC.

MAN avoided a fine of approximately €1.2bn as it informed the EC about the existence of the cartel before the investigation was launched in 2011.

The manufacturer said in a statement on its website: “The MAN code of conduct includes a clear belief in free and fair competition. The company does not tolerate any unfair business practices or illegal conduct.”

Iveco, which was fined €494m, and Scania declined to comment.

Scania’s involvement in the cartel is still being investigated.


Aliaxis goes for Dafs in £9m deal with Fraikin


Pipe systems manufacturer Aliaxis has added 93 new and used Daf trucks and trailers to its fleet, supplied on service contract hire from Fraikin.

The deal, worth £9m, includes 30 rigids split between 15- and 18-tonne CFs and 49 demountable boxes. There are also 14 drawbar trailers, two new, and 12 refurbished by Fraikin. All are expected to remain in service until at least 2021.

Fraikin is also providing a team of 26 drivers, all servicing, maintenance and repairs, road fund licensing, six-weekly safety inspections, MoT testing, tyre management and roadside assistance.

Aliaxis fleet manager Tom Hamlyn said: “By having the latest CVs in our fleet we can provide greater driver safety, improve fuel economy and contribute to a greener environment, while providing customers with an outstanding service. Our contract hire agreement with Fraikin means the first three of those are taken care of, so we can focus on our customers.” 

Last month French refrigerated rental firm Petit Forestier bought Fraikin in a €1.3bn (£1.09bn) deal.

This article was published in the 14 July issue of Commercial Motor. Why not subscribe to get 12 issues for just £12?