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A penalty of $26.9 million fined against Maruti Suzuki over dealer discount policy

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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India’s antitrust regulator has fined a penalty of $26.9 million on Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), the company is the biggest carmaker in India. The penalty was imposed for anti-competitive practices related to how it forced dealers to discount cars, officials said Tuesday.

“CCI passed a final order against MSIL for indulging in anti-competitive conduct of resale price maintenance in the passenger vehicle segment by way of implementing discount control policy vis-a-vis dealers, and accordingly, imposed a penalty of  $26.9 million upon MSIL, besides passing a cease-and-desist order,” said a press statement issued by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

The regulator discovered that MSIL had an agreement with its dealers in which the dealers were restrained from offering discounts to customers beyond those arranged by MSIL.

“In other words, MSIL had a discount control policy in place for its dealers whereby the dealers were discouraged from giving extra discounts, freebies, etc. to the consumers beyond what was permitted by MSIL,” the statement said.

Reports said CCI in 2019 started looking into accusations that MSIL enforced its dealers to limit the discounts they offer, thereby successfully stifling competition among them and impairing customers who could have benefited from lower prices if dealers operated freely.

The regulator said to enforce the discount control policy, MSIL appointed Mystery Shopping Agencies (MSAs) who used to pose as customers to MSIL dealerships to find out if any additional discounts were being offered to customers.

“If found offered, the mystery shopping agencies would report to MSIL management with proof (audio/video recording) who, in turn, would send an e-mail to the errant dealership,” CCI said. “If clarification was not offered by the dealership to the satisfaction of MSIL, the penalty would be imposed on the dealership and its employees, accompanied in some cases, by the threat of stopping supplies.”

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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UNCHR has urged the international community to continue engaging with the Taliban

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Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), stated today that the international community should continue to engage with the Afghan Taliban.

On a news conference Friday during his tour to Pakistan, the UN official stated that the UNHCR is working with the temporary Taliban administration in Afghanistan on humanitarian issues and urged the rest of the world to do the same.

“The Taliban emphasized a desire for humanitarian assistance to be delivered to the country as soon as possible since, as we see ourselves, things are extremely challenging.”

He stated that Afghanistan has been in severe need of financial assistance and that as time passes, the situation will worsen “Everything is required because the situation is dire. Food, medication, housing, and other basic requirements are required.”

He stated that the UNHCR will be able to expand up humanitarian assistance if it is sufficiently supported and resourced.

“It is critical that the international community establish the required direction (and) methods to maintain Afghanistan’s functioning. If public services, such as health care or education, fail and the state fails to operate, it would cause a much worse disaster than a humanitarian crisis.”

When asked about the fresh wave of internally displaced persons in Afghanistan, he stated that roughly 500,000 people had lately been displaced by violence due to fighting in their communities. There is, however, no migration of refugees into neighboring countries, notably Pakistan.

He praised Pakistan for facilitating humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan, stating that he received some relief trucks from Pakistan during his visit to Afghanistan.

“Whether it is Pakistani or international donations going through here, we will need to use Pakistan to fly people in and out, as usual, Pakistan will play a very crucial role of assistance to the humanitarian activities within Afghanistan, and I am very happy for that.”

 

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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During the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, China anticipates 40 million domestic trips

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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According to the China State Railway Group Co., Ltd., 40 million domestic journeys are expected in China during the four-day travel rush for the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday.

According to the firm, passenger trips are projected to peak on Sunday, the opening day of the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, with 11 million trips estimated on that day.

The railway passenger flow is likely to return to last year’s levels, according to the business, citing bookings made on 12306.cn, China’s official railway ticket reservation website.

The Mid-Autumn Celebration, which takes place on September 21 this year, is a traditional festival that represents family reunions.

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Global automakers and experts appeal for NEV collaboration

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To attain the aim of carbon neutrality, major global automakers and experts have advocated for more extensive collaboration in the field of new energy vehicles (NEVs).

Speaking at the 3rd World New Energy Vehicle Congress (WNEVC), international participants stated that because China is the world’s largest auto market, they are eager to collaborate with Chinese partners to combat climate change and create a more beautiful world.

The three-day event, titled “Comprehensively advancing marketization, accelerating cross-industry integration, and collaboratively achieving carbon neutrality,” was held from September 15 to 17 in Haikou, the capital of south China’s Hainan Province.

British Trade Commissioner for China John Edwards said he urges more Chinese companies to seek collaborative opportunities with the UK and assist develop the battery and new energy vehicle markets.

“China and the United Kingdom both have extensive plans for zero-emission vehicles. I am confident that by exchanging ideas and working together, such as at this event, we can accelerate innovation and create a successful environment for meeting our zero-emission car goals “According to Edwards.

BMW, a business that has been active in the Chinese market for decades, has declared its support for China’s green transformation.

By cooperating with Chinese enterprises, the German manufacturer claimed it will deliver more zero-emission vehicles for the Chinese market and extend the number of public charging stations. BMW is forming partnerships with Chinese digital behemoths to assist startups in technological innovation, according to BMW Chief Development Officer Frank Weber in a video speech.

ZF, a global auto-system supplier, has established roughly 50 manufacturing businesses and four R&D centers in more than 20 Chinese cities.

Holger Klein, a member of ZF Group’s management board, stated that the company will continue to improve its innovation and development capabilities, as well as promote digital manufacturing for the Chinese NEV market, in order to contribute to China’s sustainable development and next-generation mobility.

Noting that China is the world’s largest market for electric vehicles, Hans Georg Engel, senior executive vice president of Daimler Greater China Ltd., stated that the company will establish an R&D center in Beijing with over 1,000 engineers and will continue to invest in China to improve its research capabilities.

Daimler, in particular, will focus on the research and development of electric vehicles and battery technology in order to give personalized goods to Chinese consumers, he added.

According to Liu Yunfeng, vice CEO of Volkswagen Group China, the German carmaker Volkswagen wants to create 17,000 high-power charging sites in China before 2025 and 32,000 by 2030, emphasizing that reaching carbon neutrality takes work from every country around the world.

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO of the Global Environment Facility, reiterated Liu’s views, urging intense cooperation in terms of technologies and markets to aid the development of the NEV industry in developing nations.

 

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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