For German auto makers, China once seemed like a source of endless profit. But this may be coming to an end as firms find they can no longer set their own rules.
China’s regulatory authorities are calling on foreing automakers doing business in the country to cut their prices for spare parts amid regulatory scrutiny of into alleged price-fixing by German and other foreign automakers.
The National Development and Reform Commission, the Chinese competition regulator, searched Mercedes-Benz’s offices in Shanghai last week as part of an investigation and another probe into Audi’s Chinese operations is underway.
BMW has responded by cutting the prices of its components by a fifth, the Bavarian automaker said.
“In the first half of August, the company will adjust prices for more than 2,000 further products, such as generators and batteries, by an average of 20%,” a BMW spokesperson said in a telephone interview.
BMW had already cut the prices of more than 3,300 spare parts in China by an average of 15 percent, according to the spokesperson. Prices for 108 components, such as engine and electronic parts, were reduced by between 20 and 50 percent, the spokesperson said.