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Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 200 crore on Maruti Suzuki India Ltd

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 200 crore on Maruti Suzuki India Ltd over anti-competitive practice of imposing a discount control policy, thereby restricting dealers from offering higher level of concessions to the consumers.

The anti-trust body, in its order, said that Maruti Suzuki not only entered into an agreement with its dealers across India for the imposition of discount control policy amounting to retail price maintenance (RPM), but also monitored the same by appointing Mystery Shopping Agencies (MSA) and enforced the same through the imposition of penalties, which resulted in "appreciable adverse effect on competition" within India.

It has directed MSIL to cease and desist from indulging in RPM directly or indirectly, which has been found by the commission in the present order to be in contravention of the provisions of Section 3(4)(e) of the Act.

"Having considered the nature of the infringing conduct and the post-pandemic phase of recovery of automobile sector, the Commission takes a considerate view and deems it appropriate to impose a penalty of Rs 200 crore only upon the MSIL, as against a maximum penalty permissible under the provisions of the Act, which may extend upto ten per cent of the average of the turnover of the entity for the last three preceding financial years," it said.

The investigation found that each and every discount offered by the dealers of the MSIL over and above the customer offers of the MSIL, had to be permitted by the MSIL. If discount without prior approval was given, the imposition of a penalty was threatened.

The dealers were informed by the MSIL that no discounts above the stated discounts are to be offered to consumers. Additionally, the MSIL dictated that any dealership, after price rise, if found selling/billing on old price, will be considered violating selling norms and it will be treated as a discount offered to customers. The MSIL circulated communications of warning and threats of imposing high penalties in case dealers offered extra discounts without prior approval, the CCI order said.

A MSIL spokesperson said: "We have seen the order dated 23 August 2021 published by the Competition Commission of India."

"We are examining the order and will take appropriate actions under law. MSIL has always worked in the best interests of consumers and will continue to do so in the future."

KS Legal & Associates Managing Partner Sonam Chandwani said: "According to CCI, MSIL has an agreement with its dealers that prohibited the dealers from offering consumers discounts other than those prescribed by MSIL."

"Maruti caters to the middle class, therefore offering the dealer a free ride would have helped the customer."

Chandwani pointed out that the development will be a major setback for Maruti, as it will be obliged to deposit Rs 200 crore in 60 days and amend its agreement to remove any discount control measures. (IANS/SB)

Keywords: Automobile, Maruti Suzuki, CCI


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Renault Pornic

The 3,542 workers of Renault Nissan Automotive India Private Ltd will get an interim relief pending wage settlement as per the orders of the retired Madras High Court Judge P. Jyothimani, the arbitrator.

The total outgo for the company as interim relief will be Rs 70.84 crore. As per the order, each of the 3,542 workers of Renault Nissan Automotive will be paid an interim relief of Rs 10,000/month for the period between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020 and Rs 5,000/month between April 1, 2020 and July 31, 2021.

The company was ordered to pay the wage arrears in three equated monthly instalments to the workers starting October this year. The workers had demanded an interim relief of Rs 20,000/month while the company had offered a lump sum of Rs 100,000 to each of the 3,542 workers, which amounted to Rs 35.42 crore.

The earlier wage agreement between the workers represented by Renault Nissan India Thozhilalar Sangam (RNITS) and the company management ended on March 31, 2019. This is the first time an industrial dispute in a multinational company has gone for arbitration under the Section 10A of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 in this part of the country, a union official had told IANS.

Renault Nissan Automotive India is the car production joint venture between French company Renault and Japan's Nissan Motor Company. The arbitrator will decide on the 53 demands raised both by RNITS (38 demands) and Renault Nissan Automotive management (15 demands).(IANS/TI)

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black Tesla steering wheel

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into Tesla's Autopilot software, to assess the technologies and methods used to monitor, assist and enforce the driver's engagement with the dynamic driving task during Autopilot operation.

There have been several Tesla Autopilot-related crashes, currently under investigation by the US NHTSA. In a statement, the agency said that the probe will cover Tesla Models Y, X, S, and 3 vehicles released from 2014 through 2021.

"Most incidents took place after dark and the crash scenes encountered included scene control measures such as first responder vehicle lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board, and road cones," the NHTSA said. "The involved subject vehicles were all confirmed to have been engaged in either Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control during the approach to the crashes".

Tesla vehicles come with a driver assistance system called 'Autopilot' that enhances safety and convenience behind the wheel. When used properly, Autopilot reduces your overall workload as a driver.

For an additional $10,000, people can buy "full self-driving" or FSD, that Musk promises will deliver full autonomous driving capabilities. Despite tall claims made by Musk over Twitter about the full self-driving technology, electric car-maker Tesla has privately admitted that such claims do not match up with the engineering reality.

Since January 2018, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has identified eleven crashes in which Tesla models of various configurations have encountered first responder scenes and subsequently struck one or more vehicles involved with those scenes.
The investigation will additionally assess the OEDR by vehicles when engaged in Autopilot mode, and ODD in which the Autopilot mode is functional.

The investigation will also include examination of the contributing circumstances for the confirmed crashes listed below and other similar crashes.(IANS/HP)

Uber and Bajaj Auto on Wednesday announced they are partnering with auto drivers to install safety partitions. Pixabay

Ride-hailing major Uber and Bajaj Auto on Wednesday announced they are partnering with auto drivers to install safety partitions just behind the driver seat in one lakh autos across the country to facilitate social distancing between drivers and riders.

Safety kits with face masks, hand sanitizers and vehicle disinfectants will also be distributed to 1 lakh auto-rickshaw drivers across 20 cities including New Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mysore, Madurai, among others.

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