Monday, November 17, 2014

Automotive News Hans Greimel digs deep into Japanese cultural underpinnings of price-fixing; extradition risk rising

Mister X.
"the man who never dies"

Hans Greimel has written an extremely interesting article about the Japanese aspects of the price-fixing crackdown, including an interview with one of the jailed executives, now back at work at his company.
Confessions of a price-fixer; supplier network shelters fugitives, ex-cons


"the handling of some cases and a trend of execs trying to evade justice also have exposed a rarely seen underside of Japan's business culture still at odds with international norms."

"Thirty-one parts suppliers, mainly Japanese companies, making everything from wire harnesses to wiper switches, have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty in the crackdown since 2011. Forty-six individuals, almost exclusively Japanese, have been charged. The indictments continue, with two more individuals indicted on Nov. 14.
No one has challenged the charges in court; 26 individuals agreed to prison instead. Another 20 have yet to enter pleas or are otherwise ignoring their indictments.
A review of the cases by Automotive News finds some of the execs are still in Japan, gainfully employed by the suppliers for which they are charged with rigging bids."
"It's like the Mafia," complained one Japan-based executive at an international parts supplier. "The boss says you can come back after doing your time. Just because it's the Japanese way, doesn't mean it's right."
"Suppliers argue that the relentless pressure from automakers to annually cut costs creates a fertile field for suppliers to circle wagons in an effort to stave off predatory pricing."
Question: What responsibility do Japanese automakers have to their suppliers as the execs are herded off to jail? If it is to keep doing business as usual, they are doing that. 
Japanese feudal loyalty at play here...