By Douglas A. Bolduc | | Automotive News Europe
CLEPA, the European suppliers association, would like to help create global guidelines to reduce bribery in the industry.
"When we see that globalization is going much faster, especially into Asia, perhaps the timing is correct to do something," CLEPA CEO Lars Holmqvist told Automotive News Europe in a telephone interview. "We certainly will discuss it."
Holmqvist fears that some companies may consider guidelines redundant. "The problem we have is that most companies already have codes of conduct," Holmqvist said.
In response to two continuing bribery investigations in Germany, CLEPA released a statement saying it has zero tolerance for bribery and that the organization would do all it can "to rigorously stamp out corruption."
Former BMW purchasing manager GÃ¼nther Link was found guilty of serious corruption in business dealings by a Munich court last month.
He was sentenced to three years in jail. Link admitted that he accepted bribes of about â‚¬900,000 between 2001 and 2005.
Munich prosecutors say they expect more charges in their investigation into allegations that six interior suppliers bribed BMW purchasing executives to win new business. DrÃ¤xlmaier, Faurecia, Grammer, Intier, Lear and M&H, which was renamed Automotive Interior World last December, are being investigated in the case.
Frankfurt prosecutors are investigating a separate case involving Volkswagen, Faurecia and two other unidentified partsmakers.
Holmqvist, who has worked in the auto industry since 1976, said the size and scope of the bribery probes in Germany surprised him.
"I though we had cleaned up any attempts of this kind of thing," he said. "I was under the impression that it was better than it is."
ACEA, the European automakers association, believes that its members' codes of conduct are sufficient to prevent future corruption, said spokeswoman Sigrid de Vries.
From Automotive News Europe (A Crain publication)