August 4, 2014 / 6:00 AM / 3 years ago

Daimler's Mercedes cuts prices again amid China anti-monopoly probe

SHANGHAI, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz said the German luxury auto brand would cut prices on more than 10,000 spare parts by 15 percent on average less than a month after it announced a sweeping reduction of prices for repair and maintenance services.

The move, announced over the weekend on Merecdes-Benz’s China market website, comes as pressure from China’s anti-monopoly regulators builds on global automakers to do away with what those government regulators consider price-gouging on repair and replacement components by many foreign auto brands.

China is stepping up efforts to bring companies in compliance with an anti-monopoly law enacted in 2008, having in recent years targeted industries ranging from drugmakers and milk-powder producers to jewelers and technology firms.

Such investigations have led to big fines on a number multinational firms including Mead Johnson Nutrition Co and Danone SA.

Starting Sept. 1, Mercedes-Benz will voluntarily cut prices on more than 10,000 spare parts by 15 percent on average, covering all of its models in China, “in response to an anti-monopoly investigation” by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) into the auto industry, the company said in an e-mailed statement on Monday.

Mercedes-Benz is unleashing the price cuts in addition to a programme it launched in China last month through which it cut service charges and corresponding spare part prices by an average of 20 percent, a company spokesman said.

The reduction “would further lower the usage cost for our customers and would improve Mercedes-Benz’s competitiveness in the after-sales market,” Marc-Oliver Nandy, executive vice president of after-sales for Mercedes in China, said in the statement.

The move came a week after Volkswagen AG’s premium brand Audi decided to cut spare part prices in China by as much as 38 percent and British luxury carmaker Jaguar Land Rover unveiled plans to cut prices on three car models. (Editing by Matt Driskill)

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