The German State has handed Daimler Benz, the parent company of Mercedes Benz, a $1 billion dollar fine. The company was found to have committed fraud by deliberately understating CO2 emissions by using software to deceive emissions regulators. Mercedes will not appeal the decision. Mercedes sold 648,000 vehicles which excessively emitted nitrogen oxides. The “cheat software” was designed to read figures lower than the accepted mandatory levels during emissions testing.
German authorities found that 280,000 C-Class and E-Class vehicles were fitted with the manipulation software. The discovery led to a further recall of 700,000 vehicles in addition to a recall of 60,000 GLKs. Daimler Benz is also under investigation in the US. US authorities will be less forgiving than the German authorities. Why Mercedes bosses took this decision without thinking of the long term consequences is a complete mystery.
After all, German automotive executives are some of the best educated in the car industry. But when money is involved, making profits, and being ahead of your rivals in terms of annual sales, even smart people will make dumb-stupid decisions. A good sales year for a top automotive German executive equals a sizeable annual bonus.
And looks can also be deceiving. The typical German executive is primed in a nicely cut suit, looks totally respectable. Talks respectable, in educated tones. But behind closed doors, away from the expertly crafted PR persona, behind closed doors a strategy is being formulated that could be written by a bank robber using his fingers to imitate a Glock pistol.
Mercedes Actually Said it Gives No Fucks About Being Fined
By their very own statement, Mercedes doesn’t give two fucks about committing the fraud nor of the $1 billion fine. In response, a Mercedes spokesperson said:
“Daimler has refrained from taking a legal remedy in the public prosecutor’s administrative offense proceeding. It is in the company’s best interest to end the administrative offense proceeding in a timely and comprehensive manner and thereby conclude this matter.”
In other words, they don’t give two-fucks.
The statement is part bluster because they know if they mount an appeal the fine could be increased. Accepting the public prosecutor’s decision and fine effectively ends the news and reporting cycle. For Mercedes, committing fraud and receiving the $1bn fine is not the real issue.
Let’s look at this way, take the 648,000 vehicles sold, Mercedes is known to make around a $7,000 profit per vehicle sold, that’s $4 billion in profits, so the $1 billion fine is eailsy absorbed. On the whole, Mercedes makes a $20,000 profit every minute. No wonder they simply give no fucks.
At the end of the day, the news cycle will move on, and the prosecution and fine will have been long forgotten. In the long term Mercedes is slowly shifting into becoming a maker of electric cars. Form poisoning the public and giving no fucks about it to saving the world from global warming. You can’t make this shit up.