Three more manufacturers have been summoned to appear before the competition commission as investigations into the alleged resale price maintenance of new vehicles continue.

Three more manufacturers have been summoned to appear before the competition commission as investigations into the alleged resale price maintenance of new vehicles continue.

In May this year, the competition commission launched a formal investigation into high car prices and the maintenance of minimum resale prices for new vehicles. The commission confirmed earlier this month that it had uncovered further evidence of alleged contraventions of the Competition Act.

Certain DaimlerChrysler, Ford and Volkswagen officials are the most recent to be called before the commission. In May, Toyota SA agreed to pay an administrative penalty of R12 million and discontinue its minimum resale price maintenance.

The commission found that over a year, Toyota introduced a policy of prescribing maximum discounts on its list prices to dealers. The policy was enforced through fines of R25 000 levied on a total of eight dealers, which were subsequently refunded.

Zodwa Ntuli, a commission official, told on Thursday that some manufacturers and dealers had been summoned to provide further information as part of its investigation.

"We are waiting for them to respond. Our investigation is following all aspects of anti-competitive practices, including resale price maintenance and collusion. If we find evidence of any other practice that may raise competition concern, we may pursue that as well. Detailed feedback will be provided in due course," Ntuli said.

Christoph Köpke, chairman of DaimlerChrysler South Africa, confirmed that five people from the firm and a number of people from some dealerships had been subpoenaed.

Craig von Essen, general manager for communications at the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, said its sales and marketing director, national sales manager and the marketing managers for the Ford and Mazda brands had been subpoenaed and asked to supply company information dating back to 1999.

Bill Stephens, the divisional head of communications at Volkswagen South Africa, confirmed that a number of its representatives and dealers had been subpoenaed and were required to give evidence before the commission.