Porsche AG has been found guilty of cheating its Indian importers by a Jaipur court. Porsche's former Indian importers had accused the company of giving Volkswagen Group Sales the contract of importing and distributing Porsche cars without letting them know about it. They had also accused Porsche of charging less money from Volkswagen compared to the money it charged its Indian importers.
The Jaipur court issued an arrest warrant against Porsche's Global CEO Matthias Mueller and eight other board members this week. Shreyans Group and Precision Cars were Porsche's two official importers in India until April 2012.
In April 2012, Porsche appointed Volkswagen Group Sales as the sole importer in India for the company, without informing the other importers. The Indian importers have claimed that they found this out only when the media reports came in. The case was filed in June 2012.
A source in Shreyans told The Sunday Guardian on the condition of anonymity, "The charges for the same chassis number, which Porsche was supplying to Volkswagen, were about 30% less than what they were trying to extort from us." The source described this as both a breach of contract and ethics between the two companies. "It's quite sad that a company of this stature would behave in such an unethical way not only with us, but also with its customers."
Porsche India was not available for comment.
Shreyans was working with Porsche since 2003 while the other importer, Precision Cars was involved with the company for the past eight years.
The court found the German carmaker guilty of criminal conspiracy to cheat its local partners by using extortion tactics, dishonestly inducing delivery of property, cheating with knowledge that wrongful loss may ensue to the local partner whose interest Porsche was bound to protect, and lastly criminal breach of trust.
The eight other board members against whom warrants have been issued are Bernhard Maier, Lutz Meschke, Thomas Edig, Wolfgang Hatz, Wolfgang Leimgruber and Deesch Papke, George Wills and Angela Kreitz.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has approached the Interpol since the accused are all based in Germany or UAE.