Major European investment managers and pension funds that together wield around one trillion dollars have now banded to seek answers from carmakers about the way they lobbied the public regulators on emissions restrictions.
Nineteen investors, among them AXA Investment Managers, the fund unit of insurer AXA, and the Swedish national pension fund, have asked in separate letters about the strategies of eleven global automakers, has announced retail investor watchdog ShareAction in a recent statement. Volkswagen, BMW, Honda, Daimler, GM, Ford, FCA, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Toyota were the recipients of the letters seeking information on lobbying practices in regards to emissions regulations currently debated in the United States and the European Union. Another letter has been sent to Carlos Ghosn, chief executive officer of both Japanese automaker Nissan and French carmaker Renault because both have been recognized at the top of the companies in terms of CO2 emissions.
The initiative follows the global auto industry turmoil triggered by Germany’s VW AG, which has last month acknowledged it had cheated on diesel emissions tests, which triggered the loss of billions of euros off the company’s stock market value. It also attracted increased regulatory scrutiny across the industry from countries all over the world in fear that VW had not been the only one rigging the procedures. “The Volkswagen case highlights the need for a much greater disclosure regime, both of the company’s specific position on key legislation and its involvement in the policy process,” comments Dylan Tanner, executive director at non-profit group InfluenceMap, a firm that can rank companies based on influence and lobbying power regarding climate issues.