Online trading

“Rising Trend in Online Commerce of Counterfeit Mercedes-Benz Products”, Auto News, ET Auto

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New Delhi:

The global trade in counterfeit Mercedes-Benz products continues to rise, according to the German luxury carmaker. In 2021 alone, more than 1.86 million counterfeit products were seized in more than 650 raids. This is a significant increase of around 6% from the previous year, 2020.

Counterfeit products are not only illegal, they are also important for safety and can endanger the health of road users. This is why Mercedes-Benz takes stringent measures against these counterfeit products. The measures focus on components such as brake discs, wheels and body and steering parts, the company added.

Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Board of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Integrity & Legal Affairs, said: “The counterfeiting industry has organized criminal structures and often generates higher profits than drug trafficking. We work closely with authorities around the world to reduce these structures and combat threats to road safety.

During the pandemic of the past two years, product pirates have increasingly used online platforms and social networks to offer counterfeit products. It takes much more effort for brand protection experts to track down the online trade in counterfeit products. Counterfeit products can be placed on online platforms at very short notice and sold with the support of social media. For this reason, Mercedes-Benz has further expanded its strategic and operational measures against counterfeiting in online commerce. The brand protection strategy has three pillars: detect, attack and prevent. Our brand protection experts can identify counterfeiters by checking suspicious offers on online platforms and social media or trade shows around the world.

“The trade in counterfeit products on online platforms and social media continues to increase. Our brand protection experts quickly adapted to the growing business model of the counterfeit industry. In 2021, more than 126,000 counterfeit products were removed from online platforms,” Brüngger said.

It is often difficult to visually distinguish counterfeit products from genuine parts. However, stark differences in quality and safety quickly become apparent on the test track and on the road. The quality of counterfeit products is generally poor and they do not meet minimum legal safety requirements. Therefore, counterfeit products pose a significant risk to the health and safety of road users.

In many cases, organized counterfeiters produce their goods under inhumane conditions, with disregard for human rights, environmental standards and workplace safety. The global Mercedes-Benz Intellectual Property Enforcement team works closely with customs and law enforcement authorities. In addition, it regularly offers training and information material for the preventive awareness of the various target groups.

Mercedes-Benz regularly reports on its work against counterfeiters. Customers and road users can also accompany the prevention of counterfeit products in their daily lives and check very carefully for unusual offers.

Typical indicators of counterfeit products are an extremely low price, outstanding product quality, or sale through dubious online sources. It is often even possible to see from images or product designations that parts cannot be genuine, because Mercedes-Benz simply does not manufacture such items.

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Group revenue increased 7% to €36.4 billion and adjusted EBIT increased 8% to €4.9 billion as the company focused on premium luxury vehicles range, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and premium vans, along with a continued focus on cost, helped offset declining sales and rising raw material costs.