In an announcement this past Monday, The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission began an investigation into sales reports by BMW in the United States. The German automaker is accused of recording fake sales figures through dealers registering cars as sold that were never actually sold.
The cars were intended to be loaners for customers having their own cars serviced, though they were reported as real sales in the books instead. BMW has created controversy in past years for their practice of pressing dealers to buy loaner vehicles straight from the manufacturer, instead of well, just loaning them to the dealers. This practice is called "sale punching".
BMW and Mercedes Benz are the top selling luxury rivals in the United States. In 2019, BMW beat out Merc for the first time in a few years by selling only about 3,000 more vehicles. Or, so they report.
Fiat-Chrysler paid a $40 million fine this year for falsifying sales records and paying dealers to report the fake sales too. That is chump change to them, as it would be to BMW if they face a similar fine. However, it is still a dirty mark on their brand that they will have to clean up, and fast.
Photo by Createria on Unsplash