Daimler Combats Global Trade in Counterfeit Parts

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Source Daimler AG announcement

STUTTGART, Germany – As the global trade in counterfeit spare parts continues to grow, now approximately $509 billion annually and rising according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Daimler AG works with international authorities to bring it under control.

“In 2019, we initiated, supported and accompanied more than 520 raids by the authorities,” said according to Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for Integrity and Legal Affairs. “A total of more than 1.6 million fake Daimler products were confiscated. In many cases, they were safety-relevant spare parts such as brake disks, wheels and windshields.”

The product pirates invest a tremendous amount of criminal energy in this trade and, according to a report by the trade association Unifab, achieve higher margins here than with drugs trafficking.

In many cases the goods sold by organized counterfeiters are produced in inhumane conditions without any consideration to environmental standards, workplace safety or human rights.

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In this context, we are not talking about spare parts produced by Mercedes-Benz or other authorized suppliers, but about illegal goods from product pirates. To non-experts, counterfeit parts may look very little different from genuine parts, but in most cases they are of inferior quality and do not meet even minimum legal standards. They therefore represent a significant risk to the wellbeing and safety of customers.

“Brand protection is customer protection: Our customers’ safety is our top priority. We pursue a zero-tolerance strategy towards counterfeiters,” said Brüngger. “That’s why we have set up a separate department to put a stop to counterfeiting.”

The Intellectual Property Enforcement unit has a global presence and works closely with both the Customs authorities and the law enforcement agencies. The brand protection strategy is based on the three pillars of “Detecting, Attacking and Preventing”.

The brand protection experts inspect suspicious products on online platforms or at trade fairs around the world in order to track down counterfeiters.

Typical alarm signals are a conspicuously low price, anomalies in product quality, or goods being sold by dubious online sources.

The aim of the worldwide raids with local authorities is the large forgery networks and the dismantling of their production and distribution structures.

Other measures include criminal proceedings, injunctions or actions for information and damages.

The brand protection team cooperates closely with Customs and police also when it comes to prevention. In training sessions and with information materials, they raise awareness of the safety risks and help others to distinguish genuine parts from fakes. In so doing, the team is also contributing to sustainability – not only in terms of safety, but also with respect to human rights and

Mike Geylin
Mike Geylin

Mike Geylin is the Editor-in-Chief at Hagman Media. Geylin has been in automotive communications for five decades working in all aspects of the industry from OEM to supplier to motorsports as well as reporting for both newspapers and magazines on the industry.