Mercedes-Benz: Trend towards trading in counterfeit products on online platforms further increasing

More than 1.86 million counterfeit Mercedes-Benz products seized in more than 650 customs and law enforcement raids in 2021

The worldwide trade in counterfeit Mercedes-Benz products continues to grow. More than 1.86 million counterfeit products were seized in more than 650 raids in 2021 alone. This is a significant increase of about six percent from the previous year, 2020.

Counterfeit products are not only illegal, they are also relevant for safety and can endanger the health of road users. That is why Mercedes-Benz is taking rigorous action against such counterfeit products. The measures are aimed at components such as brake discs, wheels and body and steering parts.

Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Board of Directors of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Integrity & Legal Affairs: “The counterfeit industry has organized crime structures and often generates higher profits than the drug trade. We are working closely with authorities around the world to contain these structures and combat road safety threats.”

During the pandemic of the past two years, product pirates increasingly used online platforms and social media channels to offer counterfeit goods. It takes a lot more effort from brand protection experts to research the online trade in counterfeit products. Counterfeit goods can be posted on online platforms at very short notice and sold using social media. That is why Mercedes-Benz has further expanded its strategic and operational measures against counterfeiting in the online trade. The brand protection strategy consists of three pillars: detect, attack and prevent. Our trademark protection experts can identify counterfeiters by checking suspicious offers on online platforms and social media or exchanges worldwide.

Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Executive Board of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Integrity & Legal Affairs: “The trade in counterfeit products on online platforms and social media continues to increase. Our brand protection experts have quickly adapted to the growing business model of the counterfeiting industry. In 2021, more than 126,000 counterfeit products were removed from online platforms.”

It is often difficult to visually distinguish counterfeit products from genuine parts. On the test track and on the road, however, glaring differences in quality and safety quickly become apparent. The quality of counterfeit products is usually poor and they do not meet the minimum legal requirements for safety. Counterfeit products therefore pose a significant risk to the health and safety of road users.

In many cases, organized counterfeiters have their goods produced under inhumane conditions without regard for human rights, environmental standards and occupational 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 preventive awareness among various target groups.

Mercedes-Benz regularly reports on its work against counterfeiters. An example of this is an interview with a trademark protection expert, who explains how she and her team are fighting product piracy: Brand Protection at Mercedes-Benz | Mercedes-Benz Group

Customers and road users can also support the prevention of counterfeit products in their daily lives and check unusual offers very carefully. Typical indicators of counterfeit products are extremely low price, outstanding product quality, or sales through dubious online sources. It is often even apparent from the product images or markings that the parts may not be original, as Mercedes-Benz simply does not manufacture such items.

SOURCE: Mercedes-Benz

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