Vehicle manufacturer BMW has to pay a fine of $15 million euros on allegations of manipulated sales figures in the USA. The US financial market regulator SEC said on Thursday that BMW had artificially increased its sales figures between 2015 and 2019 through “incorrect and misleading” information.
With this, the automaker bridged the gap between actual sales figures and internal targets and publicly claimed a leading position in the premium segment, the authority said. At the same time, BMW raised around $18 billion dollars in investor money in the USA during the period.
“Through repeated disclosure failures, BMW has misled investors about its US sales and customer demand for BMW vehicles in the US, while the company raised capital in the US,” said Stephanie Avakian of the Financial Market Authority.
According to the information, the North American subsidiary of BMW had a kind of reservoir of vehicles, the sale of which was initially not reported, in order to meet monthly targets regardless of the time of sale. Accordingly, BMW also paid dealers to falsely declare cars as demonstration vehicles or rental vehicles so that the group can report higher sales figures.
With the payment of the $18 million fine by BMW AG and two subsidiaries, the investigation is closed without the carmaker’s admission of guilt. BMW stated that it had accepted the fine and stressed that it had cooperated extensively in the investigation.