August 4, 2021
The brand is concerned about how counterfeit products have increased since the pandemic started.
We’ve all seen a W203 Mercedes-Benz C180 rocking a pair of AMG wheels but more often than ever, those rims are probably counterfeit. The German brand says that it is aware of these products and has revealed that it is in fact taking the fight to these unofficial retailers.
Throughout 2020, Mercedes-Benz confirms that it has confiscated 1,7 million counterfeit Daimler-related products in 2020 and initiated and supported over 550 raids by the authorities. This is a slight increase compared to the previous year despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
In 2020, online trade increased significantly owing to the pandemic. This made this distribution channel even more interesting for counterfeiters. Mercedes-Benz says it has adapted its brand protection strategy and increased activities to combat counterfeiting in online trading. All-in, they were able to have 138 000 fake products removed from online platforms. This is around three times as many as during the same period before the pandemic.
A reason for this crackdown on counterfeits is because product pirates invest large amounts of criminal energy into this trade. According to a report by the trade association Unifab, they often achieve higher margins with these products than with drugs. In many cases, the goods sold by organized counterfeiters are produced in inhumane conditions without any consideration for environmental standards, workplace safety or human rights.
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