BMW under SEC investigation for sales practices: report

BMW under SEC investigation for sales practices: report
© Getty

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched an investigation into BMW’s sales practices, the company confirmed Monday.

The commission is specifically probing how the German company reported U.S. sales figures, according to The Wall Street Journal, with U.S. officials investigating the possibility that BMW had dealers register cars that had not yet been sold to increase official sales figures, a practice known as sales-punching.

“We have been contacted by the SEC and will cooperate fully with their investigation,” a BMW spokesman told The Wall Street Journal, declining to comment on specifics of the probe.

ADVERTISEMENT

BMW sales reports indicate that the company sold 25,440 vehicles in October, up more than 9 percent from the same period in 2018.

The company is also facing litigation from authorities in Europe that accuse BMW of conspiring with its competitors to manipulate emission-control technology prices, according to the WSJ, as well as pressure from the ongoing U.S.-China trade war, which has particularly impacted SUV exports from its Spartanburg, S.C., plant and forced the company to shift some production from the U.S. to China.

The investigation comes after, earlier in 2019, Fiat Chrysler agreed to pay $40 million for similar sales-reporting tactics, although the automaker admitted no wrongdoing.

The Hill has reached out to the SEC for comment.