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BMW Japan raided over improper sales quotas

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Fair Trade Commission raided BMW Japan Corp. on Wednesday for allegedly imposing unreasonable sales quotas on its distributors and making them buy vehicles when they missed the targets.

According to informed sources, the antitrust watchdog suspects that the Tokyo-based unit of German automaker BMW AG imposed unfair trade conditions on distributors from several years ago, such as sales targets for new models that appear hard to achieve through normal sales activities.

BMW Japan made the distributors buy vehicles when they failed to meet quotas, abusing its superior bargaining position in violation of the antimonopoly law, the sources said.

The alleged unfair practice was apparently induced by fierce competition from Mercedes-Benz and other rivals in the imported vehicle market.

Distributors registered BMW vehicles they purchased under their names and sold them in the used car market afterward, according to the sources.

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