Mercedes-Benz says the global trade in counterfeit products continues to increase via online sales platforms and social media, aided over the last two years by pandemic lockdowns. In 2021, more than 1.86 million counterfeit products were seized in over 650 raids, an increase of around six per cent compared to 2020.
According to Mercedes-Benz, counterfeit goods can be placed on online sales platforms at very short notice and sold with the support of social media, prompting the company to expand its strategic and operational measures.
Mercedes-Benz said that in addition to being illegal, counterfeit products can endanger road users. The company said that counterfeit products are usually poor in quality and do not meet the minimum legal requirements for safety, posing a “significant” risk to the health and safety of road users.
“The counterfeiting industry has organised crime structures and often generates higher profits than drug trafficking,” said Renata Jungo Bruengger, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group, Integrity & Legal Affairs. “We are working closely with authorities around the world in order to curtail these structures and combat threats to road safety.”
Typical indicators of counterfeit products are an extremely low price, poor product quality, or sale via dubious online sources.
“The trading in counterfeit products on online platforms and social media is further increasing,” added Bruengger. “Our brand protection experts have quickly adapted to the counterfeiting industry’s growing business model.”