BMW fined $18 million for inflating gross sales figures

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The SEC mentioned that between 2015 and 2019, BMW “maintained a reserve of unreported retail automobile gross sales — referred to internally because the ‘financial institution’ — that it used to satisfy inner month-to-month gross sales targets with out regard to when the underlying gross sales occurred.” That follow allowed BMW to take care of a number one retail gross sales place relative to different premium automotive firms, the company mentioned.

The investigation was disclosed late final 12 months. BMW Group, which incorporates the BMW and Mini manufacturers, agreed to the settlement and tremendous with none admission of wrongdoing.

“A lot of the conduct at challenge within the SEC settlement occurred over three years in the past,” mentioned BMW’s assertion. “The BMW Group attaches nice significance to the correctness of its gross sales figures and can proceed to deal with thorough and constant gross sales reporting.”

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A 12 months in the past the SEC hit Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) with a $40 million tremendous for the same massaging of its gross sales numbers. In that case the corporate’s database of unreported gross sales that have been used to hit gross sales targets throughout weaker months was identified internally because the “cookie jar,” based on the regulatory company.

The SEC is a watchdog for buyers, and BMW shares usually are not bought in US markets. However as a result of the German automaker usually sells bonds to US buyers — about $18 billion throughout the interval concerned — it was topic to the company’s oversight.

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