BMW fined $163M by Swiss Competition Authority – plans to appeal image

The Swiss Competition Commission fined Germany’s Bayerische Motoren Werke AG – BMW 156 million Swiss francs ($163.44 US million) for trying to prevent Swiss residents from buying its cars outside Switzerland.

The German automaker was accused in 2010 of preventing sales of its new cars to Swiss residents outside of Switzerland.
Swiss customers had tried to take advantage of a strong franc to purchase cars in Austria and Germany.

In Switzerland, BMW was selling the 5-Series sedan from 62,200 Swiss francs ($65,090) as of late 2010, including a 7.6 percent value-added tax, according to the company’s website. The starting price for the same car in Germany, sales tax included, was 41,900 euros ($52,660).

However BMW, the world’s biggest premium carmaker, plans to appeal.

We categorically reject the accusations, the argumentation and the amount of the fine,” said a spokeswoman for the company, adding that BMW adhered to all laws governing both Switzerland and the European Economic Area.

“We have one month to consider a possible appeal, but the decision has already been made that we will take this to the next higher level of jurisdiction,” she said, clarifying that this would be the second highest court in the country.