Daimler warns about increasing professionalism of counterfeiters

© Syda Productions / Fotolia.
In its recently published sustainability report for 2016, Daimler warns against the negative effects of product piracy and the increasing professionalism of counterfeiters. The company has implemented a multi-layered strategy to fight plagiarism of its products.

The automotive and truck manufacturer has a dedicated brand-protection team in place to fight counterfeiting. “Our goal is to catch the big players and destroy their production and distribution infrastructures,” explains Daimler’s brand protection expert Peter Stiefel. Globalisation and digitisation are opening up more and more new distribution channels for counterfeiters, leading to an increase in their level of networking and professionalism. “Additionally, we often uncover links to organised crime,” says Stiefel.

Daimler’s experts work in close cooperation with national and international authorities and assist customs officers in areas such as the inspection of shipments for example. This way, enormous amounts of counterfeits are confiscated each year. “There were over 1.6 million in 2015 alone,” explains Peter Stiefel. For 2016, the figure is estimated at around 1.4 million. In addition to assisting customs authorities, Daimler is taking various legal measures: “Criminal proceedings, civil actions for injunctive relief and restitution for damages – we want to make the business of counterfeiting as unattractive as possible,” says Stiefel.

The efforts are above all about the protection of the customers. “Counterfeit parts are almost indistinguishable from original parts, but the quality is usually inferior and therefore causes a risk to vehicle occupants or uninvolved third parties,” explains Renata Jungo Brüngger, Daimler board member for integrity and law.

Therefore, Daimler pays special attention to spare parts that are related to vehicle safety. “In the case of safety-related parts, such as brake pads and discs, human lives are in fact at stake,” warns Stiefel. “Today we know that the effectiveness of a counterfeit brake pad is up to 100 percent worse compared to an original part. This means that the braking distance can almost double. It is easy to imagine the consequences in traffic”, the expert continues.

Targeted communication is a key measure for the Daimler Group. This includes, for example, product test demonstrations of counterfeit spare parts, information about product piracy on a dedicated brand protection website, as well as a video, which clarifies counterfeiting to customers (see below). In addition, there is also a focus on reference materials and training courses for customs officers. As the company reported, a total of 36 trainings were conducted for more than 1,100 participants worldwide in 2016.


To protect your personal data, the connection to the video saved on Youtube has been blocked. By loading the video, you accept Youtube's privacy policy.

View the video now

Sources: Daimler, Securing Industry

– Advertisement –