Italy fines auto maker hiding China production

Italy fines auto maker hiding China production

/ 05:36 AM June 22, 2024

MILAN — Italy’s competition watchdog on Thursday fined car firm DR Automobiles 6 million euros ($6.4 million) for covering up the Chinese origin of its vehicles.

The far-right government has launched a campaign against companies that seek to portray foreign-produced cars as “Made in Italy.”

The competition authority said DR Automobiles “indicated in a misleading way Italy instead of China as the place of production for cars marketed under the brands DR and EVO.”


“These were cars produced in China, except for marginal finishing,” it said in a statement announcing the fine.


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The authority said the “misleading practice” coincided with an increase in sales for DR and EVO in Italy.

The authority also said the company had failed to provide adequate spare parts and after-sales backup.

‘European taste’

DR Automobiles assembles low-cost cars, including some electric models, using components made by Chinese brands JAC, Chery, and BAIC.

The company said it would appeal the fine, highlighting that the “delocalization” of part of its production had “never been hidden from the public.”

It said it carries out “important” research and development and design at its base in Macchia d’Isernia in southern Italy.


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“These are not the same models as those sold in China,” a DR Automobiles spokesperson told Agence France-Presse (AFP). “We adapt them to a European taste.”

But the company has taken its Italian flag off the DR logo.

The government has sought to crack down on foreign-made cars advertised with a link to Italy, saying a vehicle made outside the country cannot have an Italian name.

In April, the Stellantis group had to rename its Alfa Romeo “Milano” sport utility vehicle because it was made in Poland. The vehicle is now known as “Junior.”

In May, police seized about 100 Fiat Topolino cars in the port of Livorno which had an Italian flag on vehicles made in Morocco.

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Stellantis said it had followed all rules but had changed the brand markings on the cars.

TAGS: Car, Italy, vehicle

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