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BMW 'stopped Swiss buying its cars abroad'

The Local · 24 May 2012, 14:17

Published: 24 May 2012 14:17 GMT+02:00

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The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) said it received complaints in the latter half of 2010 from nationals who unsuccessfully tried to buy its BMW and Mini cars in the European Economic Area (EEA) due to a clause in the contract of dealers operating there.

The clause banned sales to clients outside the EEA, hindering parallel imports to Switzerland by individuals, it said.

During this period the Swiss franc had risen considerably against the euro, COMCO said, which made buying products in the eurozone more attractive.

"Buyers in Switzerland were not able to profit from the significant exchange rate savings," said COMCO.

"BMW closed off the Swiss market by banning its dealers in the EEA from selling new BMW and Mini vehicles to Swiss clients," the authority said, adding that the clause should be deleted.

The car giant said it "categorically rejected" the charge and would file an appeal against the fine with the Swiss Federal Administrative Court.

"The Swiss automobile market was not foreclosed by BMW AG, as proven by the fact that its direct imports to Switzerland are comparable with those of other manufacturers," the company said in a statement.

"The provisions of the BMW and MINI dealer agreements for the EEA have not had any impact on competition in Switzerland."

Story continues below…

Comco launched its inquiry into BMW in October 2010.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

20:08 May 24, 2012 by Englishted
Switzerland is not in the E.U.

So something went awry with your maths .
13:04 May 25, 2012 by tuxfre
Really those Swiss are good...

On the one end they prevent EU nationals to freely enter their country and then they complain when their citizen cannot buy from the EU... they have to choose, in or out ! It's not like you take all the advantages of EU and not the problems.
13:59 May 27, 2012 by skaloc
Time to load all the minis and invade ! hahaha ... Auchtung Grenze !
19:07 July 16, 2012 by rebelcowboy77
Ah, but without your swiss army knife with the handy-dandy screwdriver, how can you repair your panzers. Leider the invasion must be canceled.
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