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Porsche knock-off crackdown aims to prevent use of fake safety parts

PA Motoring logoPA Motoring 06/08/2019 Ryan Hirons
a man and a woman standing in front of a box: German sports car firm calls out online retailers such as eBay and Alibaba in bid to stop counterfeit products bearing its branding © Porsche German sports car firm calls out online retailers such as eBay and Alibaba in bid to stop counterfeit products bearing its branding

Porsche has been cracking down on sellers of knock-off goods in a bid to protect its brand — uncovering a mix of fraudulent items in the process.

Last year, the German firm claims to have confiscated over 200,000 items unofficially bearing its branding — said to be worth almost €60m (circa. £55.1m). Of those, 33,000 are said to be spare parts for its cars.

a red suitcase © Provided by The Press Association (PA Motoring)

It’s these parts that are of most concern to Porsche, including critical safety items such as airbags and brake discs, and the firm wants to prevent them being fitted to its cars. Thomas Fischer, a member of Porsche’s Brand Protection team, said: “This is where things get dangerous. These spare parts are neither tested nor approved. It goes without saying that we want to prevent products like this ending up in our cars.”

Other items confiscated have included merchandise items like t-shirts, caps, posters and the like — though there are more bizarre discoveries, such as Porsche badge-shaped erectile dysfunction tablets.

The firm called out online retailers such as eBay, Alibaba and Amazon for making the practice of selling counterfeit goods relatively easy and has estimated around 80 per cent of fake products are sourced from China.

a close up of a piece of paper © Provided by The Press Association (PA Motoring)

Michaela Stoiber, another member of Porsche’s Brand Protection team, said: “Sometimes the counterfeits are quite obvious. The products are far cheaper than normal, or the Porsche emblem has been poorly copied. We sometimes also find that a different animal is shown in the centre of the logo. For example, instead of the Porsche horse, it could be a sheep standing on its hind legs.

“Our goal is always to locate the source. Once we have found it, we inform the local authorities to take the necessary steps there. This collaboration generally works very well.”

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