PS12638 - Italian Competition Autohrity: 6 million fine to DR Automobiles for unfair commercial practices


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DR Automobiles S.r.l. deceptively indicated Italy instead of China in commercial communications as the place of production of the cars marketed under the DR and EVO brands. Furthermore, together with its subsidiary DR Service & Parts S.r.l., it did not ensure an adequate supply of spare parts or an appropriate after-sales service.

The Italian Competition Authority fined DR Automobiles S.r.l. and its subsidiary DR Service & Parts S.r.l. EUR 6 million for two unfair commercial practices. The Authority ascertained that DR Automobiles, in the context of messages and/or commercial communications spread at least as of December 2021 through various channels, indicated Italy as the origin and place of actual production of the cars marketed under the DR and EVO brands. However, these are vehicles produced in China, except for marginal finishing and completion works. The deceptive practice coincided with a period of significant sales of DR and EVO branded cars on the Italian market.

The investigation also ascertained that DR Service & Parts S.r.l. and DR Automobiles S.r.l., at least as from 2022, did not guarantee an adequate supply of spare parts or even an appropriate after-sales service, through the network of authorised dealers and/or workshops, which - among other things - were not provided with appropriate technical training. This practice may hinder the exercise of consumer rights, including the right to have the car repaired and to obtain appropriate after-sales service, including under the legal guarantee of conformity of the purchased product.

The Authority ruled that the two companies should, within 60 days of notification of the measure, communicate the steps they have taken to put an end to this unlawful conduct.

Rome, 20 June 2024