Italian Regulator Fines Automaker Over 'Italian-Made' Chinese Cars

DR Automobiles to appeal against a multimillion-dollar fine over its marketing of Chinese vehicle parts assembled in Italy.

Paul Myles, European Editor

June 25, 2024

1 Min Read
DR Automobile DR3.0
DR Automobiles accused of misrepresenting Chinese products as Italian.

Italian competition regulators are slapping a $6.4 million fine on a domestic car company claiming it is marketing vehicles made from Chinese parts with branding that they are built in Italy.

BBC News reports the automaker, DR Automobiles, is misleading consumers wanting to support Italian products because all the company does is assemble complete vehicles from Chinese marques including Chery, BAIC and JAC.

DR says it will appeal against the fine on the grounds that it did not claim its vehicles were completely made in Italy. The company assembles low-cost vehicles using pre-made components.

The regulator says cars under the company's DR and EVO brands were sold as being Italian-made but were largely of Chinese origin with just minor assembly and finishing work carried out in Italy, suggesting these were completely built-up unit (CBU) kits.

In a statement it adds: “This practice has coincided with a period in which the company recorded marked growth in sales of DR and EVO vehicles in the Italian market.”

Last month, 134 Morocco-made Fiat Topolinos were seized in the Italian port of Livorno because they had Italian-flag insignia. Parent company Stellantis says it followed regulations but conceded and removed the flags. Earlier in the year, the company had to rename its Alfa Romeo Milano battery-electric vehicle Junior after authorities complained the cars were made at Stellantis’s Polish production plant.

About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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