Toyota Motor Corporation joins Al-Futtaim Motors and UAE govt. departments in nation-wide raids on counterfeit parts trade
Toyota Motor Corporation, through Al Shaali & Co., Advocates & Legal
Consultant and its UAE exclusive distributor Al-Futtaim Motors and Department
of Economic Development of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah have recently joined
efforts to combat the menace of counterfeit auto parts trade in the UAE.
At a press conference held at Intercontinental Dubai Festival City, the Department
of Economic Development (DED) has announced the results of a triple sweep raid
mission executed last week on a number of auto part retailers in Abu Dhabi,
Dubai and Sharjah over 10 days. The sweep raid actions in the 3 emirates had
been a success.
The conference was opened by Hatem Abdel Ghani, Director & Head of IP Enforcement
in Al Shaali & Co, Advocates & Legal Consultants and featured an anti-counterfeiting
presentation by Sajjad Pasha, National Sales & Marketing Manager Parts and
Distribution Al-Futtaim Motors.
It was reported that the most common origins of illegal parts seized within
the UAE were from China, Taiwan, Turkey, Korea and Malaysia.
"The sweep raid actions are aimed at demonstrating Toyota Motor Corporation's
eagerness to work with the authorities in the UAE and its local distributors,
Al Futtaim Motors to take actions against counterfeiters" said Hatem Abdel Ghani.
Sajjad Pasha also stressed on the negative impact the counterfeiting trade
has on the brand image saying: "These illegal activities put both our brand
and the consumers in danger. Auto part purchasers are being cheated and misled
and end up with a hazardous part in their vehicles, which compromises their
safety and the wellbeing of their families."
Al-Futtaim Motors last year spearheaded the formation of a Dealer Council to
safeguard the interest of the company's 125-strong authorised dealer network.
The Dealer Council has helped combat parallel imports of genuine Toyota parts
in the UAE, and is working with government institutions to identify traders
of counterfeit goods. It also serves as formal platform for all Al-Futtaim Motors
dealers to share insights to further improving customer service, sales and marketing.
In 2008, Toyota Motor Corporation carried out similar sweep raid actions in
a large scale fashion in the Sharjah market. The sweep raid actions assisted
by Al Shaali & Co, resulted in seizure of counterfeit Toyota auto spare
parts wherein many retail companies were raided against.
UAE has seen a tremendous growth in the auto spare parts trade since 2003.
According to a study by the UAE's Ministry of Foreign Trade, the automotive
market in the UAE has grown by 19.7 % in 2010. The counterfeiting activities
concerning the auto spare parts industry enjoyed simultaneous growth with the
automotive and auto spare parts industry and trade in the UAE.
Hatem Abdel Ghani said Toyota Motor Corporation expressed its satisfaction
and appreciation to the authorities in the UAE for their readiness to cooperate
with the brand owners and the support from the Economic Development Departments
in the 3 emirates is shown through the smooth completion of the sweep raid actions
that were recently carried out and the good results from the sweep raid actions.
Toyota Motor Corporation had also expressed its intentions to continue to battle
counterfeits in this region.
"The Dubai Department of Economic Development leads the way in the fight
against counterfeiting. It is committed to taking all corrective measures according
to the laws that deem it illegal for wholesalers who deal with counterfeit products.
We are keen to provide greater support to owners of global brands by doing whatever
it takes against companies that carry out such illegal acts" said Abdulla
Mohammed Al Shehhi Commercial Protection Director Dubai Department of Economic
"The vision of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi is
focused on addressing counterfeit issues which reflect negatively on the UAE
economy" said Mr. Ali Fahd spokesman of the Economic Department in Abu
Dhabi. He stressed the department was following this campaign closely and has
already taken all legal actions against illegal traders in collaboration with
the brand owners. He assured that the department will continue its efforts to
prevent and protect consumers of the dangers of counterfeit products.
"Due to the efforts done by the Government of Sharjah in the fight against
counterfeiting we have observed that counterfeiting activities have considerably
decreased. This is mainly due to the sweep raids and legal actions conducted
by the Department of Economic Development on behalf of international companies"
said Mr. Khalifa Misbah Al Kutbi from Economic Development Department of Sharjah.
He added that the department will not hesitate to take any action against the
merchants who deal with counterfeit goods and who violate the UAE laws in that
The success of the market sweep raids carried out by Toyota Motor Corporation
and concerted efforts by all parties involved have amply demonstrated the willingness
and common aims of all parties to fight this menace. The efforts and investment
by Toyota Motor Corporation in continuously fighting counterfeit in this country
should set a good example to all brand owners around the world to follow suit.
With the support and commitment of the authorities in the UAE, in particular
the Department of Economic Development, it is important that brand owners in
the automotive industry continue their efforts to protect their brands, as it
will go a long way to ensuring lives of vehicle owners are not put at risk,
while protecting the legitimate rights of the brand owners.