The SEC said that between 2015 and 2019, BMW “maintained a reserve of unreported retail vehicle sales — referred to internally as the ‘bank’ — that it used to meet internal monthly sales targets without regard to when the underlying sales occurred.” That practice allowed BMW to maintain a leading retail sales position relative to other premium automotive companies, the agency said.
“Much of the conduct at issue in the SEC settlement occurred over three years ago,” said BMW’s statement. “The BMW Group attaches great importance to the correctness of its sales figures and will continue to focus on thorough and consistent sales reporting.”
The SEC is a watchdog for investors, and BMW shares are not sold in US markets. But because the German automaker regularly sells bonds to US investors — about $18 billion during the period involved — it was subject to the agency’s oversight.