According to U.S. newspaper Wall Street Journal, the SEC is investigating a practice known as “punching”; a method of boosting sales statistics and which involves dealerships buying cars ostensibly for use as temporary replacements for customers whose vehicles are being repaired, and then selling them soon after. BMW has declined to comment, it is claimed.

The practice is said to be used by carmakers that feel under pressure to boost sales numbers. In September, the SEC is reported to have fined the FCA Group US$40 million for misleading investors about the monthly figures for vehicles sold to customers in the country. Allegedly, the car manufactureing Group had falsely reported “uninterrupted monthly year-over-year sales growth” in press releases when, in fact, sales had declined in September 2013.

Source: The Financial Times/CNBC