China’s market regulator on Friday has fined Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor (7203.T) 87.6 million yuan ($12.5 million) for price-fixing on its premium Lexus cars in eastern Jiangsu province, according to a document on its website. The decision comes as China steps up regulation over auto sales in the world’s biggest vehicle market, where more than 28 million cars were sold last year.
The anti-monopoly bureau of State Administration for Market Regulation said that between 2015 and 2018, the Japanese carmaker set a minimum sales and resale price for its cars in coastal Jiangsu province, which deprived dealers of pricing autonomy and harmed customers’ rights.
Lexus also fixed sales strategies in the region over the period, including offering customers discounts while asking them to purchase accessories at fixed prices, a sales tactic usual among individual auto dealers in China but frowned upon for carmakers.
In June, China’s market regulator imposed an 162.8 million yuan fine on Ford Motor Co’s (F.N) joint venture with Changan Automobile Group (000625.SZ) for violating anti-monopoly law.
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