TWO companies selling BMW cars in Slovakia, the Tempus group and the Auto Bavaria company, plan to sue BMW, seeking damages amounting to €100 million, the SITA newswire reported on October 7.
The damages are to be sought as compensation for marred investments, threatened job positions, lost revenues and losses that the two companies suffered due to the closure of five service and sales centres in Slovakia, Tempus Group’s board president Martin Sojka said, as reported by SITA.
While Tempus has mentioned €70 million, Auto Bavaria plans to request €30 million.
Tempus’ showrooms were closed for a week, until October 7, after the Austrian BMW importer, BMW Vertriebs, failed to extend Tempus’ license that authorises it to sell and service the cars.
“We have found an alternative solution,” Sojka said, as quoted by SITA. “There are many suppliers of substitute parts on the market - that is not a problem. We go our own way, we can secure the service and we start importing cars through our own channels.”
The company, however, continues to operate without the licence, importing cars individually from other countries. These are mainly cars that are registered in other countries to maintain the numbers of sold and registered cars in the statistics, which are then sold with big discounts abroad. Most of the cars are brand new, registered in 2013, according to Sojka.
Sojka blames BMW for the situation, which could have resulted in the loss of 221 jobs, SITA reported. However, a source who did not wish to be named puts the management of Tempus at fault, since they knew for a year that their licence would not be extended. Tempus was allegedly stripped of its licence due to its critical situation, according to SITA.