Mercedes-Benz has accused BMW of inflating US sales figures in the US and offering incentives on its new 7-series flagship model, the Financial Times (FT) said.

According to the FT, Mercedes-Benz said that BMW brought forward vehicle sales in the US last month to flatter its record in the world’s largest car market. BMW angrily denied the claims, the newspaper added.

In a confidential document, obtained by the Financial Times, Mercedes claims: “It is our belief that, upon receiving competitive market intelligence on June sales, BMW retailed additional units that it held back for this specific purpose.”

The FT said the allegation followed a routine circular by BMW to other car makers last week announcing its preliminary sales figures in which indicated that it had sold 17,469 units last month. But when it subsequently issued a press release, the figure had changed to 19,868 units, the newspaper said.

The FT said that BMW has rejected Mercedes’ allegations and said the altered sales figures were due to retailing demonstration cars and tax-free imports not included in the preliminary figures.

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