Porsche's 'Brand Protection Officers' collected 200,000 counterfeits last year

They track down fake car parts and merchandise ... even fake Porsche-brand ED pills

Porsche has a "Legal Sales" department that partially consists of three "Brand Protection Officers." Andreas Kirchgäßner, Thomas Fischer and Michaela Stoiber dedicate their lives to sniffing out anything that could damage the image, reputation and level of quality that Porsche is known for. Just last year, the three helped confiscate nearly 60 million euros (about $67,157,000) worth of fake Porsche items, including replacement parts. 

Fake Porsche-branded things can be, essentially, anything. It might be a hat, a watch, a poster, a coffee mug, a replacement bumper, or whatever a bootlegger can think of. Stoiber says she once impounded thousands of erectile dysfunction pills shaped like the Porsche emblem in Turkey. According to Porsche, these items aren't just found on sidewalk sales either. They can be found on Amazon, eBay, Alibaba or various other online sites thanks to the ability for sellers to setup their own "stores." Just because a major company such as Amazon has it on its site doesn't mean it is verified. 

“Sometimes the counterfeits are quite obvious,” Stoiber said in a press release. “The products are far cheaper than normal, or the Porsche emblem has been poorly copied. We sometimes also find that a different animal is shown in the center of the logo. For example, instead of the Porsche horse, it could be a sheep standing on its hind legs.”

Porsche says the team confiscated more than 200,000 goods last year valued at more than $67 million. Of that lot, about 33,000 were car parts valued at more than $2.25 million. Some of these parts can be dangerous, as well. Porsche says parts such as airbags, air filters, brake discs are not immune to fakery. 

It is estimated that 80 percent of fake goods come from China, and the market is continuing to grow. However, Porsche works with customs authorities and local manufacturers to keep an eye on the scene. Porsche is also working with popular seller sites to scan the web for anything suspect. If found, the sellers are forced to remove the products and are slapped on the wrist. Repeat offenders, however, might face prosecution.

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