The Department of Economic Development (DED) recently announced the results of a campaign at a press conference that was carried out last week against a number of auto part retailers in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah over 10 days. Toyota Motor Corporation, through Al Shaali & Co., Advocates & Legal Consultants and its UAE distributor Al Futtaim Motors also joined efforts to combat the menace of counterfeit auto-parts trade in the UAE. The conference was opened by Hatem Abdel Ghani, director and head of IP Enforcement at Al Shaali & Co, Advocates & Legal Consultants. There was also an anti-counterfeiting presentation by Sajjad Pasha, national sales and marketing manager, Al Futtaim Motors. It was reported that the most common origin of illegal parts seized within the UAE were from China, Taiwan, Turkey, Korea and Malaysia. “The raids were aimed at demonstrating Toyota Motor Corporation’s eagerness to work with the authorities in the UAE and its local distributors Al Futtaim Motors to take actions against counterfeiters,” said Hatem Abdel Ghani. Sajjad Pasha stressing the negative impact the counterfeiting trade has on the brand image said: “These illegal activities put both our brand and the consumers in danger. Auto part purchasers are being cheated and misled. They end up with a hazardous part in their vehicles, which compromises their safety and the wellbeing of their families.” Al Futtaim Motors last year spearheaded the formation of a Dealer Council to safeguard the interests of the company’s 125-strong authorised dealer network. The council is working with government institutions to identify traders of counterfeit goods. It also serves as a formal platform for all Al Futtaim Motors dealers to share insights to further improve customer service, sales and marketing. In 2008, Toyota Motor Corporation carried out similar raids on a large scale in the Sharjah market. The campaign resulted in seizure of counterfeit Toyota auto spare-parts. “The Dubai Department of Economic Development leads the way in the fight against counterfeiting. It is committed to taking all corrective measures according to the laws that deem it illegal for wholesalers who deal with counterfeit products,” said Abdulla Mohammed Al Shehhi, commercial protection director, Dubai Department of Economic Development.