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Volkswagen Poznań and Solaris fined by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection for defaulting on invoice payments

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The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection imposed penalties on Volkswagen Poznań and Solaris Bus & Coach in the total amount of almost PLN 8 million for creating payment backlogs, the office informed. The announcement added that in 2023, the office issued 52 decisions regarding entrepreneurs who do not pay their contractors on time. We contacted the penalized companies.

the office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) announced on Monday that the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) imposed fines on two companies generating payment backlogs. Volkswagen Poznań, a manufacturer of delivery vehicles, and Solaris Bus & Coach, a bus manufacturer, were fined. The fine for Volkswagen Poznań amounted to over PLN 4.7 million. During the proceedings, it was established that only during the three months examined, the entrepreneur was late in repaying invoices to almost 1.7 thousand. contractors. The second fine of over PLN 3 million was imposed on Solaris Bus & Coach, which paid over PLN 32,000 after the deadline between July and September 2020. invoices for almost 1.7 thousand contractors.

Arrears due to the pandemic?

“I confirm that on December 27, 2023, our representatives received the decision of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection regarding the proceedings on payment backlogs conducted since 2020. By the decision of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, a severe fine of over PLN 3 million was imposed on our company. At this stage, it is still difficult to talk about a possible appeal against this decision. For now, its extensive justification is being analyzed,” wrote Mateusz Figaszewski, press spokesman for Solaris Bus & Coach, in response to our question.

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A representative of Solaris informed us that “at this stage, I can only mention that the main allegations of the office concern delays in settling payments mainly to foreign contractors and cases where extremely short payment deadlines were set.”

“It concerns primarily the period of the pandemic, during which our company, like most enterprises in the automotive industry throughout Europe, was struggling with a difficult situation related to, among others, the so-called lockdowns, border closures, difficulties in the supply chains of both components and finished products. goods to end users,” Figaszewski noted.

In turn, the representative of Volkswagen Poznań wrote in a message sent to us that the company does not want to refer to it in detail at the current stage of the proceedings.

“Volkswagen Poznań has been a reliable partner for its contractors and business partners for 30 years. The basis for the decision is the scope of invoices, which constitutes a single-digit percentage range of our total transactions with contractors and includes, among others, transactions related to complaints and invoice corrections. Therefore, we kindly ask for your understanding, but at this stage we will not refer in detail to these proceedings,” reads the company’s full commentary.

What are payment backlogs?

As noted in the announcement, these are other entrepreneurs operating in the broadly understood automotive industry – both in production and trade – who have been punished for generating payment backlogs. – Payment backlogs are one of the biggest problems of the Polish economy. It is also an obstacle to running a business for smaller entrepreneurs, because it increases costs and reduces employment and investment. Timely receipt of receivables and the related financial liquidity are the basic conditions for the survival of smaller companies. That is why the fight against congestion is so important – said Tomasz Chróstny, president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, quoted in the release. It was added that in 2023, the president of the office issued 52 decisions regarding entrepreneurs failing to pay their contractors on time and imposed financial penalties on them over PLN 40 million.

Main photo source: Konektus Photo / Shutterstock.com



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