BEIJING -- China's market regulator on Friday fined Toyota Motor Corp. 87.6 million yuan ($12.5 million) for price-fixing on premium Lexus vehicles sold in eastern Jiangsu province, according to a document on its website.
The decision comes as China steps up regulation over auto sales in the world's biggest vehicle market, where more than 28 million cars and light trucks were sold last year.
The anti-monopoly bureau of State Administration for Market Regulation said that between 2015 and 2018, the Japanese carmaker set a minimum sale and resale price for vehicles sold in coastal Jiangsu province, which deprived dealers of pricing autonomy and harmed customers' rights.
Lexus also fixed sales strategies in the region over the period, including offering customers discounts while asking them to purchase accessories at fixed prices, a popular sales tactic among individual auto dealers in China but frowned upon for carmakers.
A spokesman at Toyota, Lexus' parent firm, told Reuters the firm acknowledged the penalty and respects the decision. He did not comment further.
China's auto sales are declining, but Lexus' sales keep growing. It sold 180,200 vehicles in the first 11 months this year, a 21 percent jump from a year earlier.
In June, China's market regulator imposed an 162.8 million yuan fine on Ford Motor Co.'s joint venture with Changan Automobile Group for violating anti-monopoly laws.