Leading original equipment (OE) parts suppliers have launched a campaign to encourage the use of original fit components.
The campaign has arisen after supporting supplier members have become concerned about the ‘race to the bottom’ on price and quality in the aftermarket. Supporters include NGK , KYB, Mann-Filter, Remy, Schaeffler, Sogefi, ZF and Banner Batteries.
Eye catching launch publicity has drawn parallels with consumer outrage at the discovery of horse meat in beef products using the strapline “OE Suppliers, Our Quality, Your Reputation”. The aim is to stress the importance of fitting parts that genuinely match the quality and performance of the original components. They claim that the easiest way to be sure you are getting what you think you are is to buy parts from OE suppliers.
Whilst OE suppliers invest heavily to develop new technologies and sell into the vehicle assemblies it’s relatively easy for inferior low cost products to be sold into the UK automotive aftermarket as ‘matching quality’. Unfortunately, this common term is not currently backed by strong rules or clear definition.
The root of the problem may lie in growing focus on price. Considering quality, reliability and safety alongside price when buying often means components with OE pedigree, that may cost a little more, start to appear the better value option.