There’s a lot of talk these days about China and how its infrastructure is a growing market for U.S. auto parts. These facts* prove it: U.S. automotive suppliers exported $835 million in parts to the Chinese economic area in 2004; total parts exports to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan last year represent a 16.4% increase over 2003 exports; China has more than 20 million vehicles on the road; and new cars sales in China last year totaled more than 5 million.
So, while parts manufacturers can’t ignore China from a market-opportunity perspective, they also must view the country as a threat in terms of the counterfeiting issue.
Counterfeiting’s impact on world trade is estimated between $350 and $500 billion a year. In fact, 5 to 8% of all goods sold worldwide are counterfeit. And, according to the Federal Trade Commission, counterfeiting costs the global automotive parts industry $12 billion a year, with $3 billion of that total in the U.S.
China is responsible for the exportation of 80% of the counterfeit goods seized at U.S. borders. Frequently replaced parts, like brake pads, oil filters, fan belts and windshield wipers, top the list of counterfeited items.
So, how do these staggering statistics affect you? What do you need to do to safeguard your business?
Start by knowing the source of all the products you buy. Does the box say “Made in the USA” or another country? Know your distributors. Be cautious when dealing with new suppliers to make sure they are legitimate distributors. Watch the details. Take a close look at parts before installing them to detect any minor markings that can be telltale signs of a fake part. Also look at the packaging to determine whether the brand name is spelled correctly.
Any steps you take to protect your business from counterfeit parts is added insurance that you are accomplishing quality, accurate repairs – repairs that make your customers’ vehicles safe and keep your shop’s reputation solid.
*Source: 2005 Automotive Aftermarket Status Report, produced annually by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), a segment of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).
A Fond Farewell to Acura’s Supercar
Acura is developing a new sports car to succeed its award-winning NSX supercar, as production of the current generation NSX will cease at the end of the year due to the extensive retooling necessary to meet stringent 2006 emissions and equipment regulations for the U.S., Europe and Asia.
The NSX had a 15-year run, and through June of 2005, posted 8,854 sales in the U.S. and more than 18,000 worldwide.
The NSX was created as a hand-built, exotic, mid-engine sports car that would establish entirely new levels of performance, refinement and driveability.
The first-ever supercar from Japan, the NSX was also the first production car to feature an all-aluminum body, chassis and suspension, and the first to utilize titanium connecting rods. It featured a transversely mounted DOHC V-6 engine, equipped with Acura’s breakthrough VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) system and a variable volume induction system.