What are the negative effects of duplication in the automotive industry?

Counterfeiting in the automotive industry is a growing issue for both manufacturers and consumers. The Indian auto component industry will become worth Rs 7000 crores in the coming years. However, substandard automobile parts are leading to monetary losses for genuine manufacturers and are the cause of 20% road accidents which ultimately lead to life-changing injuries and deaths. Major counterfeiting is witnessed in the automotive aftermarkets where a customer hardly checks the genuineness of an original auto spare part.

Automotive parts are made to visually look like OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts. The often bear the trademark, labels and packaging of the original product.

Now imagine a situation in which your car suddenly malfunctions, and you are in a hurry to attend an office meeting, the next thing you will do is to get the same it sorted with a mechanic. He will look out for the glitch and will replace the faulty part with a new one and you won’t ask him a single query- all that you want at this time is to get your work done in the least possible time. This is where you are duped with a counterfeit auto part most of the times which pose a serious risk to your safety.

Some of the highly counterfeited auto components include lamps, bearings, filters, brake linings, clutch and many more. Legitimate companies are finding it hard to battle dubious manufacturers who are manufacturing and supplying substandard auto components to different aftermarkets across various locations in India. Even filing police complaints against forgers is not proving to be a concrete solution and is not preventing the duplication of automobile parts.

Genuine manufacturers suffer heavy monetary losses due to counterfeiting. There is a drastic slump in the sales as consumers, especially in small town, prefer to buy an affordable product because renowned brands are a costly affair and thus, they refrain from them. In addition, with a number of counterfeit brands available for the consumer the choice is not restricted and he or she can opt for the cheapest option available.

According to a FICCI CASCADE report around 20%, road accidents in India are caused by counterfeit automobile parts. Failure of fake brakes, faulty bearings and even poor-quality tyres are responsible for sudden accidents and many people die every year due to them. Counterfeiting of auto parts is not a problem limited to India but has spread across the world. With the proper regulatory framework, consumer awareness and use of authentication technologies the problem can be tackled up to a high extent.