OE campaign sparks industry debate

OESAA chiefs hit back at aftermarket criticism

Published:  13 September, 2013

OESAA, the collective name of signatories of the original equipment suppliers' campaign, has stepped up its activities by introducing an awareness campaign.

The campaign was orchestrated following a number of aftermarket suppliers without an OE brand using phrases such as 'matches OE quality' on their packaging.

At a conference held in the week, campaign chair Nigel Morgan remarked: "The claim is not factual - they cannot say that they are OE if they are not. So we are saying 'please don't say it'."

He added: "The product might be good quality inside, but it is not the same. I think it is up to [those suppliers] to change their message to 'It might not be OE, but it is still great', but they can't say something is OE when it's not. That's the message and it's very simple to get across."

Nigel Duffield of Sogefi, one of the signatories to the campaign, said: "I think there is an analogy here with Carmel biscuit wrappers here. I think Aldi are doing a brilliant job of marking. They are saying 'We've got the stuff that you want, only different'- they are not trying to be the same. "

However, the campaign has prompted a reaction from a number of non-OE aftermarket suppliers. Banbury-based First Line issued a statement that read: "While we welcome the OESAA group's apparent desire to ensure that only safe and reliable replacement parts are used when independent workshops service and repair vehicles, we take issue with the implication that any brand that is not an OE supplier is automatically supplying products of dubious quality".

The statement added: "We also question the premise stated in the group's July press release that 'the only way to be certain that you are fitting OE quality components is to fit parts from brands that supply parts for original equipment'. The flaws in this statement include the suggestion that every product in the member company's range is an OE part, which cannot be true, and that they do not source any parts that are anything other than OE parts when they 'in fill' their ranges."

At the time of writing the campaign had 14 signatories including Bosch, Federal Mogul and the Schaeffler Group.

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