4x4 information - Genuine? Aftermarket? Manufacturers? Euro4x4parts? All you need to know!
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Genuine? Aftermarket? Manufacturers? Euro4x4parts? All you need to know!


A) Definitions

B) Evolution of regulations

C) Myth and reality: country of origin of spares

D) The Euro4x4parts offer in this context

A) Definitions

1) Genuine part:

A genuine part is a spare part as supplied by the vehicle manufacturer itself. It's the only part that bears the manufacturers logo and branding on the packaging.

Note 1 - This part is not necessarily exactly the same as the part installed when the vehicle was originally manufactured because:

  • it will be the latest version of a part that may have evolved since initial production
  • manufacturers sometimes deliberately sell a spare part that is slightly different

  • Note 2 - Counterfeit parts:

    Counterfeiting is a subterfuge to create the impression to the customer that the item purchased or being fitted is a genuine part when it is not.

    This is concerns above all the packaging.

    What are the problems that arise from counterfeiting?

  • illegal use of the manufacturers brand
  • illegal use of the manufacturers logo
  • the problem of intellectual property rights that often concern "design" parts (mainly body parts),
  • breach of industrial property, copyright and patents for certain parts
  • quality difference compared to the genuine part
  • client deception

  • Note 3 - Within the genuine parts category are so-called ‘captive parts’, parts produced by vehicle manufacturers and that can be sourced only from the vehicle manufacturer. These are:

  • "design" parts (e.g the body parts) that are registered and governed by the laws on intellectual property
  • mechanical parts that are covered by a patent application (e.g instrumented wheel bearings)
  • parts that simply can't be copied or sold as "aftermarket" because of the cost, development and machinery required to reproduce them (i.e engines, gearboxes, axles, etc ...) or because simply not worth producing because of their low retail value (springs, screws specific , rockers, or hinges, etc ...)

  • 2) Aftermarket parts:

    An aftermarket part is more or less a faithful copy of an original part that can by fitted in place of the original part but is not sold in the car manufacturers packaging.

    Note 1 - It is not a counterfeit part, because there is no attempt to deceive consumers by passing the part off as a genuine part

    Note 2 - Part quality will vary according to the manufacturer, from very poor to excellent

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    B) Evolution of regulations

    Since October 2002, a European directive defines the regulation of genuine parts differently..

    In theory, a part produced by a supplier who made the part as originally fitted by the vehicle manufacturer can be described as a genuine part. For example a bearing made by Koyo and used on a Toyota or an Exedy clutch on a Nissan or a Bosch starter used in a Suzuki assembled in Spain can all be referred to as "genuine".

    This new regulation may be questionable.

    For example, consider the case of clutches:

    Parts manufacturer X provides the clutch for petrol versions but not diesel for a certain vehicle manufacturer. So the clutch is genuine on the petrol model but aftermarket on the diesel version. This type of information is often kept quite and is not well known. A blur is maintained by the parts manufacturers themselves, who have an interest in attesting that they are the original equipment supplier, but who also have to tread lightly to avoid the wrath of their prime customer, the vehicle manufacturer.

    This shift in legislation was supposed to counterbalance the power and opacity of the vehicle manufacturers. They are often accused of applying inflated retail prices to their parts, thus making the car too expensive maintenance for the consumer.

    However these original equipment manufacturers have clearly adopted a pricing policy designed to protect their prime customers, the vehicle manufacturers, by keeping retail prices sufficiently high so as not to upset them.

    This has created a window of opportunity for consumers to as they discover previously unknown parts manufacturers.

    From this, new concepts such as OEM and OES have emerged..

    An OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) is the parts manufacturer who supplied the given part on the specific model in question.

    An OES (Original Equipment Supplier) is a parts manufacturer who supplies vehicle manufacturers but not necessarily for the part in question for the car manufacturer of the particular model.

    However, even if an OES part is an undeniable quality assurance (since OES is primarily an OEM), this part itself is by no means an original part and is in reality an excellent quality generic or aftermarket part!!

    Another benefit of the European directive was that when a manufacturer is placed as an OES, they often provide the part in question at a lower price than when they are placed as an OEM supplier for the same part.

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    C) Myth and reality: country of origin of spare parts

    How do vehicle manufacturers operate?

    vehicle manufacturers are less and less manufacturers.

    Today, they are mostly developers and assemblers, and tomorrow they will also be responsible for dismantling and recycling.

    No vehicle manufacturer in the world makes its own clutches, pistons, cylinder heads, etc.. They all entrust this to suppliers and subcontractors.

    They retain the overall design and assembly of major subassemblies such as engines but, for example, suppliers such as Bosch or Zexel and other are called upon to provide the injection system.

    Gearboxes are a case in point: more and more vehicle manufacturers are buying "ready-made" complete gearbox assemblies from manufacturers such as ZF, Aisin or Borg Warner. The vehicle manufacturers don't even work on their design and conception.

    This is why, for example, the same gearboxes can be found on a Toyota Hilux and a Jeep Wrangler...

    The same goes for the vital role of brake systems: for example, Nissan and Toyota share common rear brake components because they both use the same manufacturers (for example Aisin or Akebono).

    Because of development costs and the constraints of de-pollution and rationalization vehicle manufacturers all operate a "parts pool".

    Take for example Mitsubishi.

    Their 4x4s use these engines: 4D56 (2.5td), 4M40 (2.8), 4M42 (3.2 td), 6G72 (3.0 V6 petrol), 6G75 (3.5 V6 petrol), etc. and the gearboxes V5MT1, KM145, etc.

    Each subset is given a performance specification (power, torque, etc.) than can be matched with another subset with compatible capacity and performance.

    Just like a Lego kit we can see the 4D56T or the 6G72 paired with the KM145 or the V5MT1, because these boxes are compatible, but never a 4M40 with a KM145, because they can't transfer the torque.

    The clutch is a key part of the "parts pool". vehicle manufacturers leave the complete clutch function in the hands of their suppliers. They define the specifications required via 3 main elements:

  • torque transfer
  • maximum and minimum dimensions
  • weight / load capacity of the vehicle (but not the pulling capacity... trailer use is seen as "abnormal" for a vehicle manufacturer).
  • Mitsubishi now uses 4 clutch diameters across their entire 4x4 range: 225, 240, 250 and 275mm whether the engine is petrol or diesel, and 2 technologies ("pushed" or "pulled" clutches) and 2 different types of disc according to single or dual mass flywheels are used.

    In this way the 250mm clutches on the 3.5 V6 petrol and the 2.8TD diesel share common components such as the "pulling" mechanism and the bearing.

    In short, this whole conceptual and industrial organization had only one goal: REDUCE COSTS thanks to economies of scale and the elimination of new development costs!

    The next step was to ask the parts manufacturers to reduce their selling prices.

    It's worth noting that a price reduction is accorded to a vehicle manufacturer, it is accompanied by a reduction in the selling price over a period of 3 to 5 years, which corresponds to the economies of scale and gains in productivity that the supplier needs to realise (not taking into account the impact of changes in commodity prices).

    The pressure put on parts manufacturers has one main effect: relocation!

    We can't ignore the fact that the equipment manufacturers,and the first and foremost the Japanese, have moved to China, India or Malaysia!

    The example is particularly striking for bearings: the main bearing companies ( Timken, SKF, etc.) are today primarily located in the above-mentioned countries (China + India = more than 80% of world bearing production).

    The same is true for water pumps and clutches. Valeo has licensed production in Korea, and also produces in Tunisia.

    Does this mean there has been a drop in quality? No, but it is clear that in these countries the disparity in terms of production quality is considerable. From the best to the worst!

    Therefore, even if you buy a reputable "original quality" part or even original, it is more & more likely to come from one of these "low-cost" countries.

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    D) The Euro4x4parts offer in this context

    To match the reality in terms of regulations and suppliers, these two concepts are translated by Euro4x4parts by "part from the original equipment manufacturer" for OEM and "genuine quality part" for OES.

    The Euro4x4parts mission is to offer the best deal at the best price.

    This is why we decided to offer as many OEM, OES and aftermarket parts as possible and to pay particular attention to our choice of aftermarket suppliers.

    This range of parts is completed by a choice of purely genuine "captive parts"and parts that we choose to manufacturer ourselves.

    However, over time, the range of genuine and generic parts diminishes. Take for example the Toyota BJ40 - every day fewer and fewer parts are available.

    Toyota has largely complied with the European requirement which requires a manufacturer to offer a full range of spare parts for 10 years following the end of vehicle production.

    Given that the last BJs were registered almost 30 years ago, in 1985, it becomes increasingly difficult to source captive parts, such as a 24v wiper motor or wings.

    One of the remaining options is to turn to the secondhand market but because all of these vehicles have corrosion problems, and the wiper motors are mounted in a windshield bay that systematically rusts, it's pretty certain that the motor will have a life expectancy considerably shorter than a brand new genuine part!!

    The only choice left is an aftermarket solution

    This is where the quality problem really lies. The original equipment manufacturers no longer produce the corresponding parts leaving the scope only to aftermarket parts that differ in quality...

    However, please remember that we will always do everything we can to find the part you need!

    Euro4x4parts icons to highlight our range of 4x4 parts!

    GENUINE: genuine part supplied by the vehicle manufacturer in original packaging

    OEM / OES: replacement part made by a manufacturer who supplies genuine parts for other vehicle manufacturers

    GENERIC: quality part called "adaptable" offering the same functions and features as the original part, but not from an original supplier.

    PERFORMANCE: part offers improved specifications compared to original part and is designed for exceptional usage constraints

    ECHANGE STANDARD: fully reconditioned according to original specifications and sold on an exchange basis: a cost effective and ecological alternative!

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    Euro4x4parts video

    Euro4x4parts,all the parts you'll ever need, just grab a wrench!

    Euro4x4parts,all the parts you'll ever need, just grab a wrench!