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BMW Group Middle East accelerates the fight against counterfeit automotive

Dubai BMW Group Middle East is warning consumers of the dangers of using
counterfeit automotive spare parts in the UAE and other Middle East markets.
30 percent of the automotive parts industry in the GCC is counterfeit[1]. Meanwhile, a
separate report has revealed that counterfeit products in the UAE account for 12.5
percent of the countrys US$3.8 billion automobile spare parts market[2]. The Saudi
Arabian Customs Department has also claimed that fake vehicle parts account for
around half of all road accidents in the Kingdom while in the Sultanate of Oman, 45
per cent of recent road fatalities can be attributed to vehicles running on unsafe or
counterfeit spares parts[3]. These are just some of the alarming findings that have
prompted BMW Group Middle East to launch a regional campaign to raise awareness
of the existence and negative impact of using counterfeit spare parts.
Due to the perceived high expense, motorists are sometimes migrating to independent
workshops or other service providers who offer copies of the original part at a cheaper
price. These parts are unsafe and pose a greater danger to the health and safety of the
driver and passengers. They also affect the vehicles original condition, decrease its
value and in some cases, increase the cars fuel consumption.
BMW original parts are put through the rigors of extreme crash and lab tests. They
have a high reliability because of the high quality materials used in their build. The
various individual components are designed and perfectly harmonized to work well
with each BMW. The additional value is that many of the parts come with a two-year
BMW warranty.
BMW Group Middle East is tackling the issue in the region head on via a public
awareness campaign to highlight the differences between fake and genuine spare
parts. The integrated media, advertising and PR campaign will focus on three areas:
safety, value retention and sustainability, and will include a print campaign, online
communication and displays in importer showrooms to showcase examples of original
and fake spare parts for consumers to see the differences firsthand.
Customers often seek to purchase counterfeit parts for short term savings without
knowledge of the adverse long-term implications it has on their vehicle, which
ultimately ends up costing them more, said Rudolf Spann, After Sales Director,
BMW Group Middle East. Consumer awareness is therefore key and must be a
sustained and united effort. We all have a role to play the government, automotive
companies and consumer protection bodies. The more people who understand the
dangers behind using fake products and see the benefits of purchasing original parts,
the less likely they are to suffer severe or even fatal road traffic injuries and lose value
on their car. As part of our commitment to the improvement of road safety and

exceptional service standards and products, we are launching this campaign to

encourage everyone to purchase original parts, every time."
The benefits of BMW Original Parts fall into three categories Safety, Value
Retention and Sustainability: Original BMW parts are subject to the same high quality
standards as BMW vehicles, so customers can depend on them when it matters. The
precision and high-quality construction of each part also guarantees that all
components in a BMW work together perfectly for optimum performance and
maximum safety.
Each BMW part has been designed and manufactured to fit with the exact
requirements of each vehicle for optimum longevity. Using original BMW parts
therefore preserves the vehicles original condition and keeps its value without
compromising on quality. In addition, every original BMW part comes with a twoyear warranty.
In terms of Sustainability, the use of BMW original parts aids in reducing fuel
consumption as well as pollutant emissions. It also helps in the reduction of raw
material usage because 60 per cent of the parts can be reused at the end of their
According to the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, counterfeiting of
automotive parts is a 12 billion US dollar global industry. A recent report by the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) highlighted the
Middle East as a central market for global trade in fake automotive parts, which is
growing at an estimated rate of 9-11 percent a year.
The additional threat that this industry poses is on the economy as a whole.
According to the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, counterfeiting of
automobile parts has resulted in a loss of 750,000 jobs globally. With the automobile
industry set to grow at a projected 10 per cent a year, the issue of counterfeit parts
need to be addressed by both automotive companies and consumers, added Rudolf
BMW Group Middle East and its importers are committed to vehicle safety, value
retention and safety of their customers. They continue to work with consumer
protection groups to highlight the serious nature of using fake parts.

Counterfeiting of all types is big business these days. In fact, the Federal Bureau
of Investigation labels counterfeiting as the Crime of the 21st century. And with
good reason:
counterfeiting, when coupled with piracy, costs the United States economy
alone between US$200 billion and US$250 billion per year, according to the U.S.
Chamber of Commerces Global Intellectual Property Center.
In the automotive aftermarket, observers note that counterfeit replacement parts are
being sold in record numbers. The inventory of fakes includes everything from spark
plugs that overheat (and may lead to fires) to brake linings that are made out of
compressed sawdust.
What ends up getting stopped at the border is a proverbial trickle. The value of
counterfeit auto components seized by U.S. customs officials in 2007 totalled just
US$845,094 (no Canadian figures are available.) Thats a mere fraction of the fakes
that make it onto shelves and into cars each year.
Indeed, between 2001 and 2006, General Motors alone conducted 1,000 investigations
and seized US$44 million in counterfeit auto parts again, a small fraction of the
bogus GM parts circulating in the marketplace.
However, when it comes to bogus auto parts, the failure of an important part can result
in a serious accident. Indeed, its sobering to note that one independent research study
recently revealed that in a sample of 420 fatal crashes, about 25% of the crashes
were attributed to vehicle defects. Canadian-Technician-December-2010

Counterfeit vehicle parts has grown to be worth US$16 billion worldwide and is
growing at an estimated 9-11% a year.
Safety Concerns
Many documented vehicle "accidents" have been caused by counterfeit parts, as well.
While bogus spark plugs and other engine parts have merely caused aggravating
failures and breakdowns, poorly constructed brake and suspension parts have resulted
in many deaths.
A number of deaths in Saudi Arabia were attributed to the use of counterfeit brake
pads made of compressed wood chips. In Nigeria, brake shoe linings made from
compressed grass burst into flames when the brakes were applied. In 1997, seven
children died and many others were seriously injured when counterfeit brake pads
made of sawdust failed, causing their school bus to overturn.
The Sources
Where do these bogus parts come from? China is the largest source of all counterfeit
items. Trade figures show approximately 80% of all bogus items in all industries
come from China, where there's little in the way of legal restraints to control the
rampant problem. Eastern Europe, South America and the Middle East are also known
sources of counterfeit parts. Up to 10% of auto parts sold in Europe last year were
counterfeit. In the Middle East, the number soars to 30%.
Using the latest manufacturing and printing technologies, counterfeiters are able to
match paints and print boxes, labels and security codes that mimic those on the
genuine products. Many fakes are undetectable to the average technician or shop
The most common fake car parts are brake shoes, brake pads, steering linkages, air
filters, spark plugs, wipers and car interior accessories.

Safety is definitely compromised with the low quality of such fakes. When
substandard metals are used, for example, the parts are most likely to succumb to
shearing. Accidents have been reportedly caused by a fake wheel and even a fake
brake shoe made out of compressed grass.
There are things you can do to help stem the tide of counterfeit parts. We offers five
ways to help you spot bogus products:
1. Significant price differences. Be careful when dealing with suppliers offering prices
that are significantly lower than what you usually pay.
2. Unconventional supplier. Do business with reputable companies. When dealing
with suppliers from whom you don't usually buy, proceed with caution.
3. Questionable quality. Closely examine the
parts you buy. Look for variations in size,
shape and texture from originals you've used
4. Packaging variations. Make sure the
graphics and colors of the box are identical to
those you're used to seeing.
5. Installation problems. If a part doesn't fit
exactly as it should, it could be a fake.
We strongly recommend to adopt a similar approach in Egypt by holding shopping
week for auto parts under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and
sponsored by the main reputable brands in this domain