A new workshop poster campaign is being rolled out by the Original Equipment Suppliers Aftermarket Association to deliver its messages about OE parts direct to independent garages in the UK and Ireland.
A swathe of advertising is also on the cards, but the key points in the workshop poster campaign are that a car is more likely to ‘feel the same and drive the same’ if genuine OE parts are used, that the product will fit first time, every time and that they can ‘fit it and forget it’.
The 14-strong OESAA group of manufacturers says it is not claiming that all second line parts are poor quality and recognises that some are of good quality. While it is also possible that an alternative part could even be of better quality than the original, OESAA says they are still simply not OE in the strict definition of the phrase.
Nigel Morgan, OESAA Chairman and Managing Director of Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket, said: “We are currently focusing on the workshop side of the campaign and are designing posters that independent garages can use to explain to their customers the benefits of using OE parts.
“We are also increasing the intensity of our advertising campaign, both in the UK and Ireland, and all our members are investing heavily into getting the OE message across in their training programmes.”
Morgan said the campaign has attracted wide interest in the aftermarket, both from garages and distributors, and also from other OE suppliers, five of which are expected to join the group early in 2014.
The campaign is being supported by leading industry technicians Frank Massey, of Automotive Diagnostic Solutions, and Andy Savva, of Brunswick Garage, North London.
Massey features in the campaign and said: “I always insist on fitting parts from original equipment suppliers because I know that they are designed specifically for the vehicle I am working on and are made using the best materials to consistent and exacting quality standards.
“I know that cheaper alternatives may be available, but will they match the quality and reliability of the original? My customers expect nothing but the best from me, so nothing less than OE will do.
Savva said: “Fitting sub-standard parts can cost garages their reputation, as well as time and money for both them and their customer. The campaign increases awareness of these issues which is a good thing.
“I always fit parts that have been sourced from the original equipment suppliers to ensure that I can justifiably claim that my technicians are trained to the same standards as the franchise dealerships and the parts we use are of the same quality and reliability.”
OESAA members are concerned that some aftermarket parts suppliers are claiming to ‘match OE quality’, even though it is clear by physically comparing the components that they don’t.
Mechanex Show visitors to Sandown Park on November 12 and 13 will be able to compare a wide range of components produced by OESAA members against the non-OE quality equivalents.
The group says members will only use the OESAA logo on products that are fitted as original equipment; it will not be used for non-OE product publicity.
The group is currently working on enhancing its online presence at www.oe-suppliers.org with the addition of technical videos and literature for download.