Various elements of the
Indian auto industry came together on 8th June, 2013 to commemorate World
Anti-Counterfeiting Day in an effort to convince customers to use genuine auto
Anti-Counterfeiting Group of
Society of Indian Auto Manufacturers (SIAM) representing various vehicle
manufacturers celebrated World Anti-Counterfeiting Day on 8th June, 2013, as
one of the major initiatives to connect to the customers and society at large
to inform the concerns related to the use of spurious auto parts especially
when it comes to safety of critical parts such as brakes, suspension,
headlamps, powertrain, electrical and electronics components, etc.
As part of this pan-India
initiative, more than 1075 dealers, stockiest and distributors of several two
wheeler and four wheelers, and auto manufacturers like Bajaj, Hero MotoCorp,
TVS, Hyundai, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors, Toyota Kirloskar Motor,
Volkswagen India, Volvo Eicher came together to conduct an awareness drive.
Posters and banners were displayed at their premises and handouts were given to
consumers to create awareness.
At the press conference held
at Mumbai, Chairman of SIAM Anti-Counterfeiting Group, Mr Sanjoy Gupta, Vice
President, Customer Care, Mahindra & Mahindra, said “The importance of this
awareness drive and the industry’s strong desire to support this initiative on
a sustainable basis to curb the menace of spurious parts. He further stated
that the need of the hour is that various sections of society including the
local authorities come together to fight counterfeiting. This is also important
from the Government’s view point to ensure safer road transportation and
equally relevant to curb revenue loss to the tune of Rs 2500 crores per annum.
SIAM members will continue to
use their large network of authorized spare parts and service outlets to create
awareness.” Mr Rajesh Bagga, Co-Chairman of SIAM Anti-Counterfeiting Group and
Vice President, Legal, Tata Motors, stressed upon stronger implementation
mechanism around Copyrights Act, Trademark Act and Patent Act, to act as a
deterrent for counterfeiters. He also mentioned that the availability of
spurious parts is a threat to consumer safety. He also stressed upon the fact that
over 50% of spares for all popular brands sold in the market are actually
spurious and unreliable. The use of such spurious parts poses a safety risk to
the consumers. Through steps like these, the auto-industry will need to educate
and create awareness among customers. On the occasion of world
anti-counterfeiting day, the industry has taken a stand against counterfeiting.
According to sources at SIAM,
as an industry body, it is extremely concerned over the growing rate of
spurious auto parts accounting for around 35% of the estimated Rs 33, 000 crore
Indian after market. As per a study carried out in 2011, counterfeit sales is
attributing a loss in employment estimated over 1.15 million jobs; consumption
of additional 109 million litres of petrol and 8 million litres of diesel per
annum. The use of counterfeits resulted in 25,400 deaths and more than 93,000
injuries in 2009.
Speaking about the use of
counterfeit spares, industry sources opined that the same was very hazardous to
the vehicle occupants as well as those around. It clearly compromises safety
and environment they agree. However, they are full of praise for Maruti Suzuki,
Tata Motors and a few others for the strategy to make genuine spares available
in the aftermarket through their distributor channels.
It is the reluctance to make
genuine spares available in the aftermarket that gives impetus to counterfeit
spares they add. Most companies have a policy where the dealers insist on
carrying out the repairs and service at their premises. The result of which is
not always satisfactory in terms of the costs they charge, forcing vehicle
owners to look at other options. Pointing at the need to ensure high levels of
services standards in actual rather than simply touting about them, industry
sources stress that the manufacturers that have made genuine spares available
in the aftermarket have not only managed to retain their buyers within the
family, but have also managed to safeguard their vehicle buyers and users from
falling prey to counterfeit spares; or spares of seller known brands.
When their attention was
drawn to the SIAM statement that said that it was committed to support
government and local authorities in the endeavor to formulate favorable
policies and mechanisms to curb the menace of counterfeiting in the country,
industry sources said that it was a very good move. However the need is to look
within, rather than seek the support of the government.
If one can’t have dealers
that provide high standards of service on a consistent basis, and at reasonable
costs, the threat of counterfeit spares, or of brands that are lesser known, is
always going to persist. Especially with vehicle lifecycles shrinking, and the
lack of clear cut commitment by manufacturers to support their products that
have gone out of production. Industry sources insist that the government, in
consultation with auto manufacturers, testing bodies like ARAI, and forums of
vehicle owners should make rules, which ensure support to vehicle users and
owners in terms of availability of genuine spares for vehicles for at least 10
years after they have gone out productivity. Especially when one considers the
fact that auto manufacturers replace or refresh their models every four to five
years unlike a few years ago when the change would take place after a cycle of
eight to nine years.
support for vehicles that have gone out of production hard to come by, buyers
are forced to shop for spares in the open market, unknowingly, in many cases,
ending up having spurious spares fitted on their vehicles. Apart from drawing
attention to counterfeit spares originating in markets like China, which is
also a major source for genuine spares and OE auto components, industry sources
lauded the efforts of OE suppliers like Bosch, Rane Group, TVS Group, Mahle,
Anand Group, Syndicate, Mann+Hummel and many others for making genuine spares
available in the aftermarket.