13% of the parts purchased at random from both main dealers and small independent traders were counterfeit.
An affiliation of automobile manufacturers, all members of a European association, were concerned at the level of counterfeit motor parts infiltrating into the market. The group approached Ingram Associates to undertake a major undercover European market survey. The team of specialist undercover agents from Ingram Associates were dispatched across Europe to France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Turkey and the U.K.. Each team of agents was briefed to purchase specific car parts for each manufacturer at random outlets.
The parts chosen were high volume, readily available parts such as bumpers, front and rear lights, radiators and windscreens, as well as regularly used service parts, such as oil and air filters. Each part purchased was labelled with point of purchase and price paid.
All the parts were returned to the U.K. and displayed for the manufacturers’ experts to examine. The result of the survey showed that approximately an average of 13% of the parts purchased at random from both main dealers and small independent traders were counterfeit.
Certainly a challenge for the intellectual property departments concerned!