IAAF chief: 'aftermarket risks unravelling'

Brian Spratt warns that OE Supplier's campaign is counterproductive

Published:  26 September, 2013

THE CHIEF of an industry body has said the automotive aftermarket is at "risk of unravelling" if it continues to fight among itself on the issue of parts quality.

Refering to the ongoing war of words sparked by the OE parts awareness campaign, Brian Spratt, chief executive of the IAAF, said, "The industry is in danger of creating a divide that will have repercussions throughout the supply chain. The current issue of parts quality has seen suppliers failing to address the real heart of the matter. There is a risk of unravelling and undoing all the hard work the industry did in promoting its unity during the Right2Repair campaign and the current Right2Choose campaign".

Mr Spratt continued:  "We should be looking more closely at the quality of so called 'genuine OE' parts used by vehicle manufacturers. The aftermarket is about choice right the way through the supply chain and we must come together and take the right message forward to our customers."

The issue of parts quality was discussed in depth at last year's IAAF conference. During his opening speech, Mr Spratt kicked off the debate of "what's in the box?" in which he clarified the block exemption regulations so that motor factors and garages understood the difference between the various parts quality terms. Key amongst those terms was the 'matching quality' statement, where the latest BER definition differs from the previous legislation. The 2002 BER included 'matching OE' provisions, whereas the 2010 version refers to 'matching the quality of parts used by dealers', a definition which, Mr Spratt points out, is more difficult to assess.

Since the conference, the IAAF has taken a lead in identifying parts suppliers who wish to prove their OE or 'matching quality' credentials by comprehensive assessment of the quality of their products. The results address the concerns expressed in the conference at the proliferation of 'self-certifying' statements from some suppliers who would not be able to substantiate such claims.

"IAAF and parts suppliers can tackle this issue together, promoting the case of parts quality and the exclusion of inferior and dangerous replacement parts from our industry," said Mr Spratt.

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