• Feb 16, 2011
According to Automotive News China, the shady side of the People's Republic is set to sell $45 billion worth of counterfeit auto parts this year. Those include high-volume pieces like spark plugs, brake pads and steering components as well as oil seals and airbags. All told, the report says that China is responsible for a hefty 83 percent of the world's counterfeit parts, leading the top three producers by a wide margin. The report goes on to state that Taiwan and Thailand are responsible for five percent of the pie each, while Japan and Malaysia weigh in with two percent each of the counterfeit market.

In many cases, authorities are ill-equipped to handle the sheer volume of rip-off artists. In one instance, a facility that produces knock-off oil seals gets shut down once a year only to re-open at full capacity. That plant had the capacity to produce seven million fake oil seals per year in 2008. Now that number is up to 10 million.

In the case of the seals, the manufacturer uses low-grade rubber and metal to cut costs, and as a result, the fake pieces carry a price tag that's less than half of the genuine article. They're also almost guaranteed to fail.

Meanwhile, legitimate Chinese companies are beginning to fit their boxes with radio frequency ID tags to distinguish their products from the fakes.

[Source: Automotive News China - Sub. Req.]


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  • 49 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's not just manufacturing we lost to overseas.
      I work in IT, and lots of IT projects are worked on overseas in India.
      So it's not just blue collar jobs, but more and more white collar jobs are going overseas.
      Pretty soon all we'll have are service industry jobs.
      Practice saying "Housekeeping!"
      • 3 Years Ago
      Airplanes, yes:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8494202.stm

      Also: From my window here in San Francisco, I can see Chinese ships bringing in sections of the new bay bridge....
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Chinese govt needs to execute the owners just like it did w/ the head of its "FDA".
      • 3 Years Ago
      wow counterfeit stuff in china!!! no way!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I bought a set of (China) U-joints for the Suburban and they didn't last a year.

      That was less than ideal.

      Then I boutht Moog (non-China) and they are lasting a good long time.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I use quality parts regardless, thanks. Those were Delco parts, and I couldn't get non-China parts from AutoZone, so I trusted the name. Lesson learned. Now I drive the extra 15 miles to Murrays to get Moog suspension & steering parts and I haven't had this kind of problems since.

        Remind me not to buy a car from you.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I wouldn't take it if you gave it to me free.

        Let's hope if you knowingly using the cheapest counterfeit parts you can find that you don't kill anyone.
      • 3 Years Ago
      When I shop for parts for my car, if it says, "made in China", I put it right back on the shelf....
        • 3 Years Ago
        Which is why if you're counterfeiting parts, you almost certainly fake the country of origin too.
      • 3 Years Ago
      In my line of work, one of our suppliers has recently began sourcing machinery from Chinese companies. The pumps in question look (surprise!) nearly identical to the American version, and that is where the similarities end. The castings are porous and the gears within are made from exceedingly poor quality steel. Of course, the contractor feels that it is more cost effective to spend 1/5th the money up front in exchange for a product that will require constant rebuilding (at our expense). I'd be truly shocked if the pumps in question lasted anywhere near as long as the American version did.

      I wouldn't just buy American because I want to support American companies, I would do it because, in my case, the product is better and will probably last several times longer than it's Chinese equivalent.

      What people will trade for a low upfront cost is truly astonishing. It seems like people would rather buy the same product three times over again for 1/3 the price than just spend the money up front. I'd rather just buy it once and not have to keep throwing it away. Nothing is more frustrating than buy some small kitchen appliance and having it expire a few weeks after its unofficial one-year "service life" has expired.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Meh.

        I'm not too worried about the quality of Chinese parts catching up to those made in America. China's edge in manufacturing comes from its slave labor workforce, not from any kind of mechanization or efficiency advantage. And guess what those workers will want as Chinese firms become more and more profitable? More money.

        I think it is quite the opposite of what you said. China will be forced to innovate to compete since they will no longer have their dirt cheap migrant workforce to fall back on. Innovation is not one of the strengths of Chinese industry; just look at their most advanced fighters - they're mostly copies of American and Russian designs. They will have to go on the defensive sooner or later.

        Between manufacturing and intellectual property, I'd take intellectual property any day of the week. Just look at the iPhone - it's made in China, counts against us on the balance sheet, and yet just $6 of the cost per unit is actually spent on manufacturing it. The rest went to the engineers and designers who dreamed it up. Yes, manufacturing EVERYTHING in China isn't great for the future of US manufacturing but the future of American industry is hardly as dim as some people make it out to be.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Just watch, those Chinese knockoffs will get better and better, they'll go up in price little by little but always undercut those parts made in the U.S.

        Those that hold out for American parts but don't care that they were made here will be persuaded into just buying the slightly cheaper Chinese ones because their quality will improve. The American companies will go out of business and be unable to support their local economies, more people here lose their jobs.

        It's been done before by other countries, it happened with Japan in electronics and appliances, it nearly killed the U.S. car industry. It will continue on until we are the ones with an overall poor standard of living, no middle class, and willing to work for pennies to try to survive.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I was just wondering how you obtained the report from Automotive News China. Could someone kindly send me a link? Thanks!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Scary.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm in the auto industry. Very few people in the general public know about the requirement the China government has for nearly every part being shipped into their country. You basically need to hand over the drawings, math data, and they can even force a review of how you manufacture the part at your supplier. You need their approval and "CCC" mark before the part can be imported. They know immediately how to make the part and you are up the proverbial "creek" without a paddle. And people are shocked to hear how they copy everything? It's a requirement of their government!!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      this is why I began buying dealer parts for my cars.

      I got tired of replacing things twice and sometimes three times (costing me the same as one original OE part then). Forget mail order reproduction parts and cheap auto part store crap.
      • 3 Years Ago


      I LOVE how almost every time a story gets posted about China and its counterfeited wares, you always get some Chinese-national or some pro-China supporter coming in here saying "no, that's not right, your just racist" or some other nonsense like that. And yet here we are with this wonderful statistic:

      "...China is responsible for a hefty 83 percent of the world's counterfeit parts..."

        • 3 Years Ago
        What you call nonsense most others would call reason. You can blame China all you want, but the buyer's fault as much it is the producer's. Companies are KNOWINGLY purchasing these counterfeits.

        I'm not supporting China at all, FACT is that nobody is forcing anyone to buy anything, if you don't like it don't buy it, simple as that. Just don't come on blogs with your repetitive xenophobic asshat rants as if China is holding the world hostage.

        As for that statistic, some sources would be nice.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Tell me about it. I work in an industry flooded with Chinese knockoffs of American parts, many of which are used for critical loadbearing tasks.

        My question is how do you tell the Chinese counterfeit from the legitimate Chinese part? The article says they use inferior quality steel and rubber, but I'm sure the materials found in the real (made in China) deal aren't first rate either. Just look what finds its way into toys.
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