In this techno-savvy day and age, it’s becoming easier for companies to manufacture counterfeit components. With an estimated 80% of all automotive counterfeit parts being manufactured in China, Porsche has set up a special legal team of brand protection workers to bust counterfeit companies.
Here is how Porsche is catching up to Chinese counterfeiters.
Bring In The Agents
Just because a product happens to have the Porsche name or logo on it doesn’t mean that it’s an original part. To protect you from being tricked into buying fake parts and components, Porsche has introduced a division that tracks these counterfeit parts. Bring in Porsche’s brand protection officers. A small team of lawyers who are involved in Porsche’s legal sales department. They have the job of chasing down counterfeit Porsche components from around the world to remove all counterfeit parts out of circulation.
Counterfeit Parts Are Dangerous
Fake parts are a growing concern for many automakers. Technology has made it easy to reverse engineer parts that can appear to be identical to the original part. The main concern is that fake parts compromise on quality and don’t carry the same specifications from the original manufacturer. This not only makes your Porsche less reliable, but it also massively increases the safety risk on your vehicle. With a Porsche beauty such as the Porsche 992, one can’t afford to be using fake parts. Thomas Fischer, one of the lawyers from Porsche’s legal team stated that “These spare parts are neither tested nor approved. It goes without saying that we want to prevent products like this ending up in our cars.”
The Initial Results Are Encouraging
In 2018 alone, the team confiscated over 200,000 counterfeit items including 33,000 spare parts. The value of these items came in at a whopping €60 million or roughly $67 million. Promotional items such as T-Shirts, baseball caps, and sunglasses were also found at trade fairs. These fairs included the Retro Classics trade show in Stuttgart to the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair. Considering that many of the counterfeits are also sold on widespread platforms such as eBay, Amazon and even Alibaba, the brand protection workers are using various channels to clamp down on counterfeit sales.
Curbing Chinese Counterfeits
Chinese counterfeits can be manufactured in small home-based workshops as well as in scaled-up production sites. Counterfeit parts are often hard to identify, which is why the brand protection team is working hand in hand with various Porsche departments including procurement, after-sales, and logistics. Packaging can also help to provide clues with spelling errors being a definite giveaway. An example of this is when the product promises to provide “Kontrolllerte Qualitat” instead of the correctly spelled “Kontrollierte Qualität.” This quality promise helps to protect Porsche’s brand identity and reputation.
Porsche is Winning the Battle
Porsche’s brand protection team is working hand-in-hand with customs authorities who inform the brand protection team whenever they find counterfeit goods. The team then obtains information about the importer to locate the manufacturers. Local authorities are then contacted to take the necessary action. The collaboration is working well. Online sales platforms are regularly scanned, and listings are deleted whenever suspicions are confirmed. A result is that listings requiring deletion have dropped by a third over the past year. The key to winning this fight is learning to adapt to new counterfeit strategies and trends. With China acting like a haystack full of counterfeit producers, it looks like Porsche’s brand protection team will continue to have their hands full for the foreseeable future.