Remanufactured Products

Remanufactured Products

This month, David and Peter offer their thoughts on remanufacturing .

Remanufacturing in the UK currently contributes approximately £4.3 billion to the economy, with this figure expected to grow dramatically thanks to further investment. Remanufacturing is not only good for the environment through the reduction of emissions, but it also reduces raw materials and energy consumption.

David Clarke
Managing Director, Autosupplies (Chesterfield)

Remanufactured products have come a very long way in our industry in terms of quality. I know that some motor factors sell a remanufactured brand as a premium product. The efforts that quality remanufacturers have had to go to in order to justify their quality has been considerable. In my opinion, they often go over and above what’s required.

While there is still work to be done to get the message across, pro-active garages understand the differences between a reconditioned and fully remanufactured part.

Against this backdrop of quality remanufactured products, we have seen the emergence of cheap, new aftermarket products, which are not as good as their reman counterparts. Surcharges are a hassle for motor factors, and so the perception is that these new, cheaper products are better than the reman. A new battle therefore exists for remanufacturers to promote the quality of their products and brand.

At garage level, the technician is more likely to question a remanufactured part over a new one. This leads to higher cases of misdiagnosis. There is so much ‘new technology’ on vehicles that what appears to be a fault with the starter motor or alternator, for example, could be associated with another component entirely.

Providing the supplier can fully demonstrate their quality – remanufacturing or otherwise – offer good support, range and availability, there is no reason why they shouldn’t succeed.

Peter Welch
Proprietor, Scotlands Ash Garage

There are always many sides to the parts quality argument. Firstly, I think the market underestimates the ability of a technician to determine the quality of part. We’ve been in business long enough to know what a quality product and brand looks like.

Secondly, the reason why choice exists is that there are motorists that don’t want to fit premium parts all of the time and think a less expensive, less durable part will suffice. This then falls on us to educate the customer as we don’t want them coming back to us, questioning the quality.

While no-one will ever dictate to us what we fit, we do trust the motor factor to supply us with a quality part and they are on hand should we face any difficulties.

This traceability is important, as the rise of the internet has made it a lot easier for motorists to get their hands on the exact part number they require at a significantly reduced rate. However, when purchasing this way, the quality and legitimacy of these products are always in doubt and we strongly advise technicians to steer clear of customer supplied parts for this reason.

This is clearly a growing problem for garages and one that we need to eradicate together. Garages have a duty of care to ensure the parts they fit are fit for purpose and safe for the consumer, other road users and the general public.

I have had no issues with remanufactured parts and found the quality to be excellent. I think there are varying degrees of quality in reman parts, like all parts, so I would argue it’s up to the supplier and motor factor to educate the garage.

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