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Autoparts: The difference in price between OEM and Dealer only parts can save you money....

OEM vs Dealer only parts

OE, OEM and OES (Factory) Auto Parts

OEM (original equipment manufactured) and OES (original equipment supplied) many times are one and the same. OE, of course, is a more generic term that refers to the brand that came as original equipment on the car. Most auto manufacturers assemble cars from purchased components and manufacture only the sheet metal components.

Therefore, the "factory part" you can buy from your dealer was most likely made by another company, sold to the car maker and then resold to the dealer for ultimate sale to you.

An important point many people are unaware of is the fact that multiple OES brands are not only normal but are actually mandated by international standards as part of the qualifications for ISO certification. Car manufacturers must have secondary sourcing (i.e., multiple suppliers) for certain types of parts in order that any problems with one supplier will not disable the car manufacturer's production and allow for substitution of the other brand for new production and any warranty replacement or repairs.

As an example, the original VDO pump may be interchanged with the Bosch unit with equal performance, the ZKW foglight may be interchanged with the Hella unit or the Balo brake rotors replaced with Zimmermann.

The OEM suppliers to Asian and domestic car makers are not always as easy to identify. Due to the proliferation of automotive conglomerates and spin-off companies, the original manufacturer may sell the parts under numerous brand names.

Further, many parts manufacturers are considered OES when, in fact, the exact same parts came on the car under a different brand name. We continue to strive to offer the direct OE replacement under whichever brand name is available.

We deal directly with many OEM/OES companies and stock the exact same parts as your local dealer - usually at substantially lower prices! It may not always come in a package with the car maker's name but it is, in fact, the very same part, manufactured by the very same company.

Why pay for all those middlemen when you can get the exact same part at Autohaus? Autohaus strives to supply one or all of the original equipment brands when available - usually the most commonly used brand is the more available one at a cost savings that we can pass along to you, our valued customer.

That's why our price may be 20%-90% below your dealer's price. You're not skimping on quality - it's the same quality as the dealer's part. You're just cutting out the overhead caused by too many middlemen.

Dealer Only Parts

"Why doesn't the aftermarket have replacement parts for my 2006 model car?" All too often we hear this question on non-maintenance type parts and it's frustrating for both you and for us.

Most cars will require some repair work in the first or second year. Unfortunately, some parts for these repairs may still only be available through the dealers.

Often OEM and OES companies cannot release OE parts for "new" cars into the aftermarket (because of licensing agreements) until a few years have passed. This restriction allows the car maker to recoup tooling costs, build in repair revenues for the dealers and justify larger OEM production runs to keep costs down.

Although irritating that some parts are "dealer only", it's in your best interest for warranty purposes. As new car warranties get longer, the dealer must maintain cars that fail to perform for longer periods of time. In the case of emission-related parts, the U.S. government has regulated many of these warranties to keep up with EPA rules. So if you're driving a newer car, you may need the dealer for a few more years on certain items.

OEM/OES vs. Aftermarket Parts

The true "aftermarket" part is one that's been copied from the OE part. In many cases, this is done to offer a lower cost alternative. But in most cases the benefit of the lower price is far outweighed by its major disadvantage - it's usually an inferior product and ends up costing you much more in the end in avoidable repairs.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule as car makers try to reduce assembly costs by going to lower cost alternatives on parts that wear out and routine maintenance parts.

But, beware: Aftermarket parts stores - the big name mass merchandisers you find on every street corner - normally carry ONLY "aftermarket" copies of OE parts. It's the most cost-efficient way for them to compete on price with the thousands of other parts stores. Besides, most of their customers care more about price than performance anyway!

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