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
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
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
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
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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