NEW DELHI (Staff Report) – About 30 to 45 per cent of motor bike spares, accessories and related products sold in India are either duplicate, fake or “first copy” products, according to a recent survey.
The Motor Bike and Two-Wheeler Riders Association of India (M2WRAI) conducted a survey in five cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai, and found out that helmets, lighting gear, high end head protection and body protection and safety gear accounts for about 50 per cent of the fakes sold in the country.
“Even in the big cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai, there are posh stores stocking spurious goods which look so alike that even a professional biker is sometimes taken for a ride,” said Nilesh Mehta, spokesperson for the M2WRAI.
Fakes or China-made uncertified replicas of well-known international brands of helmets like LS2, THH, Lazor, Icon, etc are found in the market abundantly and out of every five LS2 and THH helmets sold in metro cities at least one is either a fake or uncertified replica with fake DOT certification stickers and logos printed.
Last year, the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association’s (ACMA) survey had estimated that fake auto parts account for 30-40% of the total parts sold in India.
The total valuation of auto parts (in retail outlets) in India is worth about 35,000 crore Indian rupees.
Out of these, the value of counterfeit parts could be in the region of Rs10,500-14,000 crore.
Three years ago, the value of these parts was estimated at Rs8,500 crore, which indicates that the market for fake spare parts is growing.
According to the ACMA, the most common among these fake parts include clutch, filters, lamps wipers, bearings, steering arms, brakes and brake linings and are available for a range of vehicles including two-wheelers, cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles (trucks and buses).
Some of the parts in this list are critical for the safe operation of vehicles. ACMA has claimed that about 20% of the total road accidents in the country could be caused by the use of counterfeit parts.
Besides automobile parts, two wheeler spares are the most counterfeited in India. The market for counterfeit bike spares is around Rs 4000 to 5000 crore.
The growth of fake motor bike spares and accessories is fuelled by some budget riders who see no difference between fake spares and genuine products.
Fake parts are priced a good 20-30% cheaper than genuine parts. The ease of manufacturing these parts, packaging and importing and the higher margins on their sales, results in retailers and mechanics opting for them over genuine parts.
Additionally, the short replacement cycles of certain parts, supply constraints faced by original equipment manufacturers and legal shortcomings are responsible for the market for counterfeit part growing despite several crackdowns.
Vehicle manufacturers too claim that the use of counterfeit parts affect the vehicle’s performance and subsequently, its brand value. Some of them have started conducting raids on the premises of manufacturers of fake spare parts. However, in the absence of stringent laws and mandated safety standards for after-market products, the import of counterfeit parts is going to be difficult to check.
Despite many crackdowns, the fake automobile parts market is thriving in India – at least two in every five spare auto parts sold are fake according to the ACMA.
Owing to the ease of manufacturing, packaging and importing these products and the higher margins on the sales of counterfeits, retailers and mechanics prefer these. The short replacement cycles of some parts, supply constraints faced by original component manufacturers and legal shortcomings are driving the burgeoning fake parts market.
The fake parts market is also leading to a huge loss for the government – it is losing about Rs 2,200 to Rs 2500 crore a year in tax revenue, as none or only very few fake parts come within the country’s tax framework.