On November 2 at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV, U.S. Marshals seized alleged counterfeit aftermarket automotive parts being displayed and sold by six Chinese vendors. The parts infringed on patents and trademarks on products sold by Jeep accessory manufacturer Omix-ADA, which worked directly with SEMA to shut down the alleged counterfeiters.
The raids brought fresh attention to a growing problem in the automotive aftermarket industry: counterfeit and knock-off products.
Although it was big news during the show, industry insiders say the issue of counterfeit parts is hardly breaking news. Following the raids at the SEMA Show, Omix-ADA released an official statement:
“The company views counterfeiting and infringement as a serious and widespread problem in the aftermarket industry and one that can be combated through proper legal channels, and would encourage other members of the aftermarket industry to follow a similar path.”
Aeromotive founder and president Steve Matusek has also seen an increase in counterfeited products.
“The counterfeit product issue is growing,” he said. “It’s not just growing in volume with certain components, it’s growing with more components.”