Genuine vs. OE vs. OEM vs. Aftermarket – Knowing the Difference Can Save You Money

Genuine vs. OE vs. Aftermarket – Knowing the Difference Can Save You Money

The one question that had been hounding all the car owners for a very long time and hence we are here to throw some light on this subject.

Is there really a difference between Genuine, OE, OEM, and Aftermarket parts?

The short answer is YES! Since not all parts are created equally, how should you decide on what to buy? Let’s break it down.

Genuine Parts:

These are the parts that come branded by the vehicle manufacturer like Mitsubshi MotorsBMW, Volvo, Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche etc., and are the exact same parts you would find at your local dealership. These parts typically come at a premium cost since they are sold through dealerships with higher overhead expenses.

This is a product that we have sourced from the local dealer network and is the same part that the dealership would offer you to install on your car today. 

Original Equipment (OE) Parts:

OE parts are which would have been used by the vehicle manufacturer like Mercedes Benz, Audi, BMW etc., on the car when it left the factory, except the genuine logos have been visibly removed so they can be sold outside the dealer network due to licensing agreements.

Most vehicle manufacturers do not manufacture all products by themselves but rather they contract their original equipment manufacturers to do so. These parts will be stamped with the original manufacturer’s brand such as Bosch, Hella, Lemforder, Sach etc., which are exactly the same parts supplied to dealerships, just with the genuine logo removed so they can be sold through different retail channels.

Since OE parts are sold directly from their respective manufacturer, they can be had for a much lower price, which makes it an excellent value, especially when you consider there is no sacrifice in quality.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Parts:

OEM parts are the parts produced by a manufacturer that supplies at least one OE part to a vehicle manufacturer. These are often produced in the same facility that manufacturers OE parts and are held to the same high-quality standards.

OEM parts are not originally put on a vehicle from the factory, but the manufacturers adhere to stringent quality controls, and their parts share in the same reputation.

For example, Bosch may supply the spark plugs that go in at the factory and also produce a fuel pump for a different make/vehicle. The Bosch spark plugs would be an “OE” part and the fuel pump “OEM”.

After Market Parts:

These parts are created as an alternative to OEM or Genuine Parts. In some cases, such as clips, screws, fasteners, etc, the parts are virtually indistinguishable. Aftermarket parts are replacement parts like Febi, Meyle, Zimmermann, etc. that are not made by an original equipment manufacturer.

You can often find these parts at an even lower price than the OE and OEM parts. As I mentioned, even though these aftermarket companies don’t supply parts to the vehicle manufacturers, it doesn’t make them low quality companies.

You can trust that the aftermarket parts we use in our work shop are of equivalent quality to OE and often quite affordable.

We realize this insight might have been valuable to you. When it comes to servicing your car our goal is to make identifying GENUINE, OE and OEM parts easier for our customers. 

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