Counterfeits in the automotive industry are not uncommon, spare and wear parts or accessories are strongly affected in this context. Often the counterfeit products are externally hardly distinguishable from the originals, making it difficult not only for customers but also for workshop employees to identify them.
This results in risks and losses for manufacturers, suppliers but also customers. According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), the automotive industry loses billions of euros in revenue annually through the sale of counterfeit products. Both manufacturers and suppliers suffer enormous sales losses due to counterfeiting. Apart from the economic damage, the safety of the customers must be emphasized. Particularly in the case of safety-relevant parts, such as brakes or airbags, counterfeit parts and components pose a major safety risk to customers. Quality and reliability are of paramount importance, especially for components that serve safety. Furthermore, the manufacturer can be held liable for damages and warranty cases, which are actually due to counterfeiting. This results in costs for the manufacturer and damages the brand image and reputation. An efficient assurance of product authenticity is therefore indispensable. It is also important to protect intellectual property and to make parts and components permanently identifiable.
Manufacturers and suppliers must overcome these challenges. The basic prerequisite for this is to ensure the authenticity of the original products. To this end, serialization is used to assign a unique and counterfeit-proof serial code to each original copy. The serial code can, for example, be applied to the product in a 2D code in different ways. With a simple scan, both the manufacturer and the workshop employee or insurance agent can check the components and parts for authenticity.
Serialization offers many other advantages for the manufacturer, such as significantly higher transparency and traceability. At the same time, it is a prerequisite for end-to-end communication of all processes along the supply chain. These factors create customer confidence and strengthen customer loyalty.
In addition, the unique identification enables a fast and very efficient recall of defective parts. In an industry such as the automotive industry, where quality and safety are paramount, this function shows a very special benefit.