Al-Futtaim Motors discuss UAE’s Toyota fake parts at Automechanika

Al-Futtaim Motors, the exclusive distributor for Toyota in the UAE, led discussions on the illegal Toyota counterfeit parts market in the UAE during an interactive forum held in conjunction with the auto aftermarket trade fair Automechanika.

The Automechanika Academy forum held alongside the three day exhibition at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre brought together key automotives experts to discuss the industry’s most topical issues. Sajjad Pasha, National Sales and Marketing Manager for Al-Futtaim Motors gave a presentation on the company’s anti-counterfeit activities, explaining that as market leaders the company remains committed to championing the anti-counterfeit cause with the support of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC).

Mr Pasha stated: “Our participation in the exhibition is part of our campaign to further promote awareness of the safety issues arising from counterfeit automotive parts. While my focus is Toyota, the counterfeit parts market effects all automotive brands in the region and I believe by sharing our experiences at the Automechanika Academy we can move forward together to combat the UAE counterfeit parts business.”

In his presentation, Mr Pasha demonstrated various marketing activities designed to create awareness of counterfeit automotive parts and explained how Al-Futtaim Motors works in close co-operation with the government to close down illegal stockists and stop counterfeit parts entering the market. Tips were provided on the identification of fake parts while case studies highlighted the safety issues associated with common fake parts.

In 2009, Toyota initiated 250 raids across the world, seizing over 1.1 million counterfeit parts. Asia remains the leading market for counterfeit production using the Middle East as a gateway to transport counterfeit to other markets such as Europe.

According to recent market research carried out by Al-Futtaim Motors in conjunction with Gulf Marketing Research (GMR), 12 per cent of UAE customers knowingly purchase counterfeit parts. Addressing the challenges in educating members of the public, Mr Pasha explained: “Research reveals that price remains the biggest motivator in purchasing fake parts. It is our job to impress upon the general public the cost in terms of safety when choosing these parts. Typically these fake parts are not built to your car’s specifications so they can lead to other mechanical problems and system breakdowns, which could set your bank account back even further as well as causing major safety problems.”

“Fake parts by their nature, are generally made from substandard materials that don’t hold up or perform like genuine parts. Imagine what would happen if the brake pads you just put on your vehicle were made from compressed wood chips. They would disintegrate, substantially lowering your braking power and increasing your chances of an accident.”

“These parts are sold through independent garages and parts shops that are scattered throughout the UAE. Our advice is to only deal with the manufacturers authorised agents that have an approved association with the brand or contact the brand’s after-sales department. Al-Futtaim Motors operate over 100 authorised parts dealers across the UAE. Our customers are guaranteed a world-class facility and above all, genuine Toyota parts at all our service stations; we can service vehicles in one hour which can not be replicated in this market.”

“Al-Futtaim Motors’ central Parts Distribution warehouse is the third biggest Toyota operation outside of Japan that stores 65,000 parts lines. This extensive stock demonstrates we don’t follow the ‘one part fits all’ approach which is typical of many fake parts. Our model specific Toyota Genuine Parts also carry six month guarantee for extra peace of mind of their quality and reliability.”

Mr Pasha concluded his presentation with the message that the industry needs to pull together to fight the counterfeit market not only to protect customers but also the reputation of the UAE.

Al-Futtaim Motors is a member of Al-Futtaim, the leading UAE business conglomerate. It operates the Toyota, Lexus and Hino franchises through a network of modern Sales Showrooms, Service and Parts facilities strategically located throughout the UAE to provide the optimum sales and after-sales service to its customers.

The company also operates twelve Tyre Express outlets in the UAE, where a comprehensive range of tyres and batteries are available, together with expert advice on tyre care and safety. The company’s customer focus is exemplified in its guiding maxim of “We care and it shows”.

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