LOUISVILLE, KY. Joe McAleese, president & CEO of Bendix, said his company is beefing up its efforts to stem the tide of counterfeit components coming into the North American market.
“Counterfeits and knockoff parts continue to flood the North American market at an alarming rate, so we plan to continue emphasizing our intellectual property and brand protection efforts and…pursue legal action where warranted against infringement of either one,” he said during a press conference here at the Mid-America Trucking Show.
McAleese said most of the trucking-related counterfeit goods Bendix encounters are manufactured in China and other parts of Asia. Although foreign governments, including China, are helping Bendix shut down counterfeit manufacturing sites in their countries, the operations often re-open quickly in different locations.
“That’s why we are focusing our approach on the U.S. importers of counterfeit goods – to cut off the supply channel of knockoffs into this country, since it’s hard to keep the counterfeit manufacturers shut down for long,” he said. “That’s been a successful strategy for us. Once we bring the issue of fake goods to their attention, most importers do the right thing to cease and desist their activity; we rarely need to go to court. We’ve only had to pursue two with civil proceedings.”
Although the company has managed to prevent knockoff-related losses in market share and considers the situation “stable,” McAleese acknowledged that counterfeit parts are becoming very hard to identify visually. “We haven’t yet faced an accident caused by a counterfeit part, but that’s our fear,” he added. “Visual appearance is so similar to our goods even our engineers can’t tell them apart until we break them down and test them – that’s when you see significant differences, especially in terms of poor performance.”