Do you care if parts are replicas or original? AC-Schnitzer is actively going after knock-offs
For our new poll, we want to ask you, do you care if parts are copied? AC-Schnitzer recently had the German government seize and destroy a large cache of replica parts. They claimed the parts were not safe and had the parts seized and destroyed to protect consumers. Is this really as much a concern about safety as it is a concern for the bottom line? I run a replica carbon Hamann lip on my E92 M3. It costs 1/10 the actual price of the real Hamann lip. Why would I pay retail for a name brand on a part that is likely to be worn down or cracked necessitating replacement?
AC-Schnitzer says the copied wheels they seized were not as safe as their own wheels. This is likely correct, as the copied wheels failed TUEV testing. Do all replicas fail testing? How many CSL replica wheels are there out there? How many BBS replicas do we see that meet testing standards? The quality of the product matters in replica designs just as much as the real thing. Installers of my Hamann lip claimed the piece was actually better constructed than the real thing. How about that?
AC-Schnitzer is using the example with the cheap knock-off wheels and applying it a whole. Is a replica AC spoiler a safety hazard? How about a replica AC-Schnitzer interior piece? Clearly one needs to be careful when buying a replica and for wheels we would obviously recommend the real thing. However, for cosmetic pieces we gladly advocate replicas especially since it is often that the replica is higher quality for less money.
What this is really about is AC-Schnitzer wanting to protect their profits. We are happy there are companies like AC-Schnitzer producing parts but their margins are clearly way too high if they allow for a plethora of cheaper alternatives. We feel this is what it is really about
It is all about the bottom line, not your safety. Should an Ericsson carbon hood really cost 7,000 dollars? If it was not for replicas these manufacturers would fleece enthusiasts of every dollar they possibly could. Replica manufacturers serve a necessary evil. At the same time, we need these manufacturers to get the return they deserve for putting in the development. What are your thoughts? Is AC-Schnitzer justified? Why or why not?