By Filum Ho, CEO of Autoboys
Every rand counts today in South Africa, especially at a time when our economy is really struggling.
We all know the bad news: unemployment is at a multi-year high, growth rates are continuously being revised downwards, taxes look set to rise and retrenchments are becoming more commonplace.
It’s a tough time to be a consumer, and it can be an even trickier time to own a car and carry all the costs that come with it.
The reality in South Africa is that over 70% of cars fall into the aftermarket category. This typically means that these cars’ 5-year warranty and maintenance plans have come to an end and that owners have to fork out their own money to keep their vehicles maintained and going.
In light of this, South Africa’s aftermarket car owners largely fall into two distinct, but different categories.
The first group are those who solely stick with the more costly Original Equipment (OE) brands for services, repairs and replacement parts during both in-warranty and out-of-warranty periods. The second group involves those who are more financially stretched and who opt for the cheapest repair and replacement parts possible.
Interestingly, both of these categories face different risks. Those who stick to their OE brand are continuously paying the highest prices possible for their repair and replacement auto parts. This is because OE brands in South Africa have always put a premium price on their offerings.
On the flip-side, a car owner who opts for the cheapest parts available is at risk of jeopardising the performance of their engines and creating more problems down the line. Ultimately, this approach could turn out to be extremely costly as well, especially if it leads to a complete breakdown.
However, there is a fast-growing alternative in South Africa that ensures that car owners can save money while still opting for the highest quality parts. This alternative is known as ‘Original Equipment Equivalent’ (OEE) parts and is present among a wide range of parts - from lamps, bumpers and bonnets to grills, cooling systems, brakes, clutches and more.