Facts and Myths

Genuine or alternative spare parts? That is the question…

Some myths &  facts to consider before you decide...


Myth about marine products price: Genuine parts are expensive because their quality is better

The price of marine product you buy depends mainly on the cost of material used to make it and the cost of labour. In Europe, material and labour costs are similar, no matter if they are paid by the manufacturer of genuine or alternative parts. The differences in prices of originals and alternatives are not technically justified. Why do they differ, then? Because of the profit margin the manufacturer wants to get.


Myth about quality of marine products: Genuine parts are better quality than alternatives

Manufacturers of alternative parts, with their own research and production centres, can easily provide top quality marine products which should not differ from genuine parts. Products with unsatisfactory technical parameters are ruthlessly eliminated from the market. What is more, manufacturers of alternative parts take a double test: they compete not only with manufacturers of genuine parts but also with each other. The myth about legendary quality of originals is just an element of marketing strategies of rich companies and the costs of them are finally paid by the customer.


Myth about cutting costs: Life of genuine parts is longer than that of alternatives. Buying originals, you can cut maintenance costs

Testing the life of products is a standard procedure followed by manufacturers of genuine parts as well as manufacturers of alternative parts. Market competition forces them both to make products with durability satisfying the customer needs. Life cycle of alternatives offered by renowned manufacturers does not differ from the durability of the so-called originals at all. So, maintenance costs can be cut by using quality parts bought at a reasonable price.


Myth about risk of failure: The use of alternative spare parts increases the risk of equipment failure

The risk of failure grows in line with the frequency of using parts of unknown origin. When you buy spares directly from a reliable and credible manufacturer, the risk is reduced to a minimum.


Myth about technological backwardness of alternative spare parts: Manufacturers of alternative parts will never be able to reproduce all technical parameters of so-called genuine parts

In times of the global flow of information making it possible to use knowledge and experience worldwide, this myth is hard to be maintained. Engineers working for manufacturers of genuine and alternative parts often graduate from the same universities and have comparable experience. The latter, however, strongly believe that they have to prove their professionalism by creating top quality products.


To sum up:
Alternative spares supplied at competitive prices by a reliable and trustworthy manufacturer seem to be the best offer for Shipowners who appreciate quality and manage their budgets carefully.



MAEM – The Smart Value