Auto spare parts disguised as those of Bangalore-based component manufacturer Bosch Ltd have been discovered at the Auto Expo 2010 held in the capital’s Pragati Maidan. The fake parts were displayed at a stall in the China Pavilion, which houses 5,000 sq metres of exhibition stalls of numerous Chinese component manufacturers. The alleged high-end lighting products, fraudulently branded as Bosch’s, were discovered recently by the latter’s officials.
Company officials said they had initiated action against the Chinese exhibitor responsible, but refused to elaborate. It could not be confirmed if any case had been registered with the police or with any authority.
“This is not just about counterfeiting. The displayed product was lighting systems that are capable of generating very high-intensity light beams from a vehicle which we do not manufacture in our product portfolio. It is dangerous to install such high-powered lights in one’s car. This is clearly an abuse of the brand Bosch,” said V Sadanandam, Brand Protection Manager.
Bosch officials say the high-intensity beams are dangerous to both pedestrians and oncoming vehicles because the powerful lighting could blind the eyes. “It’s also dangerous to the vehicle, since a high-intensity beam needs very high levels of energy to be lighted. A small short-circuit in the vehicle could blow up the entire car. We seized just one kit at the exhibitor’s stall. We do not know how many consignments were stored in the in the city,” said the official.
Business Standard reporters inspected the stall and the contraband. The exhibitor had vacated the premises since the morning. The alleged contraband bore the name Bosch. Domestic manufacturers say the level of sophistication is remarkable, as it has packaging identical to that of Bosch for its other automotive lighting systems.
Chinese delegates at the Pavilion told Business Standard they were not aware of counterfeit products at the Auto Expo. One manufacturer of piston rings who is a supplier to Chinese OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) said there may be instances of other counterfeit products finding their way in the Auto Expo but would not elaborate.
Sadanandam says the most commonly counterfeited product from Bosch’s portfolio are spark plugs. “These are not manufactured by domestic counterfeiters. They are imported from China. The other bogus products parading as original Bosch products are reconditioned delivery valves and nozzles, and diesel filter inserts that are manufactured locally.”