OE Academy: Why Our Customers Love OE

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OE Academy: Why Our Customers Love OE

When it comes to repairs or scheduled maintenance for your vehicle, there are a number of methodologies people follow when selecting parts. Some treat parts shopping with a “money no object” attitude, others with a bare minimum approach to price and quality, and many other European car owners strive to find a balance between the two, looking for the best quality parts at the best price.

Here at FCP Euro, we’re enthusiasts ourselves and firmly support offering parts at the best price and at the highest quality. We’ve spent years developing relationships with parts suppliers, collecting data on returns through our lifetime replacement guarantee, wrenching on cars (both personally and professionally), and learning from our mistakes and the collective knowledge of the enthusiast community around which we’re built.

With all the knowledge we have access to and have gained over the years, we’d like to share some insights, specifically when it comes to quality and why many of our customers love and recommend OE parts over Genuine. We’re looking to better educate our customers, highlight real-life examples of how our product catalog is among the best out there, and save you some hard-earned money in the process.

The Basics

OE & OEM are indicators that the part you're buying meets or exceeds the quality of the original item in your vehicle. In general, OE means the part is the exact piece used in original manufacturing, while OEM means that the company is held to a high quality standard and that they produce OE parts for other manufacturers. When it comes to OE quality level, drag the sliders across every photo on this page to see exactly what we mean!

Original Equipment (OE) Parts: These are the same parts originally supplied to dealerships, except with the dealer logos removed. This is done by manufacturers so the parts can be sold outside the dealer network due to licensing agreements.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Parts: These are produced by a manufacturer that supplies at least one OE part to a vehicle manufacturer. OEM parts may not have been original to the car, but are held to higher-quality standards and stringent quality control.

Genuine Parts: These parts come branded by the vehicle manufacturer and at a premium cost, as they're sold through dealerships with higher overhead expenses. These are the same parts you would find at your local dealership.

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"Genuine logos have been visibly removed (scratched, ground, or marked out) so they can be sold outside the dealer network due to licensing agreements.”

The OE Supplier for this BMW drive shaft center support still has the BMW markings present; the part has simply been re-boxed. It’s identical to the genuine part. View product.

The OE Supplier for this BMW blower motor resistor simply took a Sharpie and marked over the genuine label. The BMW lettering can still be seen when viewed at the right angle. View product.

The Details

Original Equipment (OE) Parts:

These are the original parts that would have been used by the vehicle manufacturer on the car when it left the factory, except the genuine logos have been visibly removed (scratched, ground, or marked out) so they can be sold outside the dealer network due to licensing agreements. The vehicle manufacturers (BMW, Volvo, etc.) do not manufacture many products themselves but rather they contract their original equipment manufacturers to do so.

OE parts are typically sold direct from their respective manufacturer and can be had for a much lower price because of this. All of these parts will be stamped with the original manufacturer's brand name/logo such as Bosch, Hella, or Lemforder (or Modine in the expansion tank photo above, SGF in the flex disc photo below, or Sitronic in the final stage resistor photo to the left). These are the same parts supplied to dealerships, just with the genuine logo removed so they can be sold through different retail channels.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Parts:

OEM parts are produced by a manufacturer that supplies at least one OE part to a vehicle manufacturer. These are often produced in the same facility that manufacturers OE parts and are held to the same high-quality standards. OEM parts are not originally put on a vehicle from the factory, but the manufacturers adhere to stringent quality controls, and their parts share in the same reputation.

As an example, Bosch may supply the spark plugs that go in at the factory and also produce a fuel pump for a different make/vehicle. The Bosch spark plugs would be an “OE” part and the fuel pump “OEM”.

Genuine Parts:

This is a product that we have sourced from the local dealer network and is the same part that the dealership would offer you to install on your car today. This part will come branded by the vehicle manufacturer (BMW, Volvo, Audi, etc.) and a premium cost as it’s being sold by dealerships with higher overhead costs.

Genuine parts from FCP Euro are sourced from a dealer and in the car manufacturer’s packaging. In nearly every instance the part inside the box will have been manufactured by one of their approved OE suppliers such as Bosch, Hella, Mann, Lemforder, and many others. Use the interactive image sliders on this page to see how OE and Genuine parts are one and the same.

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Our Commitment

At FCP Euro, we’ve made a commitment going into 2017 that this is the “Year of the Enthusiast”. This is reflected in our community outreach events, our foray into professional racing, and educational content around quality levels and manufacturers through DIY videos, blog posts, and valuable partnerships.

When talking about educational content, specifically when it comes to quality levels of OE vs. Genuine, we have thousands of parts on hand to reference, and realize customers don’t always have the same level of insight we do. Surrounding these pages are interactive images illustrating Genuine parts and their identical OE equivalents. These OE parts have been re-boxed or re-labeled, with the emblems ground off or tags removed by their original manufacturer so they can be sold outside of the dealer network at a fraction of the cost.

We realize this insight might be valuable, and one of our more recent enthusiast-focused improvements is our launching of “OE” and “OEM” labels on our site. Our goal with this is to make identifying OE and OEM parts easier and to better help you find that “best bang for the buck.”

"If we wouldn’t put it on our cars, we won’t sell it to you.”

We have over thirty years handling, sourcing, and working with OE, OEM, and Genuine parts. We know the market inside and out and each brand’s respective quality level, but don’t just take our word for it. We’ve sat down with some of the top manufactures and suppliers of OE parts for BMW, Audi, Volvo, and Mercedes and they’ve had a great deal of positive feedback on the subject.

"Our approach to business over the last 75 years is rooted in quality, consistency, and dedication. We're able to offer a wide breadth of OE parts due to the business relationships we've developed and are proud to stand behind our customers and their vehicles."

"The quality and reliability of our products is a direct reflection of our success as a manufacturer and OE supplier."

"[I can] advocate from firsthand experience that our original equipment SKUs are among the most successful. I don't know why anyone buys a genuine part when they have access to the original equipment replacement."

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Regardless of the vehicle you drive, you're bound to find OE parts for it at FCP Euro. We're improving our catalog daily and constantly pushing to offer the best brands, the best quality parts, and the best price, all backed by our industry leading customer service, lifetime replacement guarantee, and a personal commitment from everyone at FCP Euro to helping you keep your vehicle on the road and more money in your pocket.

"One of our goals is to make identifying OE and OEM parts easier and to better help you find that best bang for the buck.”

So what’s the best quality part for your European vehicle? That’s ultimately your decision, we just want to make sure it’s an educated one. Personally and professionally, we recommend going with OE over Genuine if we can source it and offer it on the site. We stand firmly behind the fact that, “If we wouldn’t put it on our cars, we won’t sell it to you.”

Start your search for OE/OEM parts now at fcpeuro.com!

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