Porsche has its own department for cracking down on fake parts.
"Porsche owners should be able to enjoy their vehicles for as long as possible. That is why genuine, high-quality spare parts are so important," Porsche says. The problem of counterfeit parts has grown large enough that the German sports car maker has a department dedicated to hunting down the people making them.
Porsche's "Brand Protection team" in the Legal Sales department is made up of three Brand Protection Officers and two lawyers and dedicated to finding and stopping counterfeit production of Porsche branded items. According to Porsche, so far the team managed to find and confiscate more than 200,000 parts with a value of almost $68 million.
Porsche reports that the majority of the counterfeit parts are coming from rural China and make their way to online sales platforms such as Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba. At the same time, Porsche-branded promotional goods such as T-shirts, baseball caps, sunglasses, and key fobs are also making their way to trade fairs.
"Sometimes the counterfeits are quite obvious," Michaela Stoibe of the Brand Protection team explains. "The products are far cheaper than normal, or the Porsche emblem has been poorly copied. We sometimes also find that a different animal is shown in the center of the logo. For example, instead of the Porsche horse, it could be a sheep standing on its hind legs."
Bizarrely, it's not just Porsche branded items that the automaker offers officially that are being chased down. Amongst other strange things, Stoibe has impounded thousands of erectile dysfunction pills shaped like the Porsche emblem from Turkey.
Porsche tells us the counterfeit market is constantly growing, particularly for wear and tear parts like wheels, brake discs, and airbags. And, as Porsche points out, this is a concern when it comes to safety. "This is where things get dangerous," says Thomas Fischer. "These spare parts are neither tested nor approved. It goes without saying that we want to prevent products like this ending up in our cars."