"The quality is the same and the warranty is the same"

Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) on Wednesday launched a programme that would offer remanufactured truck and car parts to customers at a 5 per cent to 30 per cent discount compared with new parts, but with the same 12-month warranty currently available on new parts.

Announcing the programme at the Automechanika trade show in Johannesburg, MBSA after-sales VP Naeem Hassim said that the programme aimed to "protect Mercedes-Benz customers against dangerous grey parts, and to protect our brand". Grey parts generally refer to cheaper parts manufactured outside the vehicle manufacturer's supply chain, or to substandard parts falsely branded as the real thing. Hassim noted that MBSA's remanufactured parts offered "a great, affordable alternative" to new parts, adding that the company acknowledged that the global recession had placed "financial strain and pressures" on transport operators and motorists alike. He said all of remanufactured parts would be sourced from Germany. MBSA currently supplied 40 per cent of the new parts required by Mercedes-Benz trucks in South Africa, and 60 per cent of the passenger car parts, said MBSA parts after-sales divisional manager Hans Roos. He said that the aim of the remanufactured programme was to grow these figures, mainly by targetting vehicles that were out of warranty. "We believe we can penetrate the market and make up some lost market share. We hope to sell more units rather than to see the replacement of new parts with remanufactured parts," said Roos. Hassim said that customers would be able to choose whether to receive a new or a remanufactured part. There were 102 part numbers available in the remanufactured programme, such as starter motors and air pumps. "The quality is the same and the warranty is the same" Hassim noted.

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