Genuine Vs OE vs OEM vs Aftermarket

Genuine Vs OE vs OEM vs Aftermarket

When trying to buy your own parts for you BMW, VW, Audi, Land Rover, Mini Cooper or Mercedes it’s easy to get confused. Here are some simple definitions for OE, OEM, Genuine, factory & Aftermarket to help guide your purchasing decisions.

OE = Genuine = Factory = Original.  They all mean the same thing. Parts that are packaged in Volkswagen boxes with the VW logo,  BMW Boxes with the BMW logo, Land Rover boxes with the Land Rover logo etc etc

OE = Original Equipment   OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer

They are produced in the same plant by the same manufacturer. 

The key difference between OE & OEM is the markup Audi /BMW/ Land Rover adds to the OE part.  Automotive companies dictate the specifications to the manufacturer.  The OE/OEM  manufacturer must adhere to consistent production and quality.

OE part= Audi package, Higher cost,

OEM= Manufacturer package, Lower cost

None of these car companies make their own parts. BMW, Audi, VW, Land Rover, Mercedes.  Each of them have parts produced by major manufacturers such as Bosch, Hengst, Mahle, Behr, Beru, Bremi etc. etc.


Notice the highlighted areas which include the Audi Logo AND the manufacturer (BERU) of this coil.

This coil is manufactured by Beru for Audi with Audi specifications.  Beru will also produce this coil without the Audi logo and sell it through many retailers which means you can avoid the Audi nealer Network usually resulting in savings for the consumer.

Aftermarket parts:

There are two main categories of aftermarket parts, cheaper replacements & upgrades

When dealing with cheaper replacements quality will vary WIDELY. It’s best to think of them as used parts in that you never really know what you’re going to get.

 Some are better than OEM and some far worse.  It takes a lot of experience or research to get an idea of what to buy and what to avoid.  It’s always best to use original equipment especially when dealing with delicate sensors i.e. Mass Air flow sensors, oxygen sensors, crankshaft sensors, camshaft sensors etc etc.  Using only OEM Bulbs and Oil filters are also a good idea.


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