Heidelberg, 25 July 2016. According to the Federal Trade Commission, counterfeit products result in annual losses of more than 9 billion US dollars in the American automotive industry – Experts believe that one in ten vehicle spare parts in Europe are counterfeit. The copies are of inferior quality and therefore pose high safety risks, endangering health and life on the roads. A damaged public image and loss of confidence are direct results of this. In the fight against counterfeit products, Europe’s largest automotive suppliers have for a long time joined forces to form the initiative “Manufacturers against Product Piracy” (MAPP). Every original part is assigned a unique code using the MAPP encoding standard. However, the label itself—with its reproducible code that is therefore easy to falsify—remains a weak point in the system.
Communication about the security solution within the market is just as important as the security solution itself. Each contact point for the product along the supply chain should be informed about what to look for when carrying out the authenticity verification. If communication is effective, counterfeit products will no longer be able to find any buyers, counterfeits will be reduced and grey-market trade will decrease.
MAHLE Aftermarket has designed information about the security solution to be simple and easy to understand and has set up a separate area for brand protection on the company’s website. There the user is first given basic information about the security solution being used, in this case the combination of a MAPP code and tesa VeoMark. Under the heading “security label”, the structure of the product label is explained in detail. This makes it clear where the individual security features are located. The specific authentication process is then explained on other sub-pages. In addition to carrying out an “online check” by scanning or entering the MAPP code directly on the website, MAHLE customers can also verify the authenticity of a product offline. This is where the tesa VeoMark security label comes in, which — by combining a range of overt features with the use of a MAPP code — allows the authenticity of a product to be verified with the naked eye or using simple tools. This combination of logical and physical security represents an insurmountable hurdle for counterfeiters.