Exclusives India Motorcycle

Honda Motor intensifying crackdown on counterfeit motorcycle parts in India

06, Dec. 2019

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NEW DELHI, NNA - Honda Motor Co., the world's largest motorcycle maker, is intensifying a crackdown on counterfeit motorcycle parts in India as the number of such parts confiscated by the police has quadrupled.

The counterfeit parts mainly include those used for replacement such as air cleaners and brake parts as well as relatively expensive bumpers, according to Shinji Kawasaki, a Japanese patent attorney and also legal and secretarial adviser at Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd., Honda Motor’s motorcycle unit.

Kawasaki said that counterfeit parts are sold at prices of 10 to 20 percent less than the retail price and below the actual in-store price, which is usually no more than 5 percent off the retail tag.

A large number of counterfeit finished motorcycles exported from China are distributed in Vietnam and Cambodia, while few similar China-made products are sold in India because imposed tariffs make them quite expensive, Kawasaki explained.

Honda's Indian unit, which boasts the second largest share in the world's largest motorcycle market after local rival Hero MotoCorp Ltd.,found out that 16 outlets out of the 39 stores in Mumbai of India that the company investigated in 2017 sold counterfeit motorcycle parts.

Some outlets even make counterfeit product brochures
Some outlets even make counterfeit product brochures

In August 2018, it introduced a unique price label on the motorcycle parts to distinguish the regular parts from counterfeit items. The efforts proved vain in about a year and a half as such labels had been copied.

As a result of intensified crackdown efforts made by Honda Motor and the local police, counterfeit motorcycle parts confiscated in the fiscal year to March 2019 quadrupled from a year earlier to 51,797, while the value of the items also increased by fourfold to $162,783 in the same period.

In the current fiscal year ending in March 2020, the items and the number of such parts are estimated to increase by 50 percent from the previous year.

The problem is that there is a big difference between urban areas and local cities in policing procedures, Kawasaki pointed out. Unlike the police in urban areas, the local authorities who are not aware of intellectual properties take “a terribly long time” to take action for the detection, he added.