OEM Q&A

Jan. 1, 2020
First of all for the profit motive, we prefer they not, especially if they are substituting an independent aftermarket part for one that is nearly identical to one that General Motors makes, which has been tested and approved as meeting General Motor

Q&A with Bob Lutz, vice chairman of Global Product Development, GM

What are your thoughts on dealerships purchasing accessories to install on GM vehicles, especially those parts purchased from the aftermarket?

First of all for the profit motive, we prefer they not, especially if they are substituting an independent aftermarket part for one that is nearly identical to one that General Motors makes, which has been tested and approved as meeting General Motors' standards for shape durability. It won't warp in the heat, it won't crack in the cold, it's going to stay attached, and the paint is going to remain on it.

Where we see it a lot is in aftermarket sunroof installations, which is where the aftermarket cuts a hole in the roof and puts in a sunroof, which may or may not be properly engineered. And then as people start getting problems with these things, they don't blame the various accessory manufacturers — they blame General Motors.

So we welcome our dealers buying parts from the aftermarket, but this is where a certain amount of self-policing is required or dealer discretion is required. If they buy from the absolute cheapest source and don't care about quality, one it hurts our business. But more importantly, it's going to disappoint the customer and give our cars a bad reputation. So we try to police that; we're not very successful.