Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Authentic Alliance?

Too idealistic?

While browsing Facebook, I came across a picture snapped at a recent car meet/show. The subject of the picture was a car that was the recipient of an award at said show. (I am not going to re-post the picture of this car.) The car features some sick wheels by a well-known wheel company. Unfortunately, this car also features a fake body kit from a company that has undermined quite a few JDM aero companies in Japan by stealing their designs and replicating them. It is often difficult to differentiate the real from the fake when it comes to body components. However, the aero of this car is no secret, as the car sports quite a large banner advertising the replica company across the entire length of the windshield.

This car was featured on the wheel company’s Facebook page, where it has accumulated multiple shares and hundreds of LIKEs.

Can you picture a Varis or Mine's car rolling on Rotas? How about the beautiful Amuse Z34 on a set of Varrstoens? Neither can I…

I acknowledge that not everyone has the aversion to replicas and knock-offs that I have, but is there no fraternity, or fellowship, within the aftermarket industry? Is there no common support of authenticity and innovation among the pioneering companies?

If you read JDMphasis, you know that I frown upon corner-cutting. I advocate in support of the true innovators of the industry and against the parasitic bottom-feeding replica companies. Replicas and knock-offs harm the real talent of the aftermarket, the companies that bring us great, unique, original designs. As I have said before, I believe the best way to battle this marauding of our industry is with education and awareness. I think the easiest and most effective way to tactfully and diplomatically address the ascending replica/knock-off trend is to simply avoid showcasing and praising the cars featuring these parts. This task becomes infinitely more difficult when legitimate companies - companies one would assume to be advocates of originality, ingenuity, and innovation - are proudly showcasing these corner-cutting projects. UGH…

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation


  1. I didn't catch this photo you referred to on my FB feed, but I've seen similar incidents over the last few years. Unfortunately, it seems as the people that respect and genuinely care about authenticity are becoming fewer and fewer in the industry.

    1. It's both discouraging and frustrating. Nothing like rewarding corner-cutting mediocrity. I would expect more from these legitimate companies. I am not saying this particular car does not look good. However, it is the idea that by showcasing this car with a banner across its windshield advertising a replica company they are stating, "It's okay to cut corners with your builds."

      On top of that, I peeked at a well-known import publication's FB page, as well, where they are looking for votes on the October Reader's Ride of the Month. I believe every single one of the six cars in the running have replica/knock-off parts on them. Varrstoen, Rota, VIS, Seibon, etc... Why? I just don't understand it.

      To each his own when it comes to building a car. If you want to support a company that steals designs, who am I to stop you? Go ahead - rock replicas. But I think when we feature and showcase these cars as if they have actually accomplished something notable, commendable, or worthy of recognition, we are harming the true innovators just as much as the guy who is actually putting money in the pocket of the replica companies.