The Difference Between China Direct and Made in China Parts
In recent years the leaf spring industry like many other industries, has been bombarded with an influx of cheap Chinese knock-off parts. While these parts are often available at discounted prices, they often also include a compromise in quality from those which are industry compliant. The leaf spring industry is regulated by standards and specifications set forth by the Spring Research Institute, or SRI. Traditionally speaking if a spring carried an SRI part number then we could assume that it was a legitimate part and had gone through the appropriate manufacturing and quality control processes that our industry relies upon. Now though, this isn’t necessarily the case as factories in China are manufacturing more and more leaf springs and bypassing the quality standards put in place by SRI distributors by offering their springs at huge discounts directly to resellers. Additionally these springs will sometimes even have an SRI part number on them even though they do not meet the requirements to do so. This deception can make the ability for the layman to discern a high quality part from a knock-off part quite difficult. Does this mean that all springs which are made in China are low-quality knock-offs? No, not at all. This brings us to the difference between China Direct and Made in China. Many SRI compliant parts are in fact made in Chinese factories which are run by SRI manufacturers. Here-in lies the difference between the two; China Direct springs come from factories that are unregulated by our industry and give us no control over the quality or accuracy of the part, where Made in China can mean that even though the spring was made in a Chinese factory, it was still built to the exact same specifications and put through the same quality control as those which are made in North America. So does this mean that all China Direct springs are inferior in quality? No, at the end of the day we can’t say that this is always true. We have however seen startling numbers of examples of inferior quality China Direct springs, so much so that it has certainly created cause for concern when considering this option. In the end it is always important to understand the difference and the risks when buying China Direct, and to make sure you are truly comparing apples to apples when price shopping your next set of leaf springs.