July 5, 2016—MAHLE Aftermarket Inc. announced Thursday that it will begin marketing its gasket line as MAHLE Original starting in the second half of 2016, completing a full brand transition by March of 2017.
The change signals an end to MAHLE’s partnership with Victor Reinz, but as MAHLE executives told Ratchet+Wrench last month, nothing will change for the technicians that utilize MAHLE products. The gaskets and gasket kits will remain exactly the same.
“The only thing that will be changing is the outside package—our gaskets will now be in a MAHLE Original branded box,” Jon Douglas, general manager of MAHLE Aftermarket North America, said. “What won’t change is the OE form, fit and function the aftermarket has come to expect from MAHLE Aftermarket.”
Douglas says the move helps MAHLE better prepare for a “global footprint,” and better serve technicians and service businesses moving forward.
The MAHLE Original gasket line will cover most domestic, Asian and European vehicles with approximately 1,300 gasket part numbers exclusive to the aftermarket. MAHLE’s goal is to supply everything a technician will need for a gasket job.
Ted Hughes, MAHLE Aftermarket’s director of North America marketing, said the shift to MAHLE Original is not a “launch” of a new brand, as that implies “that its from ground zero up.” Manufacturing, support and everything between will remain the same.
“Everything in terms of the content, the coverage, the part numbers, the UPC codes—all of that infrastructure stays with us,” Hughes said. “The only thing that the license agreement had that we’re losing is the Victor Reinz brand. That’s it. So our customers can have the confidence that all of the things that have gone into the gasket supplied by MAHLE Aftermarket are still there.”
MAHLE will begin its initial transition with several promotions on the shop and technician level. Technicians will begin to find informational flyers within each gasket package to explain the switch, and there will be additional initiatives in the following months.
In addition, the MAHLE Original gasket lines will be shipped in sleeker packages than competitors, resulting in shops being able to stock 20 percent more parts.