By Sandy Blalock • ARA Executive Director
While in Argentina on the ARA Study Tour 2023, we had the pleasure to visit and spend time with ARA Member Maximiliano (Max) Marques, owner of NH Autopiezas in Rio Cuarto, Argentina. Max has been in the automotive parts business since 2001, and they pride themselves on offering quality products, competitive prices, and excellent customer service. They offer a variety of products, including suspension and steering components, brake systems, engine parts, electrical parts, and more.
NH Autopiezas has a team of experienced professionals who can help customers choose the right parts for their vehicles and provide technical support if needed. They sell a lot of their products online and have a photo booth and adapted technology to assure quality photos of all the parts they list.
Max and his team are very tech oriented and have created their own management system to sell parts, since they have no interchange to help with that, and they have done their research in order to assure their customers get the correct parts for their needs.
In Argentina, the sale of used auto parts is regulated by the National Directorate of Automotive Property (Dirección Nacional de Propiedad del Automotor, or DNRPA). According to DNRPA regulations, auto recyclers are allowed to sell used auto parts that are in good condition and can be safely reused in other vehicles. However, there are certain restrictions on the sale of used auto parts, which are designed to ensure public safety and prevent the sale of stolen or counterfeit parts. In North America, we are spoiled by the fact that, for the most part, we have fought to protect auto recyclers’ rights to sell all auto parts.
Some of the used auto parts that an auto recycler can legally sell in Argentina include those that we in the U.S. recognize as some of our primary parts sales.
- Engines and transmissions: These are often the most sought-after used auto parts, as they can be expensive to replace with new parts, even more so in Argentina where the average household income is $400 USD.
- Suspension and steering components: These parts include shocks, struts, ball joints, tie rod ends, and other components that help to maintain the vehicle's stability and handling.
- Body parts: Recyclers can sell used body parts such as doors, hoods, fenders, bumpers, and other exterior components that are still in good condition.
- Electrical components: This includes parts such as alternators, starters, batteries, and other electrical components that help to power the vehicle.
However, there are certain used auto parts that cannot be sold by law, such as airbags, seat belts, and certain safety-related components. This is to prevent the sale of potentially defective or counterfeit parts that could compromise the safety of the vehicle occupants.
“It is important for auto recyclers to comply with all relevant laws and regulations when selling used auto parts, and to ensure that the parts they sell are safe, reliable, and in good condition,” Max said. “However, we feel that there are auto parts badly needed by consumers that we are unable to resell due to the existing regulations.” We shared with Max our current efforts to expand our carbon study with the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts that we feel might benefit him in talking with regulators about the missed opportunity to further expand the carbon footprint and environmental sustainability of the professional automotive recycling industry.
All of us were impressed with Max’s facility and all the work he and his team put into it to make it a successful operation. We look forward to seeing him at the ARA Convention in October. It has always been fun and informative when we travel internationally to have the time and opportunity to spend time with our members in countries outside North America, to learn about the challenges they face. This allows us to work on projects to benefit our members, while keeping in mind that our industry is not defined by borders and our organization represents auto recyclers around the globe.
In closing, I would like to share Max’s sentiment about our visit: “I really appreciate how ARA works and I will be always grateful for your visit and help. I can’t find the right words to express my gratitude. We spent just three days together, but I was able to meet great people and learn so much that will help me and my team in our business.”
Reach Sandy Blalock at firstname.lastname@example.org. Share your thoughts pertaining to the advancement of professional automotive recycling. Your letter could be published in an upcoming issue.