AMS pirates automotive performance parts to sell cheap junk and drive innovators out of business

     

Products/developers reportedly pirated by AMS so far:

  • MSP manifolds
  • SPL bronze shifter bushings
  • BDE exhaust cam plugs
  • BDE motor mounts
  • Specialty Z expansion downpipes
  • Specialty Z coned turbo outlet pipes
  • PowerTrix suspension components
  • Border fuel rail
  • Ash Spec Massive™ intercoolers and ducts
  • Nismo rear upper arms
  • Midori front upper arms
  • 300° brake master cylinder brace
  • 300° EGR block off kit
  • Ash Spec 2.5" intake piping
  • Stillen HICAS removal
     

Resources:

Stolen manifolds - [ PDF version (photos embedded) ]

Fake GT-R brakes

Stolen motor mounts

Sheared AMS GT-R pulley - [photo of soft metal part]

Photos of various copied parts

Mis-aligned AMS pulleys

Stolen fuel rails

Chinese manufacturer double crosses AMS - TT.NET

Chinese manufacturer double crosses AMS - 300ZXClub

MotoIQ's take on the fake stuff

An oldie but a goody

AMS pirated manifolds

One of the longest threads at 300zxclub.com

Overview/Discussion among 300ZX owners

Companies, organizations, and consumers who support Absolute Motor Specialties, Inc.* are supporting the demise of automotive aftermarket research and development.


* Not to be confused with AMS Performance in Chicago, whose name and stellar reputation has made them a victim of brand piracy.

Who gets hurt by piracy?

Some may say that having products copied by cut-rate off-shore manufacturers and sold at reduced cost to consumers is GOOD for business. "Competition lowers the price for everyone!"

In specialty niche markets, however -- such as the market for performance auto parts designed for cars that are old and dwindling in number -- this copying cannibalizes the market. There is no incentive for developers to come up with new ideas when those new ideas will be "stolen."

International patent protection may offer some recourse. But when a customer base is small -- as when it involves owners of cars that are old and dwindling in number -- the patent process may be cost prohibitive to the small businesses whose passion drives product innovation. When added to the costs of research, development, testing, marketing and distribution, the additional costs (in both time and money) of having new products patented internationally may negate their return on investment.

Passion goes only so far. When an inventor's hard work is stolen by pirates, he'll give up hope of recovering his investment, and move on. That stifles innovation by all of the inventors who recognize that market niche as having been ruined by piracy. They'll stay clear of those waters, so to speak. And the paucity of innovation hurts all of the potential customers in that market. Improvements stop. New product ideas are no longer brought to fruition, or shared with fellow enthusiasts.

Why should you care?

Although AMS is metastasizing, now selling products for several models of cars, their primary customer base is owners of Nissan Z cars. The Z car community is reknown worldwide as a close-knit, almost family-like group of enthusiasts. They get together to socialize, compare modifications they've made to their cars, and enjoy the performance and good looks that Z cars have to offer.

As an individual car owner, you might not consider yourself a member of this "family." What you do to your personal car is your business, after all, and you can save money by buying pirated parts. That may be your bottom line. If the parts you've purchased are made of inferior metals, if they are not properly calibrated, or subjected to the quality controls normally associated with performance parts, you'll take that risk in trade for saving money. If so, then the decline of the aura once associated with Z car ownership is probably of no concern to you. Your interests are short term, and personal.

However, this stance is not available to companies and organizations purporting to support the Z car community. The long-term damage inflicted by pirates such as Absolute Motor Specialties on the legendary reputation of the Z car, and on the community built up around that legend, is irreparable. By stiffling innovation and product sharing among enthusiasts, pirates relegate the Z car to commodity status. "Here today, gone tomorrow, where's the next market niche we can plunder?"


What can you do to help?

  • Learn more about the costs associated with pirated, counterfeit auto parts.

  • Learn more about AMS' practices. Read the forums for first-hand accounts by innovators whose products have been pirated. Visit the links provided within the list of Resources to the left.

  • Help spread the word. If you would like to show your solidarity with the movement against piracy, feel free to use the image available here to have a 3" button printed, which you can wear wherever Z car enthusiasts gather.*

  • Sign the petition to ban AMS from sponsoring ZCCA-related events.

  • Participate in the Anti-AMS Facebook group.

  • Most importantly, when you're ready to purchase items for your car, demonstrate by your choice of vendors and products whether you support piracy, or oppose it.



* Notice: This site does not endorse any printing company over another. The link to Imprint.com is just an example of one of many companies able to print buttons.


Says the owner/victim:
"Won this one at Branson Z fest two years ago.
Most expensive $5 raffle ever.
$240 for towing and will get the bill this afternoon for removing
the bolt, new front seal and labor to install original factory pulley."



Installer says:
"Look at the quality difference between oem and ams. The locating peg that keeps you from shifting into reverse from 5th is plastic. Bushing was held in with o-rings, plastic sleeve on the shaft was split, fitment to the oem shifter boot was bad, but I worked with it and got it looking decent. On the test drive a significant amount of drivetrain noise was transferred to the cabin, and the shifts were not as smooth as before."

UPDATE 6 months later:
"Customer came in today complaining his shift knob wont stay tight. Once tightened the gear pattern is off center. The shifter is twisted, how does that happen?"



Poster says   "I bought the entire suspension kit a while back too before I started learning about the copies and potential danger of their products. I still haven't installed them, but when I checked them out, right out of the box; two of the parts already had corrosion on them.. I am asking Z1 to take them back for a store credit for other items (Non AMS of course), since I do not feel comfortable or safe having these on my car."