How to import auto parts, steering tie rod end and suspension arms or other car chassis parts from China? In this article, we cover everything startups and other small businesses must know:
- Product categories
- How to find the right supplier on Alibaba or Globalsources
- Buying private label automotive spare products
- Customizing design
- Mandatory safety standards and labels
- MOQ Requirements
- Trade shows for automobile spare parts
Auto parts manufacturers all tend to be specialized in a certain niche.
While they may cover one or more categories, you should only be on the lookout for suppliers that are making your type of auto parts.
A few examples follow below:
- Suspension Kits
- CV Axle Shaft
- Steering Shaft
- Wheel Hubs
- Steering and Suspensions
- Wheel Bearings
- Aftermarket Steering and Suspensions
- OEM Steering and Suspensions
Most manufacturers are only produce either genuine, OEM or aftermarket quality auto parts. Some suppliers may focus on 1 category and trade other categories.
Car Steering and Suspension Products Supplier List
Below follows an overview of some established suppliers in China:
- VV Auto Parts Co., Ltd.
- Jingzhou Shunhui Auto Parts Co., Ltd.
- Henglong group
- Hubei Axle Co., Ltd.
- Zhejiang DLZ Machinary Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
- Yuhan Ruili Machinery Co., Ltd
The factory in Hubei provinces has the lower labor cost comparing with other province with much more competitive price.
Steering & Suspension Parts Customization Options
When importing car steering and suspension arms from China, you can either buy an ODM or OEM product. Keep reading to learn the difference.
Option A: ODM (Private Label)
Most of our customers, in this category, buy ODM products. This is the fast track to launch a product, as it’s based on a factory designed product – not a custom design. But you can still to choose the surface treatment and accessories under your brand name.
These are the products you see when browsing Alibaba.com or Globalsources.com.
There are, however, quality differences between each SKU. Most suppliers provide relatively detailed spec sheets, such as the following:
- materials list of the housing, ball stud, dust cover
- accessories list for example grease fitting, nuts, clips
- extra/additional mounting handware
- corrosion resistant coating method
- core hardness of the ball stud
- packing method
- swivel torque
Source: Jingzhou Shunhui Auto Parts Co., Ltd.
ODM products also allow some customization, such as colors and logos.
Option B: OEM (Custom Design)
Nearly every car steering and suspension manufacturer on Alibaba and Global Sources are OEM manufacturers, at their core.
This means that they can make any product, based on your design and technical requirements.
However, don’t expect them to develop your product ideas for you.
Most manufacturers will not even respond, unless you can show the following:
- Quality requirement
- Bill of Materials
Sourcing on Alibaba.com and Globalsources.com
Alibaba.com and Globalsources.com are the two largest supplier directories in the world. Virtually every export focused steering tie rod end and suspension arms maker in China are listed on these websites.
In fact, there are so many suppliers on these platforms, that it can be overwhelming.
That said, there are ways to identify those that are the most qualified:
a. Product scope: Are they making your type of steering and suspension parts?
b. Product compliance: Do they have RoHS or other test reports? (This indicates that they can make compliant products).
c. Quality Management System: Are they ISO 9001 certified?
d. Factory or Trader: Are they actually making car steering and suspension parts, or are they only subcontracting production to another company?
Based on these factors, you can filter down the list of potential manufacturers to 10 or 12.
That’s a lot more manageable the 42,254 results from 1,080 suppliers and 450 exhibitors for “tie rod ends”, on Globalsources.com.
Product Regulations & Labeling Requirements
Steering tie rod end and suspension arms are regulated by the various standards and labeling requirements. Importing non-compliant products is illegal, and can result in the goods being seized and destroyed.
When it comes to this category of products, different regulations apply based on whether the product is genuine or not.
a. Genuine or OEM Steering and Suspension Parts
Genuine or OEM auto parts should be compliant to the homologation of the automotives, and meet with the regulations of each country for example:
In the United States, the auto parts should comply with FMVSS standards.
In Europe, the automotive parts should comply with UN/ECE and EEC/EC standards
In 6-Arabic gulf countries (Saudi Arabia, U.A.E, Katar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain), the chassis parts should comply with GSO standard.
In Russia, the auto parts should comply with GOST standard, and in Brazil, should comply with INMETRO standards…
b. Aftermarket Steering and Suspension Parts
It also depends on the regulations of each country.
In the EU, there is no mandatory requirement .
In the United States, the country of origin label is mandatory. Hence, make sure the packaging is labeled with ‘Made in China’.
Keep in mind that most Chinese suppliers don’t know how auto spare parts should be labeled in other countries. They might have a vague idea, but it’s your responsibility to make sure that the product and the packaging are correctly labeled.
You cannot, legally speaking, sell any product that is incorrectly labelled.
d. Lab Testing
Lab testing is the only way to be sure that your product is compliant with, for example, GSO, EMVSS, UN/ECE, EEC/EC.
While lab testing is not always mandatory, in the sense that it’s required by law, I strongly recommend that you get your imported auto parts lab tested.
At least when placing the first order.
Further, retailers and Amazon will likely require that you provide test reports.
In addition to labeling and compliance with all mandatory standards, you may also need to issue documentation. A few examples follow below:
- Declaration of Conformity
- Design Drawings
- Bill of Materials
- Risk Assessment
It’s worth nothing that access to design drawings and bill of materials can be quite a challenge when buying ODM products.
Many Chinese suppliers are, ironically, quite strict when it comes to sharing their own intellectual property.
A few price examples follow below:
- Steering tie rod end: $1.5 – $5
- Suspension ball joint : $1.3 – $2.5
- Suspension stablizer link: $1.2 – $2.5
- Suspension arms: $8 – $38
The price estimate is based on a small order volume of 200 pcs.
Most manufacturers require that their buyers order at least 300 to 500 units per item.
Some suppliers may be willing to offer a slightly lower MOQ (50 pcs), but less than that is very rare.
When importing auto parts, you need to make sure that you obtain the right licenses. Importing an unlicensed product can result in a recall.
Keep in mind that this responsibility falls on you, as an Importer. Not your manufacturer in China.
Auto Parts Trade Shows
Below famous auto parts trade shows for your reference:
- Automechanika Shanghai
- Canton Fair Phase 1
- Automotive World China
- CIEX Automobile Equipment Exhibition
- China International Rubber Tire & Auto Accessory Exhibition
Do you want to import Car Steering and Suspension parts from China?
It can be hard to go from a design drawing to finished product. To help you manage the entire process – from creating a specification, to sampling and quality control – we created a Starter Package for car steering and suspension parts:
- a. Manufacturer Lists
- b. Product Specification Templates
- c. Label Samples (USA & EU)
- d. Tutorials, Video Walkthroughs and Task Lists that guide you step-by-step through the entire process
In addition, you can also book quality inspections, lab testing and shipping directly from the platform.