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July 7, 2009
Automotive vs Electronic Fuses

Steve, a product manager from one of OptiFuse’s good electronic distributors (Steve wishes to remain anonymous), recently sent me an e-mail with a great observation:  "Most of the products that the OptiFuse Blog has highlighted have been directed toward automotive applications.  We are a distributor primarily serving the electronics industry so many of your automotive products are little or no interest to us."

Jeremy has echoed the thoughts of many distributors, both from the traditional electronics and automotive markets, who taken a moment to write back to me regarding the Blog.

Basically, my response is two-fold:

  • These days, many of the traditional electronic OEMs and CMs are looking to reduce costs and lead-times.  These same electronic OEMs and CMs have turned to using automotive fuses instead of typical electronic fuses, when possible, due to the lower costs and wide availability (especially for field service parts as a replacement fuse might be found at a local gas station or convenience store).  Therefore it could be a great value (service) to your electronic customers to perhaps recommend an automotive fuse for their newest application. 

Anyone can provide a customer with price and delivery, but the real value is when a distributor can show the customer where they can save money AND add to the performance (value=benefit/cost).

  • The automotive and automotive accessory market has been exploding over the past many decades as it relates to electronic components.  A good friend of mine who happens to be a Corvette enthusiast tells me that the 2009 Corvettes have over 20 microprocessors on board up from only 8 in 1997.  Additionally the Corvette’s wiring harness and other electronics now weigh more more than the car’s powerful engine.  

Although the automotive OEMs (Ford, Toyota etc) are very difficult to work with as a distributor, there are many smaller OEM companies that manufacture accessory parts or factory replacement parts for the automotive industry where electronic distributors flourish.

Lastly, the automotive industry is going through a renaissance where there are MANY smaller boutique car companies (most employing new technologies such as electric motor or hybrid technologies) currently producing a small amount of vehicles that need a great amount of electronic components traditionally bought through distribution channels.

So in summary...the reason why an electronic distributor should be interested in automotive fuses is:

  1. Traditional electronic OEMs are now using automotive fuses in their new designs
  2. The automotive industry is now using significantly more electronics in their cars and accessories which require fuse and/or circuit breaker protection.

Thank you so much for your continued support of OptiFuse as we explore new markets together.

Jim Kalb


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