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An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is generally perceived as a company that produces parts and equipment that may be marketed by another manufacturer. However, the term is also used in several other ways, which causes
ambiguity Ambiguity is a type of meaning Meaning most commonly refers to: * Meaning (linguistics), meaning which is communicated through the use of language * Meaning (philosophy), definition, elements, and types of meaning discussed in philosophy * ...
. It sometimes means the maker of a system that includes other companies' subsystems, an end-product producer, an automotive part that is manufactured by the same company that produced the original part used in the automobile's assembly, or a
value-added resellerA value-added reseller (VAR) is a company (law), company that adds features or services to an existing product, then resells it (usually to end-users) as an integrated product or complete "turn-key" solution. This practice occurs commonly in the elec ...
.Ken Olsen: PDP-1 and PDP-8 (page 3)
, economicadventure.com


Automotive parts

When referring to auto parts, OEM refers to the manufacturer of the original equipment, that is, the parts assembled and installed during the construction of a new vehicle. In contrast, aftermarket parts are those made by companies other than the OEM, which might be installed as replacements after the car comes out of the factory. For example, if
Ford Ford commonly refers to: * Ford Motor Company The Ford Motor Company, commonly known as Ford, is an American multinational automaker that has its main headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit (strait) , nicknames ...
used
Autolite Autolite or Auto-Lite is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the Uni ...
spark plugs A spark plug (sometimes, in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early m ...

spark plugs
,
Exide Exide was originally a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising for re ...

Exide
batteries, Bosch
fuel injector Fuel injection is the introduction of fuel A fuel is any material that can be made to react with other substances so that it releases energy as thermal energy Thermal radiation in visible light can be seen on this hot metalwork. Therm ...
s, and Ford's own
engine block An engine block is the structure which contains the cylinders A cylinder (from Greek language, Greek κύλινδρος – ''kulindros'', "roller", "tumbler") has traditionally been a three-dimensional solid, one of the most basic of curvilin ...
s and heads when building a car, then car restorers and
collectors Collector(s) may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Collector (character), a fictional character in the Marvel Comics universe * Collector (2011 film), ''Collector'' (2011 film), a 2011 Indian Malayalam film * Collector (2016 film), ''Collector'' ...

collectors
consider those to be the OEM parts. Other-brand parts would be considered aftermarket, such as
Champion A champion (from the late Latin ''campio'') is the Victory, victor in a challenge, Competition, contest or competition. There can be a territorial pyramid of championships, e.g. local, regional / provincial, state, national, continental and wo ...
spark plugs, DieHard batteries, Kinsler fuel injectors, and BMP engine blocks and heads. Many auto parts manufacturers sell parts through multiple channels, for example to car makers for installation during new-vehicle construction, to car makers for resale as automaker-branded replacement parts, and through general merchandising supply chains. Any given brand of part can be OEM on some vehicle models and aftermarket on others.


Computer software

Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinationa ...

Microsoft
is a popular example of a company that issues its
Windows Microsoft Windows, commonly referred to as Windows, is a group of several proprietary {{Short pages monitor