Advice for Porsche Drivers During Parts Shortages

Published July 5, 2024
Advice for Porsche Drivers During Parts Shortages
Advice for Porsche Drivers During Parts Shortages

Automotive parts shortages have become significantly more common over the last couple of years, exacerbated by demand backlogs accumulated during the pandemic and issues with supply chains, international freight, and raw materials partly attributed to the conflict in Ukraine.

A large proportion of components and parts are manufactured in China or the Middle East, hit by extended delays and capacity issues, while materials previously sourced from Ukraine are key in the production of semiconductor chips. Adding the shortages of HGV drivers across Europe into the mix means low availability isn't limited to any part or location.

Design911, a specialist supplier of OEM Porsche parts and performance upgrade components, shares some tips and advice about finding the right part if the item you need is hard to come by.

Factors That Contribute to Shortages in the Supply of Porsche Components

Some of the many issues that impact Porsche parts availability are outlined above. Still, these can relate to a broad range of problems affecting everything from transport and logistics to the manufacture of parts that rely on particular metals.

Disruption sometimes also occurs due to backlogs or drops in manufacturing capacity, where an aftermarket or OEM supplier, or Porsche itself, falls behind – inevitably meaning all subsequent orders go to the back of the queue if they are accepted at all.

The challenge for Porsche drivers, enthusiasts and mechanics is that they may have few alternative options:

  • Highly precise parts and performance upgrades may not be subject to standardised specifications, meaning that purchasing a generic brand or cheaper part may not solve the issue due to incompatibility.
  • Parts available online, especially from marketplaces, may not have verification or certification to give the buyer confidence that they are genuine. There have been huge spikes in counterfeiting, leading many automotive professionals to refuse to install any part without confirmed sourcing.
  • Components may become obsolete, on occasion, with little warning. Porsche owners might also find that classic or vintage Porsches require replacement parts that are no longer produced and that cannot be replaced with a retrofitted modern component.

The severity of a parts shortage varies considerably. In the best-case scenario, a component might be temporarily in high demand, which means joining a waiting list until new parts are available. In the worst, it could mean that a repair project subject to insurance funding is cancelled altogether or that an otherwise high-standard vehicle is rendered undrivable for the foreseeable future.

Types of Porsche Parts in High Demand

Most drivers will be conscious of semiconductor shortages that began in the pandemic but may be less aware that the simultaneous lack of supply of AI chips used in more advanced models continues. Supply chain capacity for semiconductor chips recovered to normal levels by the end of last year, while AI chips are expected to be back to regular availability by the end of 2024.

Other issues, originating with a Porsche supplier producing matrix headlights for the Panamera and Macan, also caused lengthy delays, and the marque could not produce new vehicles without this essential component. Severe shortages also hit deliveries of the Taycan EV. Porsche cited slow deliveries of several key parts, including high-voltage heaters necessary for the contemporary electric model to function.

However, other parts have long been difficult to source, especially those for vintage Porsches that are considered specialist components.

How to Resolve Issues With Porsche Parts Availability

If you're struggling to find a specific part, the first tip is never to purchase anything you are unsure of. As we've mentioned, there are countless counterfeit Porsche parts floating around websites and marketplaces, and we strongly advise you to avoid buying anything from an unknown or unverified supplier.

In some cases, the part you need will be readily available from an OEM supplier approved by Porsche. The marque rarely discontinues parts for models that are still on the road, even if they are considered classics. When a model becomes a classic, such as the 986 Boxster 1997-2004, the components you may need are normally supplied by selected manufacturers, even if they are no longer available directly from Porsche.

Much depends on the part and whether you are looking for a like-for-like replacement to manage a part that has failed or broken or whether you're searching for a performance upgrade component. Parts are broadly categorised as follows:

  • OEM: original equipment manufactured parts – these are approved components made to the same specs, dimensions and performance standards as the original Porsche parts.
  • Aftermarket: Third-party aftermarket components may be generic brands suited to numerous vehicles or higher-quality alternatives for OEM parts that are out of production.
  • Performance aftermarket: Performance aftermarket parts replicate the size and specs of an OEM component but are designed to augment vehicle steering, braking, or handling, for example.

Therefore, if no OEM part is available or the part you want is out of stock or subject to lengthy supply chain delays, you could potentially consider an economical aftermarket alternative, either to replace the original part or as a temporary alternative.

However, it is vital to compare performance standards before choosing a lower-cost part as an alternative since the lifespan, effectiveness, or functionality of the component may not be as expected.

Searching the Design911 Catalogue for Low-Availability Porsche Components

Design911’s knowledgeable teams are always on hand to offer advice if you need guidance sourcing a Porsche part that doesn’t seem to be readily available, is no longer stocked by Porsche or your regular mechanic, or where you require help identifying the exact specifications for the part you need.

We regularly speak with clients searching for unusual, hard-to-find, and rare components. We can also take on project-based sourcing, using our extensive networks to make enquiries on your behalf.

If you are finding it difficult to source a part you need, whether an OEM, aftermarket, or performance upgrade component, you are welcome to browse our expansive catalogue. It displays parts by vehicle, component, or part number, depending on the information you have to hand.

Read more about Design911 - Porsche Parts Specialist, Design911, Explains The Complexity Of Fitting Owner-Supplied Parts In Porsche Repairs 

About Design911

Design911 has established itself as the market leader, offering trade and retail customers a full range of OEM and aftermarket Porsche parts for general servicing and rebuild as well as restoration and tuning for the UK, European and world-wide markets. The website now sports a Porsche parts finder to help you get the exact aftermarket Porsche part your need. The company's impressive 34,000 sq. ft Essex headquarters comprise sales department, warehouse, workshop and body shop, as well as a showroom of classic Porsches for sale. We pride ourselves that we will be the company that can supply 'every part for every Porsche'.

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Release ID: 1061649

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