Promoting longer lifetimes and efficient re-use of products has a significant potential to save resources and reduce adverse environmental impacts, especially for products that have large resource footprints related to extraction and production processes, as for instance automobiles. Remanufacturing is a product life extension strategy promoting the effective and efficient re-use of products by replacing worn-out components with used or end-of-life parts restored to “like-new” condition and functionality. For developing remanufacturing processes, it is important to take into account the consumers’ perception of remanufactured products, together with factors such as technology and operations management. Previous research has concluded that the perception of a product or service constitutes a critical factor in consumers’ decision-making. However, there is a lack of studies exploring consumers’ perceptions of remanufactured parts, especially in Europe. This contribution analyses the results of an on-line survey (n = 203) of Swedish consumers, concerning their familiarity with remanufactured auto parts and their perceptions on associated benefits and risks. The survey revealed that Swedish car owners have limited knowledge about remanufactured parts. On the other hand, they do recognise the benefits of using such parts, without showing a significant risk aversion in their purchase decision. The survey also explored consumers’ opinion on potential measures to bridge the identified gap in knowledge, revealing that although they would trust a quality certification scheme for remanufactured auto parts—preferably set up by an industry association—that would not be the most critical factor in their purchase decision. Concluding, the article points out the potential of policy interventions to raise consumers’ perception of remanufactured parts to create a market pull for expanding their uptake, and thus increasing the overall resource efficiency in the automotive sector.
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