U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow was at the Royal Oak home of Michael Chetcuti and Kyle Evans Friday afternoon. Stabenow, who is in town for the Woodward Dream Cruise, is working with Chetcuti on the issue of counterfeit aftermarket auto parts being produced in China.
"I'm here just touching base with Michael," Stabenow said Friday. "We have been working together. He contacted our office when he found China has been counterfeiting his parts."
Chetcuti, a principal at American Expedition Vehicles (AVE), manufactures rugged and stylish aftermarket parts for Jeeps. Two years ago China was AEV's largest export market.
"China was 8 percent of our market," said Dave Harriton, the founder of AEV. "Today we have zero market in China."
Harriton, who spent a year and a half designing custom parts for the dedicated Jeep-driving community, said it's heartbreaking to dedicate so much time and effort into a design only to have it counterfeited.
Stabenow said she loves what AEV does and is working on ways to "get China to play by the rules."
"It's a pleasure to work to work with Debbie Stabenow to save southeast Michigan jobs," said Chetcuti from his polished Royal Oak home, which was featured in a recent