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The market for cabin air filters is steadily growing (– and there is even more potential that aftermarket distributors and garages are yet to exploit), confirms Europe’s leading automotive filtration specialist, Sogefi Group.

The market for cabin air filters is steadily growing – and there is even more potential that aftermarket distributors and garages are yet to exploit, confirms Europe’s leading automotive filtration specialist, Sogefi Group.  

Almost 95% of new vehicles are fitted with a cabin air filter, whether or not they have air-conditioning.  Sogefi estimates that the total potential European market for cabin air filters – including both the independent aftermarket (IAM) and original equipment supplier (OES) sales – is around 40 million units per year.  Cabin air filters are also the fastest growing of all aftermarket filtration products, with sales growing at around 10% annually. Much of this growth is due to the essential role that cabin air filters play in automotive comfort, health and safety.  Today’s drivers and their passengers not only need to be protected from external pollution, pollen and bacteria, they also expect unpleasant outside smells to be stopped from entering the vehicle, and achieving this requires regular cabin air filter replacement.  

In addition there is excellent potential for service garages to fit a larger number of replacement cabin air filters – even if they are not air conditioning specialists.  Andrea Taschini, general manager of Sogefi Group’s Aftermarket Division explains: “Many garages do not realise that up to 75% of car climate problems are in fact caused by a blocked cabin air filter; nor that there is no need to interfere with the A/C system in order to replace the cabin air filter.  So don’t miss out on the opportunity to check the cabin air filter if ‘air conditioning’ problems are reported.”

All of this means that cabin air filters represent a vital, and increasing, core sales and profit opportunity for both distributors and garages.

Why filter cabin air?
The increase in traffic levels on our roads worldwide has an inevitable impact on air pollution; and these roadside pollutants can reach a car’s driver and passengers through its ventilation or air conditioning ducts.  Extended exposure to high pollution whilst driving is not only unpleasant, it can even have a serious effect on the health of the vehicle’s occupants.  Micro-organisms can accumulate inside the car cabin, potentially multiplying to concentrations of between 5 to 8 times higher than normal. Such a high level of bacteria inside the vehicle can lead to a range of health problems including irritated mucous membranes, watering of the eyes, headaches, nausea, asthma and allergic reactions.  

All of these issues are potentially avoided by fitting a quality cabin air filter.  But regular replacement is equally essential in order to ensure continued efficiency.  Cabin air filter awareness is increasing and on average they are replaced around every three years, but for optimum comfort and efficiency annual replacement (or as often as specified by the vehicle manufacturer) is preferable.  Failure to change the cabin air filter regularly can cause clogging which prevents bacteria and pollutants from being filtered effectively.  A clogged cabin air filter also inhibits the flow of fresh air, causing difficulty with de-icing, fogging up of windows, and passengers feeling tired faster.

Sogefi’s OE quality aftermarket ranges
Leading filter manufacturers Sogefi have 30 years’ experience of developing and manufacturing cutting edge, original equipment (OE) cabin air filters for many of the world’s leading car makers.  Featuring unique designs and advanced filtration media, OE quality Sogefi cabin air filters are also available to aftermarket customers through the company’s leading Purflux, FRAM®, CoopersFiaam and (in Italy) Tecnocar aftermarket filtration brands.

Mr Taschini continues: “Sogefi Filter Division’s replacement cabin air filter ranges are selected to offer the best possible fit for every vehicle application, whatever the car’s age, size and original equipment.  With around 200 continually updated part references and coverage of 95% of the European car parc, our cabin air filters deliver original equipment quality and convenient stock management to every distirbutor.  We also have plans to expand our ranges further in the coming years, in order to meet booming cabin air filter demand,” he said.

Sogefi offers both of the two key cabin air filter technologies, in order to meet the needs of every driver:

  • Pollen filters – Sogefi’s pollen cabin air filters stop all particles smaller than 1 micron, such as bacteria, pollen, and exhaust gases. This ‘pollen stop’ effect captures even the smallest allergenic particles, including those that may not be stopped by nasal hairs or the mucus in the upper respiratory tract, and that could enter the lungs provoking asthma and allergies
  • Activated carbon filters – Sogefi’s activated carbon cabin air filters stop not only all particles, but also odours, from entering the vehicle cabin.  The filter medium used consists of three layers: an active carbon layer placed between two layers of non-woven fibres.  This special structure reduces the concentration of noxious and odorous gases that can provoke headaches and coughing

The very high quality of filtration paper used in Sogefi’s cabin air and other filters is specially embossed in order to ensure optimum spacing of the pleats, and maximisation of the usable surface area.  This ensures the maximum level of dust retention in the filter, and optimum air flow to the engine. Sogefi cabin air filters are also manufactured in highly controlled conditions, ensuring dimensional stability, a perfect fit into the filter housings, and no by-pass of unfiltered air around the filter. This ‘pollen stop’ effect screens out even the smallest allergenic particles – which can often lead to asthma or allergies – from entering the lungs.

Find out more
Sogefi provides a complete range of online and offline information tools to its cabin air filter customers, including weekly product management bulletins and a complete range of catalogues, including  paper, CR-ROM, online and Tec Doc options.