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Guyancourt, 20 March 2014 - Over recent years the cabin air filters sector has emerged as the only part of the European filtration replacement market to consistently achieve annual growth rates well in excess of 10%. This trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, offering considerable profit potential to the aftermarket.

For every 100 new cars sold in Europe today, 97 come with cabin air filters as standard – whether or not they are equipped with air conditioning. This development has had a significant knock-on effect on the aftermarket business. Cars equipped with cabin air filters now account for 85% of the total European car parc – a proportion set to increase even further in coming years.

GiPA, the leading provider of automotive aftermarket sales data, for one of Europe's largest markets, France, gives a good sense of what is happening. A total of 3.3 million cabin air filters were sold there in 2011. This increased by a third to 4.4 million units last year, and the forecast is for continued growth in coming years.

Because cabin air filters are now standard equipment on virtually every new car, independent aftermarket sales will continue to grow more rapidly than OE sales. Again using France as an example, in 2011 the IAM accounted for approximately 42% of total cabin air filter sales. That proportion has risen consistently since then and the independent aftermarket is expected to reach more than 50% of total sales by 2016.

Andrea Taschini, General Manager of Sogefi's Aftermarket Business Unit, says: “The public's growing awareness of the dangers of environmental pollution and the health benefits of frequent filter changes underpin growth in demand for replacement cabin air filters.”

Sogefi Group is the ideal partner for those who want to seize the growth opportunities offered by cabin air filters. Sogefi is a leading exponent of designing and manufacturing high performance cabin air filters for both the original equipment and aftermarket sectors. Sogefi Aftermarket has a comprehensive stock list of almost 300 cabin air filter part numbers, with 50 p/n introduced in 2013 alone. Between them, these provide an impressive 95% coverage of the European car parc.

Through its well respected Fram®, CoopersFiaam and Purflux brands, the company offers the aftermarket two types of filter which correspond to Original Equipment specifications. Pollen air filters screen out all particles larger than 40 microns, including bacteria, pollen and exhaust gases. Activated carbon filters use an active carbon layer between two layers of non-woven fibres to screen out odours as well as particles. The cabin air filter replacement is an invariably quick and easy job for the service mechanic and should be part of annual servicing.

In line with its commitment to market leadership through innovation, Sogefi has recently developed an innovative packaging for cabin air filters. Transparent material and recyclable labels make product identification easier, the packs are stronger, dustproof and waterproof and take up less shelf space in the warehouse. The material is also ‘greener’, being paper free and 100% recyclable. The new packaging will arrive in distributor outlets at the beginning of the second quarter of 2014.