Factors pushing growth include an increase in original equipment (OE) installation, growing consumer awareness and escalating health concerns. Growth in the particulate CAF segment will be slower than that of combination filters. Awareness of combination filters advantages will result in consumers switching to these filters. Combination filters cost, on average, 25 to 40 percent more than particulate filters, boosting total aftermarket revenues.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (automotive.frost.com), Strategic Analysis of the United States Cabin Air Filter Aftermarket, finds that the market earned revenues of $41.4 million in 2010 and estimates this to reach $106.2 million in 2017. Aftermarket includes only the independent aftermarket. It does not include OE service channel.
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"Overall, increased consumer spending on routine maintenance products over the short to medium term is expected because people are keeping their vehicles longer in the current economy, " says Frost & Sullivan industry manager Avijit Ghosh. "In the United States, the cabin air filter installation rate in vehicles in operation was 45 percent in 2010 and is poised to reach 56 percent in 2017; this will significantly drive aftermarket unit shipments of CAFs."
Although the prospects for the market look upbeat, some challenges restrain market progression. The biggest challenge facing the market is improving consumer awareness on the benefits of CAFs. CAF remains a relatively new category for end users. Most consumers are wary of the quality of the cabin air but are unaware of the fact that a filter removes dirt from the vehicle's interior.
Installers are also not properly versed in current vehicle applications that have a cabin air filter and the time required to replace such filters. Therefore, they fail to communicate effectively to the vehicle owner that their CAF exists and needs replacement. Apart from this, inexpensive cabin air filters coming in from offshore countries pose a challenge to CAFs in the premium category and hinder revenue growth.
Participants in this domain must explore outsourcing opportunities from Asian countries to compete successfully in the high-growth segments. Manufacturers must offer unique products at competitive prices to ensure profitable business outcomes.
"Automakers must place CAFs at convenient locations that would facilitate the installation process and increase do-it-yourself (DIY) activities, " says Ghosh. "Easier access is expected to drive DIY activities and sales through the retail channel."
It remains imperative for participants to prioritize consumer awareness initiatives, as improvements in consumer awareness over time will eventually boost aftermarket CAF unit shipments. Product differentiation must be foremost on the agenda of participants to steal a march over competition. Wix's BioShield®75 or FRAM's Fresh Breeze® with Arm & Hammer® Baking Soda have proved that product differentiation ensures a route to business growth.
Strategic Analysis of the United States Cabin Air Filter Aftermarket is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Strategic Analysis of the North American Steering Gears Aftermarket, Strategic Analysis of the North American Linkage and Steering Parts Aftermarket, Strategic Analysis of the North American Wiper Blade Aftermarket and North American TPMS Aftermarket. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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Strategic Analysis of the United States Cabin Air Filter Aftermarket / N898