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The automotive air filter market is anticipated to register a CAGR of 6.37% during the forecast period, 2020-2025.
- The intake and cabin air filters are vital components of a vehicle. The intake air filter helps in the efficient working of the automobile’s engine. The poor performance of the air filter may result in inefficient functioning and lead to more emissions. The cabin air filter plays an equally important role in the automobile. It prevents harmful pollutants from entering the passenger cabin, and its performance has a direct relation to passenger satisfaction and experience.
- Air composition and quality widely vary across the world and depend on environmental conditions soil, dust, road conditions, traffic, and construction. The dust properties depend on the mineralogical composition and the percentage of quartz and corundum in the dust. These elements are harsh and are capable of damaging engine parts. Quartz is prevalent across the world and is considerably harder than most metals in the manufacturing of automotive engines. Therefore, the air filter plays a crucial role in filtering quartz particles from the intake air. The air filter needs to adequately protect the motor against the direct intake of abrasive particles and road dust.
- The growing automotive market, especially car sales, is majorly driving the air filter market. Consumers have been becoming more aware of the importance of air filters for purified air and staying isolated in their passenger cabin from the atmosphere dirt. Thus, this leads to the growth of the market studied.
Key Market Trends
Decline in Vehicle Sales Hampering the Air Filter Market Growth
According to Eurostat, over 75% of inland cargo transports within the European Union, i.e., about 1,750 billion metric ton-kilometer (tkm), travel by road. In some European countries, this percentage goes as high as 90%, or more.
As a result, the demand for commercial vehicles has been continually increasing in the region, owing to the growing logistics industry and increasing usage of light commercial vehicles, such as vans (for ride-hailing services).
The underlying factor driving the growth of the light commercial vehicle market in Europe is the increased preference for pickup trucks and small vans, over heavy-duty trucks and railways, for logistics.
Thus, the demand for lightweight vehicle components to integrate into light commercial vehicles is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period. This, in turn, is expected to augment the demand for air filters.
Additionally, with e-commerce rapidly growing in Europe, it represents a central pillar for the digital single market and reflects the advancements in the e-tailing sector, which is witnessing the expansion of well-organized retail spaces.
As the e-commerce industry continues to grow across Europe, the demand for more advanced distribution network is increasing.
As the market continues to expand, the demand for pick-up vans, small trucks, and other LCVs is also likely to increase. Freight transportation (between 50 km and 1,999 km) accounted for 89.1% of the total freight transportation in 2017.
Additionally, with the enactment of stringent emission and fuel economy norms for the commercial vehicles, the automobile manufacturers are focusing on manufacturing hybrid trucks, which, in turn, is expected to boost the demand for air filters.
Apart from Europe, the Asia-Pacific region is also experiencing boom in sales of commercial vehicles, owing to the growing demand from the e-commerce (resulting in growth in logistics industry), construction, and mining industries.
The commercial vehicle sales increased by 2.47% to 27.01 million units in 2019 as compared to 26.36 million units in 2018. During the first half of 2020, due to the outbreak of coronavirus across the world, commercial vehicle sales have declined. This is majorly due to the lockdown restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the virus. However, few countries have eased the restrictions on lockdowns for e-commerce and logistics services. This is expected to boost the demand for commercial vehicles during the second half of 2020, which, in turn, is boosting the demand for air filters.
Asia-Pacific is Expected to Lead the Air Filter Market
In 2019, the global car sales fell, owing mainly to a sharp contraction in China’s automobile purchases in the second half of the year amid a government-led crackdown on non-bank lending. Sales in Western Europe also dropped sharply in the final months of 2018, owing to a shortage of qualifying vehicles under new emission test procedures introduced in the European Union in September, but still managed a slight increase for the year.
In 2018, Chinese car sales fell for the first time in two decades, owing to a pronounced slowdown in economic activity, particularly in the latter half of the year. Total sales for the year was 3% points below 2017’s record high and recorded a sharp Y-o-Y decline of 14% in December. Several factors contributed to weak sales performance in 2018. These include an increase in the tax rate applied to small vehicles, a government crackdown on excessive lending, and trade frictions with the United States.
New vehicle emission test rules, which entered into force in September 2018 in the EU, led to a significant swing in the sales in the second half of 2018. However, automobile purchases in Western Europe, excluding the United Kingdom, managed to eke out a 0.3% increase in 2018. Based on the aforementioned factors, vehicle sales have been declining, in turn, hampering the air filter market growth.
The automotive air filter market is dominated by Freudenberg & Co. KG, Mann + Hummel GmbH, Sogefi SpA, and Donaldson Company Inc. The companies have been expanding their presence by opening new plants and launching advanced versions of air filters. For instance:
- Mann + Hummel GmbH announced that its new MANN-FILTER C 24 005 air filter’s filtering medium is made from recycled synthetic fibers. This air filter achieves maximum filtration, owing to the multi-layer MICROGRADE A-S medium, and it claims to remove at least 99.5% of dirt particles (0.001 - 0.352 millimeter).
- Donaldson Company Inc. opened its air filter manufacturing plant in Jesus Maria, Mexico. The company invested USD 26 million in the plant, and the plant has an output capacity of 20 million filters per year.
Additionally, Toyota’s cabin air filters are supplied by Toyota Boshoku, especially in the Japanese market.
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