Filter manufacturers can expect the motor vehicle cabin air filter market size to double by the year 2005, according to research by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).

The most recent issue of Market Analysis, MEMA’s bimonthly research newsletter, notes that the wholesale cabin filter market is expected to exceed $US650 million by 2005, while the retail market will exceed $1 billion.

“US car makers are increasing the number of cars and light trucks equipped with cabin ventilation filtration media,” said MEMA director of research Frank Hampshire. “Currently, the estimated number of new cars sold in the United States with cabin air filtration systems tops 50%. Leading filter manufacturers predict that up to 80% of the cars sold in the United States in 2005 will have cabin air filters installed as standard equipment,” he said.

European car makers have installed cabin air filters on the majority of their products since the late 1990s, Hampshire noted.

“US owners are largely unaware that their cars and light trucks contain cabin air filters and that these filters have regular recommended change intervals,” Hampshire said. Though often not mentioned in car owner manuals, the normal recommended change interval for cabin air filters is approximately every 15,000 miles, he added.

Repair shops – particularly the fast lube industry – are raising awareness of the need to regularly change cabin air filters, Hampshire said. The latest operator survey by National Oil and Lube News shows that more than 20% of responding establishments offered cabin air filter replacement as a service, up from 3% in 1999.