The potential aftermarket for automotive filters is set to expand, as the North American vehicle population and average number of miles driven per year continues to rise. According to new analysis by Frost & Sullivan, “North American Automotive Filter Aftermarket,” total market revenues were estimated at $1.3 billion U.S. in 2000 and are expected to reach $1.7 billion U.S. by 2007. “The installation of cabin air filters will offer important opportunities for aftermarket sales,” says Frost & Sullivan analyst Matthew Bickford. “These products are becoming the standard on an increasing number of vehicles.” Introduced in Europe during the 1970s, cabin air filters are now being offered by North American car manufacturers. By 2005, 80 percent of new vehicles sold in North America are likely to have these products. “With cabin air filters expected to be replaced every three years, this market should see very strong growth,” says Bickford. To make the most out of this burgeoning product segment, filter manufacturers will have to ensure that consumers replace these filters as often as recommended by OEMs. “Filter manufacturers are faced with increased manufacturing costs and intense price competition,” says Bickford. “As the field of distributors experiences consolidation, remaining distributors will exercise their power by demanding price concessions.” According to Bickford, end users in this market are also very price sensitive. Most consumers are unwilling to pay higher prices for what they perceive to be commodity products.