Market forecast for DPF cleaning services in 2024

1. The future of diesel vehicles

Despite the accelerating trend towards electrification in the automotive industry, diesel vehicles are expected to maintain their foothold in the european market for the next 10-15 years. This sustained presence is largely due to the current prevalence of diesel vehicles in various sectors, including commercial transportation and private use, where they are prized for their fuel efficiency and long-range capabilities. As a result, there will be an ongoing demand for maintenance services, particularly for cleaning Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF), which are crucial for reducing emissions and maintaining engine health.

The durability and reliability of diesel engines, combined with gradual consumer transition to electric vehicles, ensure that diesel technology will not become obsolete in the near future. Furthermore, improvements in diesel technology have led to cleaner and more efficient engines. However, to meet stringent environmental standards, these vehicles depend on functional DPF systems that require regular maintenance. The demand for Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) cleaning services highlights the crucial role of specialized maintenance in extending the life and enhancing the performance of diesel vehicles amidst the transition towards more sustainable transportation options.

As world moves towards a greener future, the role of diesel vehicles is evolving but not ending. The transition to a fully electric fleet will take time, reflecting the need for infrastructure development, affordability, and the adaptation of consumer habits. Until then, diesel vehicles will continue to serve a significant segment of the european market, ensuring a steady demand for DPF cleaning services. This scenario highlights the complex journey towards electrification, with diesel technology continuing to play a key transitional role in balancing current needs with future environmental goals

2. Growing environmental threats - key factor

The increase in environmental awareness and stricter emissions regulations are leading to enhanced scrutiny over diesel vehicles. Paradoxically, these tightened regulations are fostering the growth of the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) cleaning services market. This dynamic is primarily due to the critical role DPFs play in reducing the particulate emissions from diesel engines, aligning with global efforts to mitigate environmental pollution and protect air quality.

As emissions standards become more stringent, the need for regular and effective maintenance of DPFs intensifies. Diesel vehicle owners are increasingly required to ensure their vehicles comply with environmental regulations, driving demand for specialized DPF cleaning services. These services not only help in maintaining compliance but also improve vehicle performance and fuel efficiency, which are affected by clogged or poorly functioning DPFs.

Furthermore, the heightened ecological consciousness among consumers and businesses is influencing purchasing decisions and maintenance practices. There is a growing preference for services that contribute to environmental sustainability, including DPF cleaning, which directly impacts the reduction of harmful emissions. This shift in consumer behavior underscores the broader societal commitment to environmental stewardship and is a key factor in the expanding market for DPF cleaning services. As a result, both regulatory pressures and increased ecological awareness are synergistically contributing to the advancement of the DPF cleaning industry, highlighting the complex relationship between environmental policy and market dynamics.

3. Market Data Analysis

Data from Otomatic's DPF Service Partner Zone indicate a significant increase in the demand for Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) cleaning services. A 50% year-over-year growth in the number of cleaned DPFs—from 56,000 in 2022 to 84,000 in 2023—demonstrates a substantial uptick in service utilization. This growth is further corroborated by a notable rise in website visits for the company, increasing from 580,000 in 2022 to 720,000 in 2023. The increased website traffic confirms a growing interest in DPF cleaning services among consumers.

This surge in both service usage and online engagement highlights a broader trend within the automotive maintenance market, reflecting heightened awareness and concern over vehicle emissions and environmental impact. The data not only signifies the expanding market for DPF cleaning services but also suggests that vehicle owners are becoming more proactive about maintaining emission control systems to comply with environmental regulations and to ensure optimal vehicle performance.

The global market for Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) is growing fast because of tough pollution rules and lots of diesel cars.
In 2022, the DPF filter market was worth $17.8 billion, and it's expected to go up to $33.73 billion by 2028.
This means more people will need DPF cleaning services, especially in Europe and the US market.
There's a big opportunity for new DPF cleaning service workshops to meet this growing demand.

4. Return on Investment

The market dynamics associated with diesel particulate filter (DPF) cleaning services make a compelling case for investment in specialised equipment, especially given the average market price for DPF cleaning services, which is between €200 and €250. This pricing structure enables a rapid return on investment (ROI) on the purchase of specialised DPF cleaning machines, typically within 12-18 months, assuming regular service provision.

Otomatic's range of DPF cleaning machines, offered in three price segments: Baseline, Platinum and Platinum (AI), ranging in price from EUR 16,500 to EUR 46,000 depending on the model and its features. This price differentiation takes into account the different investment and service options, providing the right option for different sizes and business objectives. When calculating the return on investment, even for the most expensive model, it is clear that performing almost 200 DPF cleaning services can cover the cost of the machine. This calculation is based on the high demand for DPF cleaning services, driven by increasing environmental regulations and the need to maintain the performance and compliance of diesel vehicles.

Low operating costs of around €10 per filter further enhance the profitability of this investment. Such low operating costs, combined with a high service charge, significantly increase the profit margins, making the investment in DPF cleaning technology not only economically justifiable. This scenario outlines a strong business case for automotive service providers, signalling that investing in DPF cleaning technology, especially from a reputable manufacturer such as Otomatic, is a sound financial decision in the current automotive remanufacturing market.

5. Market share of workshops and fleets

The market share for Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) cleaning services is primarily dominated by local automotive workshops and transportation vehicle fleets, together accounting for approximately 70% of the customer base. Increasingly, owners of automotive workshops are opting to purchase DPF cleaning machines for their own use and to expand their service offerings. This investment not only enhances the workshop's capability to provide comprehensive maintenance services but also addresses the growing demand for DPF cleaning among diesel vehicle owners.

Despite the growing trend of automotive workshops investing in Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) cleaning machines, it remains a fact that a significantly larger proportion of garages do not possess such equipment on-site. This situation has given rise to a collaborative approach among garages, where those without DPF cleaning capabilities frequently utilize cooperative services offered by other workshops that have invested in these specialized machines.

This cooperative model benefits the entire automotive service industry by broadening the availability of DPF cleaning services to a wider range of vehicle owners and fleet operators. It also exemplifies a practical solution to the challenge of high equipment costs and the specialized nature of DPF cleaning technology. By sharing resources in this manner, smaller or less specialized garages can offer a comprehensive suite of services, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty without the need for significant upfront investment in specialized equipment.

Interestingly, the proliferation of service providers in the DPF cleaning sector paradoxically fuels greater interest in the service due to heightened overall market awareness of its availability. As more workshops begin offering DPF cleaning services, awareness among vehicle owners and fleet operators grows, leading to an increase in demand. This trend signifies a positive feedback loop where the expanding service network amplifies the perceived value and necessity of regular DPF maintenance, further establishing DPF cleaning as a critical component of diesel vehicle upkeep in the eyes of the consumer.

5.1. Market share of specialized DPF service centers

Nevertheless, the presence of specialized Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) service centers plays a crucial role in the market, holding the largest share and catering to a broad spectrum of customers. These centers, dedicated solely to the maintenance and cleaning of DPFs, possess not only the specialized equipment necessary for thorough cleaning but also the expertise required to handle a variety of DPF-related issues. Their focused approach allows them to offer a high level of service quality and technical proficiency, making them the preferred choice for many vehicle owners and fleet operators seeking reliable and effective DPF maintenance solutions.

While local garages can offer a broad array of general automotive repair services, they rely on specialized centers for advanced DPF maintenance. This symbiosis ensures that regardless of where a diesel vehicle owner goes for service, they can access the full range of necessary maintenance services, reinforcing the overall wellness and efficiency of the diesel vehicle fleet and supporting environmental sustainability goals.

6. Impact of AI technology

The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the automotive parts remanufacturing market represents a transformative development within the whole automotive repair industry. Modern workshops are increasingly embracing advanced technologies, including AI systems, to enhance the quality and efficiency of their services. This technological investment is driven by the desire to optimize operational processes and secure a competitive advantage in a rapidly evolving market.

Otomatic, in recognition of these industry trends and market demands, has introduced a pioneering solution that encapsulates the potential of AI within the automotive repair sector. Their innovative DPF Platinum (AI) cleaning machine leverages AI technology to revolutionize the approach to DPF remanufacturing process. This development not only signifies Otomatic's commitment to innovation but also serves as a response to the growing need for more sophisticated, efficient, and effective repair solutions.

7. Market Differentiation

The introduction of AI-driven services allows workshops equipped with Otomatic's technology to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. By offering state-of-the-art remanufacturing solutions, these workshops can attract a broader clientele, including environmentally conscious consumers and businesses seeking the most efficient and effective service options.
The adoption of AI technologies like those introduced by Otomatic is reshaping the automotive parts remanufacturing industry, setting new standards for service quality, efficiency, and environmental responsibility. As more workshops recognize the value of such innovations, the industry is poised for further advancements, driving continuous improvements in vehicle maintenance and care.

About the author

Christopher Smolec - CEO of OTOMATIC

Expert in business development and customer relationship building. Since 2018, he has been actively involved in promoting and updating machines and methods for cleaning diesel particulate filters, often known by the acronyms: DPF, FAP, GPF.

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