Karl Ridings unveils UFI Filters’ current focus

Karl Ridings unveils UFI Filters’ current focus

In part one of our interview with UFI Filters’ Karl Ridings, the company’s current focus is unveiled, and Karl confronts some misconceptions about UFI.

UFI Filters has OE pedigree and it claims to be trusted by 95% of VMs, as well as eight out of the 10 most popular vehicles in the UK are originally equipped with its filtration systems.

The company, led by Sales Director and General Manager UK and Ireland – Aftermarket, Karl Ridings, has quadrupled its results in six years following the opening its depot for the British and Irish markets. The company, moreover, expects another double-digit growth in the business this year. This result has been possible, thanks to partnerships with what it described as key distributors and trading groups in the UK.

UFI Filters UK has marked these achievements by moving into bigger offices in Alcester and strengthening its customer service team to maintain the high levels of service. The company reported that local growth has been possible thanks to many winning factors:

  • A dedicated warehouse in UK, which benefits from the services of supply chain partner DB Schenker
  • A dedicated sales team counting four sales managers for different areas and a commitment to developing the business into different market segments, for light vehicles and heavy-duty
  • Its new partnership in 2023 with Parcelforce, which offers a next-day delivery with high level traceability and tracking
  • The launch of the heavy-duty range for the British and Irish aftermarket, which is allowing UFI Filters to open new channels of distributors – the target is to reach a solid market share in the heavy-duty segment over the coming years

What is UFI Filters’ main focus right now?

Karl Ridings reported that the company has several focuses right now: “One being the recently introduced range of heavy-duty filters to the UK and Ireland. For passenger cars and light vehicles, we have enjoyed tremendous growth in the last five years, even during the pandemic. For UFI, it’s very important to maintain the service level our customers expect, in terms of availability, sales support and customer service, but also the continued growth with existing and new customers.”

Karl Ridings UFI 2

He continued: “Being a company with a strong OE pedigree, a characteristic widely recognised by the market, does not simply mean that we are OE suppliers: it also demonstrates that we have specific technologies and expertise, such as our in-house production of the filter materials that make up the media of our filters.”

To this end, the company has developed six different recipes called ‘FormulaUFI’, which cover the entire range of filtration: fuel, air, oil, passenger compartment and hydraulics. These can be customised according to the needs of individual applications, to meet the requirements of the VMs.

Karl added: “Indeed, innovation is in the DNA of our company. This has allowed us to develop new technologies, underlined by, to date, more than 280 patents, which ensure a superior product quality on the aftermarket.”


“UFI only supply OE to Italian brands!”

Karl responded: “UFI Filters is an Italian based company, but we are chosen by 95% of VMs worldwide. UFI supplies a wide portfolio of OE brands. Apart from the Italian brands, there are European brands from German carmakers BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes and Porsche, the French PSA and Renault, the Swedish Volvo, as well as from the Asian Nissan, Hyundai and KIA.”

“UFI doesn’t have a complete filter range”

Karl answered: “We have over 2,300 references for light vehicles in our catalogue, covering more than 98% of the European car parc with each family of filters.”

“UFI is only OE on fuel filters”

Karl: “For us, continuous technological innovation, the search for solutions with extreme performances and investments in technologically advanced products are the three key success factors that have made UFI an OE leader. Throughout the years, we have convinced our OE customers to develop filtration technologies that combine UFI’s capability to develop its media tailored to customers’ needs with the knowledge of how to integrate multiple functions into a state-of-the-art modules and systems.

“Fuel filters are just one of the product families that reflect our strengths in filtration products for OE. Also, oil and air filters are supplied to the world renowned carmakers, as well as blow-by filters for light commercial vehicles.

“The group continues to build its OE range, thus laying the foundations for the further implementation and enrichment of our aftermarket offer. Our distributors can always count on the OE pedigree of our products. The aftermarket filter programme incorporates our OE filters and our philosophy of already meeting tomorrow’s demands, today.”

For more information about UFI Filters, click here.

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