Automotive Sensor Demand to Grow

September 9, 2010

Sales will advance 11.8% annually through 2014, with the market gaining uplift from increasing regulatory pressure and the continued search among automakers for cost-effective ways to differentiate their products.

ROCKVILLE, MD /Marketwire/ -- has announced the addition of the new Freedonia Group Inc. report "World Automotive Sensors" to their collection of Transportation & Shipping market reports.

Global demand for light vehicle original equipment manufacturer (OEM) automotive sensors will advance 11.8% annually to $15.9 billion in 2014, rebounding from depressed 2009 levels. In addition to the expected recovery from the 2009 recession, automotive sensor demand will gain uplift from increasing regulatory pressure and the continued search among automakers for cost-effective ways to differentiate their products. Sensor demand grows hand in hand with electronics demand, which itself has expanded substantially during the past decade, despite the impact of the recession in developed markets. These and other trends are presented in "World Automotive Sensors," a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

The automotive OEM sensor industry in developed markets is dynamic and constantly changing, as new sensing technologies experience massive growth while well-established products face flat or declining prospects as they are superseded by newer technology or integrated into other applications. Emerging markets typically have more basic sensor needs and focus on technologies long standard in developed countries. Examples include now-basic safety technologies such as standard airbags and antilock brake systems, powertrain and emissions applications (like port fuel injection), and closed-loop catalytic converter systems.

The 2009 recession caused developed and emerging automotive markets to bifurcate, with the former suffering from massive sales drop-offs while the latter moved forward, apparently from strength to strength. The sheer recession-caused abnormality of the global market for light vehicles and the electronics and sensors they contain can be seen in 2009 sales performance. Light vehicle sales in the key developed markets of the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan fell 9.2%, 2.1%, and 4.4% per year, respectively, from 2004 to 2009, while ascendant emerging markets in Brazil, China, and India grew 14.1%, 26.4%, and 12.1%, respectively, during the same period. While the faster-growing emerging markets will likely set the global pace going forward, they do not produce the same per-vehicle sensor revenues because many of the sensor technologies they currently contain and will use in the future have already been commoditized in terms of price.

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