Automotive cockpit electronics are used to enhance driving conditions and to create a comfortable atmosphere inside the vehicle. Their sales are made through Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) contracts and the aftermarket. Increasing per capita income and industrial development are key drivers for the automotive and cockpit electronics industry globally. The per capita car ownership has been continuously rising due to a worldwide increase in the middle-class population. Growing concerns of the consumers regarding a safety has increased the demand for automated passenger cars that gives the drivers higher control over their vehicles. Infotainment has seen a significant rise in the recent years since the consumers are seen to be inclined towards a more informed driving experience.
With the increasing number of road accidents, vehicle owners are turning towards more automated vehicles. Stringent regulations are leading to the inclusion of advanced features in passenger cars including tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), electronic stability control, and occupant detection. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are under constant pressure to equip their vehicles with advanced safety systems. North America, Japan, China, and South Korea are the major countries where these regulations have been imposed. For instance, the South Korean Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs issued a regulation effective from January 1, 2013 which requires the new models of passenger vehicles and other transport vehicles of 3.5 Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) tons or lesser to be equipped with TPMS. Moreover, effective from June 30, 2014, the same regulation would also be applicable to the existing vehicles. Similar regulations are expected to be implemented in Japan, China, and India by 2017, 2018, and 2019 respectively.
Automotive sensors such as GPS systems and humidity sensors keep the driver more informed about the location of his vehicle, routes, and weather conditions. Adaptive lighting sensors automatically adjust the luminance of the vehicle’s light beam, depending on the light and road conditions. The increasing tour and leisure activities have increased the scope of info-travelling to a great extent and that is further fueling the demand for automotive sensors.
Eurozone crisis remains a key concern for the automotive cockpit electronics market and has affected the OEM sales in the region. However, the market is expected to gain momentum in this area towards the end of the forecasted period as a result of expected improvements in the economy. The registration of new cars in the European Union has been observed to be increasing every month as compared to the sales in the same month for the previous year. According to the European Automobile Manufacturers’s Association (EAMA), Spain, the U.K., and Italy witnessed the strongest growth in the passenger car sales in October 2014 as compared to October 2013. With the tightening of regulations for the passenger car manufacturers (for instance, the TPMS becoming mandatory for new vehicles in Europe), plenty of opportunity awaits the automotive cockpit electronic companies in the near term.
Certain developing countries are reporting high growth rates in the cockpit electronics market. Brazil was the sixth largest automobile producer globally. It is a young country with over half of its population below thirty years of age and over 70% of its population economically active. However, the slowdown of its economy since 2010 has affected automobile sales in the country. The country’s cockpit electronics market is witnessing high growth due to its increasing per capita consumption and escalating urbanization (which stood at approximately 87% in 2013).
The major players in this industry include Continental, Denso, Visteon, Harman, Alpine, Panasonic, Delphi, Bosch, and Pioneer. The companies are making new investments to improve their technology in order to retain their competitiveness in the industry. For instance, Denso, Harman, and Delphi are actively funding their research and development activities.
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