An automotive seat heater is an electronic device that falls under the category of automotive interior comfort products. A seat heater is a pad or a cushion that encompasses an electric heating system which boosts up surface temperature of the automotive seat at the will of the driver. Some of the key components of automotive seat heaters include heating element, resistor, relay and thermostat. Seat heaters are either available as internally integrated underneath the seat which is also called heated seat, or as an external device in the form of pad or cushion. The external systems are available in the independent aftermarket as kits, and this is expected to act in favor of the market. Asia Pacific is expected to play a crucial role in the aftermarket of automotive seat heaters with China topping the list. This can be attributed to the mass presence of local vendors in the region and also to the fact that the aftermarket products are relatively cheaper.
The use of automotive seat heater can be mainly seen in passenger cars and especially in the premium and luxury category. But in order to stay competitive in the market, several manufacturers are also integrating seat heaters in normal vehicles in cold regions. This step is aimed at increasing the customer base of automotive seat heaters and also increase its demand across the globe. Manufacturers are offering seat heaters at low costs and hence, these are available in the aftermarket at a low price for all car models. This availability of seat heaters for all models at lower costs has created a huge aftermarket for seat heaters. Heated seats or seat heaters were initially fitted in high-end cars; however, nowadays many models from all classes feature heated seat systems. It is found as an optional feature in many models or as a winter pack. Furthermore, it is also a common feature presented by many electric vehicle manufacturers in their vehicles. Increasing sales of premium vehicles to boost the use of seat heaters in passenger cars
The global premium vehicle market has been comparatively less affected by the global financial crisis and has shown growth, driven by the developing markets of the world. The U.S. has been a renowned international hub for the supply of premium vehicles. Likewise, Germany has been a leading market for premium vehicles. The global premium vehicle market is expected to expand at a higher rate than other passenger vehicles and with the U.S. being one of the leading manufacturers of premium vehicles, the domestic auto component industry will benefit significantly. Given the high reputation of the U.S. as a prominent vehicle manufacturer, OEMs are focussing on deploying quality and new products, such as automotive seat heaters, which increase the comfort level of passengers in cold areas and improve the functioning of an automobile. Luxury vehicles have more than one seat heater attached to the system. These factors are expected to make automotive seat heater manufacturers remain focussed on strengthening their research and development initiatives, which will drive the overall seat heaters market during the forecast period.
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