Trends Watch on 2008 Auto Parts Industry April 15, 2008Posted by wenbi in : Auto Parts , trackback
For recent years, carmakers have been fighting for price reductions from customers and surging gasoline price, material costs, along with shadowing global inflation. The mounting cost pressure forces them to gain components from offshore manufacturers, which has been reshaping the global landscape of auto parts sourcing. US automotive downturn is mainly triggered by diminished consumer purchasing power and the burst of the “mortgage bubble”. US sales of new cars and light trucks are predicted to drop below 16 million units in 2008. Light trucks, such as SUVs, CUVs, pickups, minivan and vans, made up 53% of the sales mix in 2007, could shrink to a 10-year low of 15.8 million units. The slowdown is spreading to other markets, particularly in Western European countries. But Eastern Europe will continue to expand at a rapid pace, with 4.3% compound annual growth by 2011. Russia will become the largest automotive sales market for new cars in Europe by 2010 as the larger European markets remain stagnant. Growths in the burgeoning markets, especially China, Brazil, and India, keep on and are still likely to lead global growth. In 2007, there were 8.7915 million vehicles sold in China, grew by 1.576 million or up by 21.84% compared to 2006 and will reach to 10 million vehicles by the end of 2008.
The auto parts industry is mainly for the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) market and the replacement parts market, or aftermarket. The global aftermarket industry approximates $300 billion while the light truck aftermarket accounts for $190 billion values. In US, the sales of light-truck performance parts and accessories have doubled over the past decade years, hit $13 billion in 2007, supporting 232 million vehicles on the road. Vehicles are becoming more and more durable across all vehicle types as those over 10 years old continue to comprise the lion¡¦s share of dollars spent, reaching more than $80 billion.
Tuning, Do-it-yourself on the Rise
There are more vehicles on the roads, more cars look similar, and, therefore, the more and more motorists tend to individualize their own cars. Gen-Y drivers are most enthusiastic to personalize their vehicles with audio-system upgrades, aftermarket exhaust systems, tires and wheels and exterior styling accessories as the top alternatives. Apart from aesthetics, safety is certainly a major concern. Here, we’re also seeing a booming DIY market. By a survey, over 53% of motorists, male and female alike, are interested in repair works and feel they are personally capable of doing light maintenance involved in installing parts such as brake shoes, pads, headlamps, batteries, wiper blades and alternators to save repair expenses. Among them, 13% motorists feel they are capable of performing medium maintenance and repair works, which is require the higher knowledge and level of expertise such as replacing fuel injectors and head gaskets.
In-vehicle Consumer Electronics
According to a survey by the Consumer Electronics Association, the sales of in-vehicle consumer electronics are expected to increase at a rate of 13% in 2008 to exceed $12.8 billion. The most popular items are remote vehicle starters, in-dash navigation systems and car alarms, required for flexibility and multi-location use. Motorists also prefer to outfit their vehicles with the latest in-vehicle information and entertainment technology like satellite radio, HD radio and DVD players to make their driving on the road safer and more enjoyable.
“Going Green” Concern
Motorists are more aware of worsening global warming and other environmentally-conscious issues. The carbon dioxide concentrations have soared record-high levels in the atmosphere after increasing at an accelerated pace in the past years. In response to this, automakers are urged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles and fossil fuel reliance. They are developing innovative emission and idling reduction technologies to elevate fuel economy, launching plug-in hybrids and providing a broad technology portfolio of series solutions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Automakers claim that such a goal will be realized through the use of alternative fuel autos (AFAs). Now, there are sixty models of AFAs available and more are in development, including hybrid-electric, clean diesel, ethanol capable and others. Advanced vehicles need advanced fuels, including ultra low sulfur diesel, E85 ethanol, bio-diesel, hydrogen and electricity. However, the more bio-fuels such as ethanol and bio-diesel, are used, the more corns, more soy bean and more sugarcane are consumed not as foods, which continues to fuel the price hikes of grains and meats.
Fighting for Spiraling Gas Price
Recently, global demand for oil and gas keeps increasing at an unprecedented rate. Skyrocketing gas price over a record $4 a gallon signals a possible hike over the next few months. To combat spiraling gasoline price, more and more new-vehicle shoppers are looking for more fuel-efficient vehicles and car drivers are managing to control their monthly energy bills by employing energy-efficiency measures or resort to the state-of-the-art fuel-economy technologies. Fuel efficiency becomes dominant factor on influencing their vehicle maintenance decisions, surpassing dependability and safety. Motorists are seeking fuel efficiency through vehicle maintenance. In fact, by properly maintained, vehicles are not only more fuel efficient, but also safer and more environmentally friendly. That also enables a tremendous marketing opportunity for aftermarket service and parts businesses.
Better Fuel Economy Solutions
Most attempts to enhance fuel efficiency spotlight on ancillary technologies like refinements in the fuel injection, ignition or valve timing. Some technologies such as the gasoline-electric hybrid and “clean diesel” are being applied for better fuel economy. In 2007, new hybrid vehicle sales reached over 350,000 units in 2007, even though the fuel efficiency capabilities of hybrid vehicles seem to be somewhat overestimated. For better fuel economy, there is an improvement on engine efficiency with associated reduction in heat lost from the combustion process. Since longer idling time wastes fuel, spoils engines and produces unnecessary extra emissions into the air, here comes a new technology to generate heat so quickly as to delete these unwanted situations. For less power consumption and longer longevity, LEDs now are used with xenon headlamps, even with double light output but only a third less energy than halogen bulbs. By the uses of LEDs for full-functions forward lighting on vehicles, it is feasible to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
Crash Avoidance Technology
By a statistics in the US, total collision repair industry sales grow 5.8% to about $40 billion per year. By this, motorists are looking for the latest blind spot detection technology to avoid collision. Blind spot detection is a system that can identify vehicles or objects within a vehicle’s blind spots and provide an audible, visual warning or vibrate the vehicle’s steering wheel or seat as a lane change is doing. Lane departure warning system functions when a car is wandering out of its lane, without a turn signal being activated, and gives a warning to the driver.