LONDON The global market for automotive semiconductors will rise 16 percent in 2010 to reach $18.4 billion, according to market research company Semicast Research Ltd. (Waterlooville, England), recovering almost all of the ground lost in 2009.
Semicast estimates that the automotive semiconductor market fell by 17 percent in 2009 to $15.8 billion, which was the second consecutive year in which the market had declined.
The 2009 fall was the largest ever one year revenue decline, the firm said. Historically, semiconductor sales into the automotive sector have increased with remarkable consistency, with only a minor fall in 2001, a year in which the total semiconductor market declined by close to 35 percent. Automotive semiconductor sales peaked in 2007 at $20.0 billion, but fell in both 2008 and 2009 to a level now twenty percent below the peak.
However Semicast forecasts an end to the decline, with sales rising in 2010 and steady growth projected for the medium term.
The decline in the automotive semiconductor market over the last two years can be directly attributed to a fall in light vehicle production. Global production also peaked in 2007, at around 67 million, but fell to just 54 million in 2009.
Global production is forecast to recover to 61 million in 2010, with strong growth in China, India and Brazil, stabilization in Europe and Japan and recovery in North America. Global light vehicle production is forecast to rise steadily over the medium term, to around 85 million in 2017. Sales of automotive ICs are forecast to rise to over $35 billion in 2017.
Over this period, China is forecast to emerge as a key player, with production in China projected to exceed Japan in 2012 and North America in 2016. As global light vehicle production recovers, so too will automotive semiconductor sales.
Increased penetration of electronics is also a factor. "Automakers remain committed to the adoption of intelligent electronics which make their vehicles more environmentally friendly and safer to drive, while adding increasingly sophisticated entertainment and navigation systems, as well as mobile connectivity," said Colin Barnden, principal analyst at Semicast.
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