LONDON -- The European market for in-car infotainment technologies looks set to dramatically expand by the end of the decade. Currently worth 2.6 billion euro per annum(about US$2.8 billion) according to Frost & Sullivan, the market research firm predicted it would grow to 9.2 billion euro (about US$10.0 billion) in 2010.
The automotive dashboard is to become the hub of next-generation car information, navigation and entertainment systems.
Frost & Sullivan says 66.2 percent of European in-car infotainment revenues in 2003 are being booked by the original equipment (OE) market and the aftermarket is expected to suffer a marginal decline as the OE sector continues to boost its dominance.
Frost & Sullivan expects the digital versatile disc to replace mini disc and compact disc technologies in the long-term as the demand for advanced route guidance features rises steadily, eventually giving rise to wide-scale use of off-board navigation. This technology uses cartographic data via UMTS for destination finding and is poised to significantly alter the landscape of the European navigation market.
Christian Mueller, industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan, said: "In 2002, the market for navigation systems represented 2.8 million units, equating to 1.3 billion euro. However, the introduction of new systems targeted at the lower end of the market will stimulate a quadruplication of navigation system shipments by 2010."
In 2002, the total European multimedia player market, comprising compact discs, mini discs, digital versatile discs and hard disc drives, saw shipments of close to 13 million units, translating into revenues worth over 850 million euro (about US$925 million).
"Vehicle manufacturers are likely to promote DVD systems due to their higher degree of functionality in data storage and capability to play back more than navigation content. The latter function could form the basis for a full systems integration as favoured by premium vehicle manufacturers," said Mueller.
Frost & Sullivan is cautiously optimistic about initial take-up rates in the market for satellite radio systems. Products are expected to start shipping in 2006 and companies active in this sector will realise more potential for S-DAB in commercial vehicles than in passenger cars. By 2010, Frost & Sullivan forecasts satellite radio to account for 1.8 percent of the total European in-car infotainment market.
High unit costs and insufficient market coverage are inhibiting growth in the embryonic T-DAB market. However, the introduction of new vehicle models in 2005 will inject new vigour into this sector, propelling sales to just over 108.8 million euro (about US$120 million) in 2006.