MUNICH, Germany The European market for automotive electronic control units (ECUs) for powertrains and will grow at a rate of 10.9 percent over the next seven years, predicts market researcher Frost & Sullivan. Growth drivers are the drivers demand for more comfort as well as "green" legislation.
Frost & Sullivan experts predict the market to expand in the period through 2015 from currently 499 million (about $740 million) to 1.14 billion. This equals an average growth rate of almost 11 percent annually. "We expect that the initiative of the European automotive manufacturers association ACEA to reduce CO2 emission will significantly drive the demand for innovative hybrid drive and transmission technologies such as double clutch transmissions and automated manual transmissions", explained Frost & Sullivan research analyst Aswin Kumar. "At the same time, the EU Commission's efforts to reduce the number of traffic casualties by 50 percent will drive demand for accident prevention systems and other safety-relevant systems."
The more stringent EU rules in particular will stimulate the demand for more number-crunching power in the ECUs used for motor control and exhaust gas treatment applications, the market researchers say. In order to differentiate themselves in the highly competitive market, automotive OEMs will roll out several new applications in the near future, Kumar said. Besides environmental and safety aspects, these applications will meet customers demand for comfort inside the vehicles at affordable prices.
Pricing is another important aspect in the automotive electronics market, and it will continue to do so, hinted Kumar. Nevertheless, time-to-market for innovative applications will also become a critical success factor, he said. In order to reduce time-to-market, it is necessary for all suppliers along the value chain to cooperate closely.
Frost & Sullivan's findings are more or less in line with a recently published similar study from competitor Gartner.