LONDON Exposure to Chinese automobile makers helped Dutch chip vendor NXP BV (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) take the top position in the global automotive infotainment semiconductor market in an economically difficult 2009, according to market research company iSuppli Corp. (El Segundo, Calif.).
The company posted automotive infotainment semiconductor revenue of $291 million, iSuppli estimated. While this total was down 24.8 percent from $387 million in 2008, second-placed STMicroelectronics also saw a significant fall in its revenue, declining by 37.4 percent compared to 2008.
As a result, NXP was able to push ST into the second place. NXP's share of the global market for automotive infotainment chips was 11.5 percent in 2009, while STMicroelectronics accounted for 10.9 percent. Panasonic maintained third place with annual revenue in the sector of $193 million, down 36.3 percent year-on-year, while Renesas Technology Corp. stayed in the fourth slot with revenue of $191 million.
The only market share gainer for the year was CSR plc (Cambridge, England), which merged with GPS and multimedia baseband provider SiRF in 2009. The combined operation pushed CSR into the number five slot in 2009 with revenue of $167 million, up from 15th place in 2008.
Japanese audio and FM tuner supplier Rohm Electronics stood at No.6 with annual revenue declining by less than most of its competitors to $140 million in 2009, down 9.7 percent from 2008. Positions six through 10 were dominated by Japanese semiconductor manufacturers, with the exception of Texas Instruments. TI moved up one position from ninth to eighth with revenue of $80 million in 2009.
Japanese manufacturers accounted for 34 percent of global automotive infotainment semiconductor revenue in 2009, while European-based manufacturers accounted for 32 percent. In contrast, American-based manufacturers accounted for just 11 percent of the global total in 2009, with Freescale Semiconductor Inc. making up 25 percent of the revenue from this region.
"Clearly, the general market suffered badly from the automotive downturn of 2009 with overall automotive infotainment semiconductor revenue down 20.3 percent to just slightly more than $2.5 billion, compared to $3.2 billion in 2008," said Richard Robinson, principal analyst for automotive infotainment at iSuppli, in a statement. "Most companies in the supply chain posted revenue declines between 20 percent and 35 percent, with even the large established silicon players taking hits and suffering losses. Companies were impacted as vehicle production in was slashed by nearly 34 percent, while the Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) region experienced an unprecedented fall in production of 23 percent. The U.S. market was also another casualty with vehicle production falling by 25 percent."
In spite of these tough numbers, companies that had good exposure to the Chinese vehicle production bonanza of 2009 were able to keep pushing against a strong headwind in the overall market.
"With vehicle production growth up by more than 34 percent year-on-year in China in 2009, NXP was able to take advantage of this regional bubble with a comprehensive range of specialist and commodity AM/FM tuner and audio processing products, as well as a significant showing in audio amplifiers," Robinson said. "NXP maintained its 56 percent market share of the global AM/FM tuner/audio processing market, generating more than $200 million 2009."