Automobile Instruments refer to devices reflecting the working condition of multiple systems within automobiles, which enable drivers to take better control of vehicles. Meanwhile, they provide drivers with important operational parameter information which helps technicians detect and remove failures within vehicles.
Automobile Instruments can be classified into many types by the installment method, by the type of display screens or by the operating principle. Although instruments vary with the models of automobiles, speedometers, tachometers, oil pressure gauges, water-thermometers, fuel gauges and chargometers are the necessary ones equipped in most automobiles.
According to CRI analysis, market size of global automobile instruments surpassed USD 8 billion in 2017, up by 8% compared to 2016 and is expected to go above USD 12 billion in 2022. With continuous upgrading in product types in global market, mid and high-end instruments with a size ranging from 3.5 inches to 8 inches are taking up shares from low-end ones characterized by mechanical instruments such as pointers and lattice meters in these years. The global automobile instrument market is mainly monopolized by MNCs (i.e. multinational enterprise) from Germany, Japan and the U.S. with a relatively high market concentration.
Maintaining an economic growth, China contributed to an increase in sales and penetration of automobiles as well as a growing market share of automobile instruments in the global market. China produced more than 29.01 million of automobiles in 2017, with a CAGR at approximately 12.6%. China has been established as the world’s largest automobile manufacturer and seller for 9 consecutive years from 2009 to 2017. Chinese people own more than 200 million of automobiles, second only to the U.S. by the end of 2017.
According to CRI analysis, market size of automobile instruments in China exceeded USD 1 billion in 2017. Currently automobile instrument enterprises in China mainly fall into two categories. The first one being Sino-foreign joint ventures and exclusively foreign-owned enterprises that develop product platforms from abroad. They set up factories in China to produce instruments designed by their parent companies overseas with production techniques and equipment introduced. Foreign-funded enterprises keep strict secret in aspects such as product design and technology development, which is difficult for domestic enterprises in China to learn from. Foreign-funded enterprises enjoy a remarkable advantage in China’s market for brand effect, advanced technology and supportive cooperation with full-vehicle manufacturers across the globe.
At present, China’s mid-and-high-end automobile instrument market, particularly that of full-vehicle market, are occupied mainly by Sino-foreign joint ventures and exclusively foreign-owned enterprises while a small share is taken by domestic enterprises in China. Another type of enterprises in China’s market are the domestic ones with economic products and domestic distribution channels. Through technological transformation and innovation, such enterprises are able to meet the demands of domestic full-vehicle brands in style and quality. However, most of their technologies and equipment lag far behind that of the international advanced level. Therefore, products of local manufacturers whose market shares are gained through low-cost strategies, are mainly mid-and-low-end ones catering for domestic automobile brands and aftermarket.
At present a number of top automobile instrument manufacturers in China have won market shares both home and abroad through continuous technological innovation and a remarkable advancement. The rise of domestic brands such as BYD, JAC, Chang’an, Great Wall and Geely has stimulated development of automobile instrument industry in China.
CRI estimates that both output and penetration of automobiles in China will witness further growth from 2018 to 2022, stimulating demand for automobile instruments. Meanwhile, rapid growth is obvious in output and sales volume of China’s electric automobiles which require much more on instruments than the traditional fuel-engined ones. China’s automobile instrument industry is expected to maintain a rapid growth in market scale and global shares from 2018 to 2022.