Given the deplorable state of the downstream sectors, the overall growth of China’s automotive electronics market slowed in 2008, when entertainment electronics and active safety equipment had become the major driving force of the market. China’s automotive electronics will deliver stable growth in the next few years because the industry has only just begun gaining ground and there is still plenty of room for it to grow.
1. The overall growth of the market has slowed down
The rapid increase in output of automobiles in China is one of the major forces that drive the rapid growth of the country’s auto electronics market, on which there has been an negative impact caused by the slowdown in the output of automobiles. Rough data showed that China’s output of automobiles was 9.42 million units in 2008, up by only 6.0% year-on-year. Of the total, the output of basic passenger vehiclescars, in which auto electronics is most extensively usedwas 5.02 million units, accounting for 53%, up by about 6.2% year-on-year, dwarfed by the over 20% year-on-year increase in 2007. As a result, the growth of auto electronics market slowed significantly in China in 2008.
Figure: Sales Amount and Growth Rate of China’s Auto Electronics Products, 2004-2008
2. Entertainment electronics and active safety equipment have become the major growth fields in China’s auto electronics market
In 2008, many top-end auto electronics products continued to dive into the low-end auto field, helping the popularization of auto electronics.
The popularization of active safety systems in chassis control has also significantly impacted market growth. China so far has basically finished the upgrade of the EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution) and CBC (Cornering Brake Control) for automobiles. In addition, active safety systems such as the EBA (Electronic Brake Assist), ASR (Acceleration Slip Regulation), ESP (Electronic Stability Program) and CCS (cruise control system), are also being equipped in cars. For example, ESP was mainly installed in top-end cars like BMW, Chrysler and Lexus. But as the market keeps growing and prices falling, ESP system started showing up in 2008 in mid-priced cars such as Roewe 750, Camry and even some compact cars, like Besturn. ESP has delivered fast growth since mid-priced and compact cars are the major force in China’s car market.
Vehicle-borne electronics is another hot field of China’s auto electronics market in 2008, thanks to the strong demand for, and rapid development of, auto entertainment electronics. Although CD and multi-CD players are still the dominators in the auto audio/visual market, DVD players are gaining ground at striking speed. In addition, other auto visual products, such as visual parking system and mobile navigation system, are also becoming popular.
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