Bosch, Conti dominate automotive electronics market

June 03, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Two 500 pound gorillas dominate the market for automotive electronics. On the bottom of the pile, a remarkable scramble of more or less known companies (at least from the European perspective): This describes the situation in the market for automotive electronics hardware.

Much in contrast to the semiconductor market, the market for automotive electronics so far has been widely unchartered territory. British market researcher Semicast deserves the merit to have gathered figures for this part of the world of electronics. Though it was rather obvious who will claim the top positions, the study reveals interesting details.

Robert Bosch GmbH and Continental share rank number one with 20% market share each. The study focuses exclusively on under-the-hood electronics including body, chassis, powertrain, safety and security related ECUs and applications. It does not take into account the fast growing segment of infotainment, embedded telematics and audio. This explains why Bosch and Continental hold comparable market shares in the Semicast study - we believe that in the fast-growing field of connectivity-related technologies, Continental has an edge over Bosch with its focus on undercarriage and powertrain sensors and ECUs.

Together, the two German suppliers account for 40% of the world's automotive electronics market. The next contender, Japan's Denso lags significantly behind with just 11.5% of the market share. Denso's small market share however is, at least in part, owed to the currency effects; according to the study, the yen fell 20% against the US dollar in 2013. Beyond these top three, the supplier base fragments significantly, with three companies each holding an estimated market share of around four percent and then a further six suppliers each holding a share of between 2%-3.5%.

Fig. 1: Two and a half market leaders, fragmentation at the bottom: The market for under-the-hood automotive electronics (excluding infotainment and telematics). Source: Semicast.

The electronics market as defined by the study is estimated to have been worth $44.8 billion in 2013; Semicast predicts a CAGR of 8% through 2020, resulting in a market volume of $77 billion. According to the British market watcher, global light vehicle production volumes will grow over this period from 82 million to 106 million units. More than 40%