Sales are flat in automotive MEMS ranking

July 14, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
After a flat 2015 the automotive MEMS market is expected to reach an annual value of $2.8 billion in 2016 up 4.3 percent from $2.7 billion in 2015, according to market research firm IHS Markit Inc. In 2015 many automotive MEMS suppliers have been hit by currency changes but Bosch remained the top ranked supplier.

In 2015 revenues were flat even though shipments of automotive MEMS increased by 8.4 percent. Better times lie ahead with the automotive MEMS market expected to sustain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.9 percent over the period 2015 to 2022 and to reach a value of  $3.2 billion in 2022, IHS Markit said.

 Three types of MEMS component – the pressure sensor, accelerometer and the gyroscope – out of about 37 that IHS Markit tracks, account for 95 percent of the automotive MEMS market value.

Some of these minority sensors are set to grow faster than the average. The fastest growing applications in the coming years will include: pedestrian, air-intake humidity measurement, microphones and microbolometers for night-vision systems used in driver assistance. Other sensors include scanning mirrors for head-up displays and adaptive LED headlights.

Top ten suppliers of automotive MEMS sensors ranked by 2015 sales. Source: IHS Markit.

Robert Bosch was among the companies hit by exchange rate weakness in 2015, but the company continues to perform well in local currency and shipments. Much of its trade is conducted in euros supplying German automobile companies. Bosch has about 30 percent market share in automotive MEMS, more than twice that of its nearest competitor.

Second-ranked Sensata was able to increase sales partly through acquisitions, including that Schrader. But Japan's Denso and Panasonic and Germany's Infineon, affected by the weakness of the yen and the euro, all experienced sales declines but without suffering a loss of position in the ranking.

NXP was parachuted into third place in the ranking by way of its acquisition of Freescale. NXP is known for its automotive magnetic sensors, while pressure sensors and accelerometers are the key sensors brought to the company via the Freescale acquisition.

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