The global automotive airbag market has been forecast to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.54% over the five year period through to 2015, with the industry set to reach 474 million units by 2017. Key factors set to contribute to the increase in the market include the increase in government regulations, alongside the use of high-tech airbag systems for low-cost cars.
An airbag is a vehicle safety device. It is an occupant restraint system consisting of a flexible fabric envelope or cushion designed to inflate rapidly during an automobile collision. Its purpose is to cushion occupants during a crash and provide protection to their bodies when they strike interior objects such as the steering wheel or a window.
The first commercial designs were introduced in passenger automobiles during the 1970s with limited success. Broad commercial adoption of airbags occurred in many markets during the late 1980s and early 1990s with a driver airbag, and a front passenger airbag as well. Now-a-days many modern vehicles include four or more units.
The introduction of stringent government safety regulations across the globe is helping to fuel growth within the automotive airbag market. New safety directives are being issued in major markets worldwide, with enhanced safety standards also being progressively introduced throughout emerging markets.
With better information flow and globalisation consumers are becoming more demanding and aware of the technological changes related to safety and want better safety equipment in automobiles.
One potential threat to the industry is coming from the use of counterfeit airbags. Counterfeit airbags are becoming a growing problem across the US and Canada. Police estimated that one in 25 cars have fake airbags. A recent survey in Los Angeles found that out of 1,200 vehicles that had replaced airbags, 66 of them were fake. Due to high replacement cost of airbags, the fake airbag industry is mushrooming all over North America.
Developing countries in Asia-Pacific and Latin America will generate the torque required to turbo-charge growth in the global automotive airbags market. Emerging economies such as China and India, which have been generating substantial demand for new cars in recent times, will continue to be key growth drivers. Thanks to rising employment levels, economic prosperity and increase in discretionary income, demand for new cars has been on the rise in these nations, which in turn has been boosting automotive production throughout Asia.
Key players currently dominating the global automotive airbag market include Autoliv Inc., Takata Corp., Toyoda Gosei Ltd., TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.
For more information on the global automotive airbag market, see the latest research: Global Automotive Airbag Market
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