The automotive relay market is expected to register a CAGR of over 5.2%, during the forecast period, 2020 - 2025.
- The consistent rise in the demand for fuel-efficient vehicles and technological advancements in vehicle electronics are some of the major driving factors for the growing demand of relay in automobiles.
- The demand for advanced relays, with light-weight and high-performance characteristics, is compelling manufacturers to invest in producing more solid-state relays, compared to traditional heavy electromechanical relays, owing to the growing hybrid and electric vehicles demand in the region. For instance, in 2017, Volvo, one of the major automakers in the industry, stated that it may only manufacture electric cars by 2019, under the project of the Five-Year plan of Paris Agreement in France.
- The market for automotive relay is highly competitive, due to the presence of both international and domestic relay suppliers in the region. The companies are investing heavily in RandD projects and are launching new products.
Key Market Trends
Plug-in Relay to Witness Fast Growth
Currently, the demand solid-state plug-in relay is growing, as they can handle high-rated currents (50A-80A) and operating voltages (less than 400V), similar to that of electromechanical type relays.
Apart from the longer service life plug-in relay, their simple design structure and light-weight nature makes them suitable as a close replacement of heavy electromechanical type relays.
A solid-state plug-in relay is deployed for various application fields of automobiles, such as electrically heated catalytic converters, fuel pumps, radiators fans, headlamps (low and high variations), defoggers etc.
Moreover, plug-in relays are also available in three major operating characteristics with a current carrying capacities of 30A, 40A, and 70A. ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) Controls are one of the prominent areas of applications for plug-in relays in the automotive market.
To meet the consistently growing demand for plug-in relays in automobiles, automotive electronics firms are focusing on manufacturing high-power and reliable relays for automotive applications.
- For instance, in March 2018, Eberspächer Controls Landau GmbH and Co. KG introduced a new solid-state plug-in power mini relay (12 V / 100 A) for switching electric loads in passenger cars, commercial vehicles, off-road vehicles, and industrial applications.
Increasing Penetration of Automated Systems Driving the Adoption of Electronics in Automobiles Globally
The automotive industry is transitioning from hardware- to software-enabled vehicles, and the average software and electronics content per vehicle is increasing rapidly. The integration of new functions and features into the car are often enabled by electronics. Thus, there is an increasing penetration of electronics into major application fields, including powertrain, safety management, body, and convenience or infotainment.
Both government involvement and consumers’ demand for greater automatic control of systems have been resulting in the increased usage of electronics in vehicles. Electronics is giving new opportunities to improve energy efficiency and emission reduction as several functions can be consolidated into fewer and smaller electronic control super units, thereby reducing the weight. The high penetration rate of automobile electronics across all different vehicle classes is being influenced by three major aspects, namely productivity, quality, and innovation.
Efforts are being deployed in the automobile industry to transform the driving experience of the consumers. Cars are becoming smarter and capable of conducting self-diagnostics. In the coming years, cars may be able to connect with each other effectively.
In addition, passenger safety is another factor driving the adoption of automated systems in automobiles. The installation of safety features and systems in vehicles has greatly aided in reducing the number of accidents and fatalities on the road, in the past few decades.
With the increasing focus on autonomous vehicles and smart cars (with the ability to connect to each other, with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications), that can ensure safety and convenience to the consumers, the demand for electronic systems in new cars has been increasing rapidly.
Newer generation automotive electronics that enhance the driver experience are witnessing a mass adoption trend in mid-range and entry-level car segments and the ease of availability through aftermarket.
Rapidly growing use of electric components in the current and upcoming vehicles are consistently propelling the need for manufacturing reliable and standardized components, for efficient and safe and secure switching of electric loads, which iscurrently driving the market growth.
The automotive relay market dominated by companies, like the DENSO Corporation (ANDEN Co., Ltd), Panasonic Corporation, TE Connectivity, and Nidec Corporation.
ANDEN, part of DENSO corporation, holds approximately 22% market share in 2019 followed by Panasonic Corporation with 15% and the TE Connectivity with 12%.
Over the past few years, companies, such as Panasonic Corporation and Nidec Corporation, have strengthened their relay business by acquiring local relay manufacturing companies.
- For instance, in Aug 2017, Nidec Corporation announced that its Nagano Prefecture wholly owned subsidiary, Nidec Sankyo Corporation, acquired the entire business of Tokyo Maruzen Industry Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of electric contact materials in Chiba Prefecture.
- In April 2017, Panasonic Corporation decided to merge its two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Panasonic Industrial Devices Obihiro Co., Ltd. (PID Obihiro) and Panasonic Industrial Devices Taiko Co., Ltd. (PID Taiko).
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