The Mexico airbag system market is expected to register a CAGR over 7% during the forecasted period (2020 - 2025)
- Mexico has 12.3 road fatalities per million inhabitants per year in road traffic crashes involving cars and busses. Passenger safety is of the utmost importance to the government as well as the companies. Regulations towards consumer safety and security have made manufacturers install safety devices in the cars. The government has made usage of seat belts and airbags mandatory which has resulted in decline of deaths due to accidents from 2,921 in 2017 to less than 2,500 in 2019. Consequently, risk factors as seat-belt use, and drink and drive is one of the major cause of these fatalities.
- The Airbag system requires advance technology and high initial investment. OEMs are opting for well-known manufacturers who are proving the airbag systems with advance technologies at low cost. This is limiting the penetration of new players into market. Many companies from North American region have set up their manufacturing units in Mexico due to low labour and production cost which is being supported by free trade deal between United States, Canada and Mexico. Mexico has exported more than 3.3 million vehicles in 2019. Although there has been decline in the production in past few years and on-going COVID-19 economic crisis, during the forecasted period the production is expected to increase at a steady pace which will help the Airbag system market to grow in Mexico.
Key Market Trends
Raising the demand for safety will fuel market growth
The global automotive industry is on rising, and most economies started gaining momentum. By 2025 many countries are expected to have a high demand for cars, and improving the economy means more commercial vehicle sales. With government regulations in place and customer demand for vehicle safety, this market is expected to grow. The companies that have exhibited production growth in Mexico despite the overall decrease in the production are General Motors and Volkswagen with an increase of 3.6% and 1.8% respectively which have assembly plants in Texas, United States. Most airbag systems produced in Mexico are exported to assembly units in the United States and Canada. In 2019 alone United States imported 2.3 billion USD worth of airbag systems from Mexico.
Curtain airbags are the fastest-growing segment of the automotive airbag and seatbelt industry. They are mounted on the side of the seat or the door, usually on the roof above the side window. In the event of a crash, curtain airbags are used to protect the adult’s head. It has been proven that curtain airbags reduce the driver fatality risk by 45%. Recently there has been a growing demand for pedestrian airbags. These are automatically deployed when an automobile is about to collide with a pedestrian. Increasing income levels and awareness about safety is expected to drive this market in the coming years. Knee airbags would experience fast growth over the forecasted period. It is due to an increase in demand of consumers for active leg protection and replacement of bolster seats.
Growing Demand for Safety
The automotive industry in most of the world is the price-sensitive market, and customers look for speed and aesthetics. But there is a trend of demand for more safety. OEM’s are struggling to find a balance between cost, performance, and safety. OEMs have started offering driver airbags as a basic feature owing to regulatory bodies that previously came with additional cost. All the premium cars are equipped with airbags including knee airbags, rear passenger airbags, and more. Many OEMs are setting up their facilities in Mexico due to the low cost of production and availability of raw materials. Volkswagen, Takata, Ace, Continental AG, and many other well manufacturers have set up their airbag manufacturing units, there are nearly 42 manufacturing airbag manufacturing units in Mexico. During the forecasted period, the demand for airbags is expected to rise in North America region due to consumer demand and government regulations, which is the major market for Mexican airbag system manufacturers, paired with investment by OEMs to set up automobile manufacturing plants in this region is expected to have a positive impact on this market growth.
There have been many instances where vehicles were recalled back due to faulty airbags and seatbelts. From 2000 to 2016, At least 22 people died from the defective Takata airbags, and hundreds have been injured due to exploding inflators. Takata Corporation filed for bankruptcy after recalling the malfunctioning airbags. Key Safety Systems has acquired this company. Key Safety Systems (KSS) has developed Inflatable Seat Belts, which can protect the shoulder and torso area on inflation. Besides, they are capable of being deployed within as less as 40 milliseconds in the event of a crash
This market is consolidated with major companies that are merging and acquiring other companies to maintain their position in the market. Key players in the market are Hyundai Mobis, ZF Friedrichshafen, Autoliv, DENSO Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, Key Safety Systems, Continental AG. In 2016 TRW was acquired by ZF Friedrichshafen AG. There is a recent development in roof type airbags.
There has been tremendous development in dual-stage airbags which are located at the location of seat belt and front seat, these airbags are used to prevent children and adults from getting injured during the collision. Since active safety systems are improving owing to the new technology, there might be a reduction in demand for passive safety systems like airbags and seatbelts in the future. On 7th March 2019, Indorama acquired German-based airbag fabric manufacturer UTT; deal includes a plant in Pueble.
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