The United States Automotive Airbag Systems Market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 5% during the forecast period 2020 - 2025.
Owning to rising accidents, the enactment of stringent safety regulations, and the increasing safety concerns among the consumers is expected to drive the airbag systems market. To meet the increasing standards for safety features in the vehicles, major airbags system manufacturers in the market are investing in the research and development activities.
Companies such as Continental AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, ZF Group, Joyson Safety Systems, Hyundai Mobis amongst others are some of the major players in the market studied.
However, in recent years many airbag system manufacturers are facing challenges due to injuries caused by faulty airbags which is forcing them to recall vehicles to replace faulty airbag systems. For instance, in 2019, Ford recalled more than 782,384 Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles to have their passenger-side front airbag inflators replaced.
Key Market Trends
Silicone Coated Airbags to growth at a fast pace
Silicon coated airbags have captured the largest market share in the United States due to its properties like lighter weight, reduced stiffness, along with higher performance and lower costs, which has propelled many airbag manufacturers to switch from Neoprene coating to Silicone coating. Neoprene is very thick and needed to be mixed with a solvent in order to be applied to the fabric.
Silicone makes the process of inflating the airbag more effective due to its properties like thermal resistance, slip, and protection. During deployment, airbags create heat, and passengers in the vehicle risk getting burnt. Also, the fabric of the airbag cushion must be able to withstand this heat without ripping or tearing. Silicone coating on the airbag helps to protect the fabric from heat and also prevent passengers from getting burnt. Silicone venting membranes in the airbag fabric allow the airbag to quickly deflate once it reached its peak inflation pressure. Silicone is chemically compatible with nylon fabric and provides a protective layer against moisture and remains chemically inert, unlike neoprene coating which generates hydrochloric acid during aging, which actively damages the fiber. Moreover, as the silicone coating is very stable over time, it prevents airbags from becoming stuck and ensures the smooth deployment even after many years, therefore the demand for silicone coated airbags is expected to be high in the coming future.
Electric Vehicles to Drive the growth of the Market
The expanding market for electric and hybrid vehicles is a major driver for the airbag systems market. There has been tremendous growth in the electric vehicle market in the country. The United States has the highest number of electric vehicles after China and Europe.
The sales of electric vehicles in the country are expected to increase, owing to a fall in costs of batteries and improvements in technologies, like increased storage capacity which has led to increased adoption by buyers. In order to encourage the sales of electric vehicles, over half of the states in the country are using rebates, tax exemptions, and tax credits. For instance, states like California offer rebates to light-duty zero-emission vehicles and plug-in hybrids electric vehicles. Similarly, Washington and New Jersey exempt EVs from motor vehicle sales and use taxes. Louisiana and Maryland provide tax credits of up to USD 2,500 and USD 3,000 per vehicle, respectively.
Major electric vehicle manufacturers are exploring more ways to make their vehicles even safer by investing significantly in research and development of vehicle safety systems, for instance, Tesla Inc, recently got a patent for company’s new safety system named Sensors for Vehicle Occupant Classification Systems and Methods. The safety systems with the help of sensors placed on the vehicle’s seat enables cars to classify their occupants. By classifying the size, weight, and body type (among others) of a passenger, the car would be able to deploy airbags in the safest way possible during an accident.
The US Airbag systems market is a very fragmented market due to the presence of many international as well as local players in the region. Some of the prominent players in the market are Autolive Inc., Robert Bosch GmbH, Continental AG, Joyson Safety Systems, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Denso Corporation, amongst others. The airbag systems market is driven by innovations, major companies are exploring new ways to increase customer safety and are launching new products to increase their portfolio. For instance, in July 2017, Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd had jointly developed a new side airbag together with Toyota Motor Corporation. The new airbag contributes to vehicle crash safety assessment conformity in each region of the world and can be shared by various vehicle models. The new airbag system is scheduled for future use on about 2.5 million vehicles annually. According to the company, the conventional side airbags were structured of two separate airbags, but the new airbags have a three-bag structure for instantaneous deployment in high-speed crashes and efficient impact absorption. The internal pressure of each of three bags is optimized for each vehicle model so that these airbags can be used on a variety of models from large to small vehicles.
In April 2018, Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corporation acquired all of the global assets of Japan-based Takata Corporation, and the combined company was rebranded as Joyson Safety Systems.
In August 2019, Honda Motor Corp with Autolive Inc., demonstrated a new airbag system. According to the company the new airbag system consists of center chamber, two outward-projecting side chambers that create a wide base across the dashboard and a sail panel that stretches between the two side chambers at their outermost edge. According to Honda the airbag system decelerates the occupant’s head while also engaging the side chambers, pulling them inward to cradle and protect the head.
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