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Components | February 24, 2012

Automotive infotainment electronics set for growth in 2012

Following expansions in 2010 and 2011, the global market for automotive infotainment systems is set to expand by another 3 percent in 2012, driven by rising car production and increasing electronic content in vehicles.
Automotive infotainment revenue in 2011 amounted to $32.5 billion, up 3.4 percent from 2010, according to a report from information and analysis provider IHS.This was on top of a 4.6 percent rise in 2010.

Revenue this year is projected to surge to $33.5 billion, and growth will be even stronger in the next four years, ranging from 4.7 to 6.4 percent. By 2016, the market will reach $41.2 billion.

Automotive infotainment equipment represents a range of electronic devices concerned with a vehicle’s delivery of information and entertainment content to its occupants. The field includes areas like navigation systems, premium audio, telematics, fuel efficiency, safety and connectivity solutions.

“The vehicle infotainment market has defied the impact of the natural disasters in Japan and Thailand,” said Luca De Ambroggi, senior analyst for automotive infotainment at IHS. “The industry is set to achieve good growth in 2011 and 2012 as car sales continue to expand and as automakers add more electronic features into their vehicles. Also, a surge in automobile production is pushing up global revenue for the vehicle infotainment market, with connectivity and telematics options as well as low-cost navigation solutions embedded into car dashboards on the rise.”

Car market on a roll

Car infotainment revenue in 2011 rose on the strength of an 11 percent expansion last year in global automotive production to 76.5 million units, with production increases occurring in North America, China and the collective region embracing Europe, the Middle East and Africa known as EMEA.

The only area where car production fell was in Japan, the site of the earthquake-tsunami disaster in March 2011. Automotive production was also affected to a smaller extent by the October floods in Thailand, with plant closures from damaged facilities serving to interrupt an intricate supply chain.

Nonetheless, a quick upturn in automotive production translated into a solid market last year for automotive infotainment.

That’s infotainment

The most important trend within the market continues to be the greater integration of infotainment features into vehicles’ central head units in the dashboard or front console. This is true especially for both wired and wireless connectivity features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and USB, as well as for navigation and telematics functionality—all likely to be deployed on an increasing number of in-dash central and instrument cluster displays, IHS predicts.
Such head-unit centralization is creating significant market opportunities for those semiconductor suppliers taking on the role of system integrator at the silicon level.

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