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Auto chips on the mend?

John Day

John Day

Posted Oct 28, 2009

The automotive semiconductor market plunged 14% to $16.4 billion in 2009, according to Strategy Analytics, but should see a similar-size recovery – 14% to $18.7 billion – in 2010. According to the research firm, the dramatic fall in global vehicle production, with the exception of three of the four BRIC regions, resulted in the largest-ever fall in automotive semiconductor vendor revenues.

The market next year will still lag an estimated $19.1 billion for 2008, so it represents a slower recovery than previously forecast, but Strategy Analytics believes that the long-term outlook remains strong. The firm said compound annual average growth is running at 8% as vehicle makers look to electronics to meet emissions and safety legislation as well as meeting consumer expectations for increasingly personalized and connected vehicles.

“Semiconductor vendor revenues in 2009 will take a double hit: one from the vehicle production fall, and again from the supply chain inventory clearing that occurred at the beginning of the year, putting a virtual stop on orders from electronic tier ones,” said Chris Webber, vice president of Strategy Analytics’ Global Automotive Practice. “Therefore, some vendors could see significantly greater declines in their 2009 results than the overall market average, including possible falls of up to 33%.  The actual extent of the 2010 global recovery will be largely dependent upon the North American market.”

Webber added, “Vehicle makers will rely on electronics in order to meet many of their future goals in environmental and safety performance, and to offer new convenience and infotainment features.  Thus, for leading automotive semiconductor vendors, such as Freescale, Infineon, ST, NEC and Renesas, the long term business opportunities are unchanged by the recession.”

Market research firm Databeans pegs compound annual growth for automotive semiconductors at 8.5% and estimates that the market will reach $22.7 billion by 2014. It sees optoelectronics, sensors, logic, and processors as the fastest-growing segments, and analog and microcontrollers as the largest segments, with market shares of 29% and 24% respectively.




Freescale Semiconductor, Infineon, Databeans, Strategy Analytics, NEC, Renesas

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John DayJohn Day recently launched John Day’s Automotive Electronics News ( to provide news and feature coverage of the automotive electronics industry. Earlier he wrote for Auto Electronics magazine, Auto E-lectronics, EE Times, and other business and engineering publications. Visit John Day

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