The Automotive Seats Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 2.51% during the forecast period, to reach USD 73.03 billion by 2025, from USD 60.30 billion in 2017.
Increasing usage of lightweight materials to reduce the weight of automotive seats
Manufacturers in the Automotive Seats Market are heavily investing on the development of advanced technologies to reduce the overall vehicular weight to meet the stringent regulations for emission and fuel efficiency. According to Faurecia, the automotive seating system accounts for nearly 6% of the total vehicle weight and 5% of the total vehicle cost. By replacing the conventional materials such as steel, iron, and plastic with lightweight materials such as aluminum, magnesium, high-strength steel, carbon fiber and glass fiber, a significant level of seat weight reduction can be achieved.
Adient and Faurecia are the key suppliers in the Automotive Seats Market, who are using a mix of different lightweight materials to develop lighter seating system. For instance, in January 2018, Adient introduced a lightweight seat structure at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2018, which uses composite and alternative materials and provides desired comfort and safety level. This new product is one more step toward the company’s goal to reduce the weight of the seat structure by 20 pounds by the year 2020. Additionally, in partnership with FAW Foundry, Faurecia developed seat structures made up of magnesium alloy, which could help reduce seat weight by approximately 25% compared to conventional steel seating structures. This would prompt other seating players in the Automotive Seats Market to develop lightweight seating systems that will bring new business opportunity for Tier 2 players and lightweight materials suppliers.
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Balancing between low cost production and customer perceived value
While manufacturing complete automotive seating systems, many factors such as the raw material cost, transportation cost, cycle time and other associated risk must be considered by the manufacturer. Due to increasing complexity of automotive seating assembly, such as incorporation of newer technologies (heated, powered, massage, & memory) for better comfort & safety and usage of components of lightweight material to achieve emission and fuel economy norms, the seating manufacturers have transformed their production process. Few companies in the Automotive Seats Market such as Faurecia, Lear Corporation, and Magna International have implemented Just In Time (JIT) technology to fasten the production process and provide product to the customers on time. However, this technology also involves increased complexity, restructuring of the entire workflow, additional capital investment, proper implementation, adequate process training and strategic partnerships with different players within the supply chain for producing raw materials and other components. It will make things difficult and may not be ideal for every player.
Further, the unstable economic status of developed & developing countries and increasing customer preference toward luxurious and comfortable features are exerting additional pressure on automotive OEMs that further forced to the Tier-1 suppliers to keep the cost of production low. These seat manufacturers are suppling to the key OEMs, which also shrinks the bargaining possibility and affects the profit margins. Also, to develop the seat structure using lightweight materials involves extra cost. Hence, providing the best solution to the customers at an affordable cost is a major challenge for the automotive seating manufacturers.
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The Automotive Seats Market is dominated by a few globally established players such as Adient (US), Lear Corporation (US), Faurecia (France), Toyota Boshoku (Japan), Magna International (Canada), TS Tech (Japan), Aisin Seiki (Japan), NHK Spring (Japan), Tachi-S (Japan), and Gentherm (US).
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