Global and China Automotive Seating Industry Report, 2014-2015
The seemingly simple automotive seating actually reflects a country’s machining ability. In the world, at most 20 companies are capable of producing automotive seating whose frames are made of precision metals via stamping, while nearly a thousand companies have the capability to produce automotive engines.
In 2010, the global light vehicle output amounted to about 74.8 million; averagely, the automotive seating of a light vehicle was tagged with the selling price of approximately USD742, so the global light vehicle seating market valued USD53.8 billion. In 2014, the average selling price was USD786, a slight increase over USD771 in 2013; the global market was worth USD66.8 billion. In 2015, the average selling price is expected to reach USD800 and the overall market size will grow 30.3% from 2010 to USD70.1 billion.
Global automotive seating manufacturers can be divided into three camps, namely North America, Japan and Europe that held about 50%, about 30% and 13% market share in 2014 respectively. Compared with 36% in 2010, the market share of Japanese manufacturers in 2014 was lower because of the depreciation of the yen instead of their weakened competitiveness.
Mergers and acquisitions occur frequently in the seating field. Large manufacturers are keen on taking over seating parts producers to improve the supply chain. Recently, Lear has acquired the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive leather seating — Eagle Ottawa for USD850 million. In 2012, Lear spent USD257 million on purchasing Guilford Mills which is an automotive seating fabric manufacturer. By virtue of mergers and acquisitions, Lear has become the most promising player in the seating market, and saw its revenue surge 10.8% in 2014. By contrast, Magna suffers consecutive decline, and supposes seating business as a burden; therefore, it has to either sell the business or acquire small factories to enhance competitiveness.
Johnson Controls Inc (hereinafter referred to as JCI), as the world’s largest automotive seating manufacturer, firmly grasps the Chinese market, from which JCI reaped the revenue of USD6.1 billion in 2014 being the largest origin of its proceeds. JCI boasts 61 production bases in 30 cities throughout China with nearly 28,000 employees, serving all of car makers. 42 ones of these bases are joint ventures in which JCI enjoys the absolute right to speak, while JCI’s Chinese partners only play the role of financial investors. JCI seizes 53% market share in China.
European manufacturers are a great deal interested in the Chinese market as well. Faurecia plans to build seven new plants in China in the next three years, including six joint ventures and a sole proprietorship. Besides, Brose intends to raise the capacity of its Shanghai Plant; and Lear makes more investments in China. However, Japanese companies almost have no new investment plan due to the tension of Sino-Japanese ties.
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