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The automotive curtain airbags market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 5.5% during the forecast period, 2020 - 2025.
- Nearly a decade ago, airbag systems were mainly deployed in the luxury segment vehicles. Currently, the situation has entirely changed due to the increasing pressure from regulatory bodies, intense competition in the market, and the rising concerns of consumers about safety. These pressures intensify the long-standing significance for car manufacturers to include the airbag system in every car regardless of its market segment.
- In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) introduced new regulations for adopting side and curtain airbags, which were mandated for all vehicles, by 2018. Additionally, many automobile manufacturers have been investing significantly in research and development for the manufacture of affordable and advanced airbag inflators, to meet the increasing demand for side and curtain airbag systems.
- Vehicle manufacturers have been offering more number of airbags in cars, due to which the usage of airbags has jumped up to three times in the last three to four years. Almost every new car that has been launched in the last couple of years has at least one airbag (driver side) while some also have curtain airbags, especially in the developing countries.
- The increasing number of road accidents has led to the mandatory installation of airbags by the OEMs. Also, an increase in awareness among people and technological advancements is expected to create a demand for curtain airbags over the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Penetration of Curtain Airbags in Sports Utility Vehicles
Curtain airbags have been placed at the front pillars, roof sides, and the rear pillars. It deploys simultaneously with the side airbag to protect the driver’s or passenger’s head, and it minimizes injury in the event of a side collision. Curtain airbags have been majorly deployed in SUVs and Vans compared to other vehicle types. However, with the growing safety standards across all vehicle types, curtain airbags are likely to see growth in the market studied during the forecast period, owing to its increasing adoption in mini-cars to heavy-duty trucks in the coming years. Federal regulation on side-impact protection requires a certain level of head and torso protection for all occupants. While it does not specifically mandate side airbags, the required protection is typically achieved with them. As of the 2014 model year, virtually all new passenger vehicles must comply with this regulation. As a result, most passenger vehicles come with side airbags as standard equipment.
Side impact crashes at intersections account for approximately 22% of all major crash types where people are killed or seriously injured. The availability of curtain airbags has increased significantly. The number of new vehicles sold in Victoria with curtain airbags has risen from 24% in 2006 to 64% in early 2011.
A study of crashes in Australia found that side airbags with head and torso protection reduce a car driver’s risk of death or injury in driver-side crashes by 41%. Similar trends were found in an NHTSA study, which have been focusing on the fatality risk to drivers and right-front-seat passenger vehicles involved in nearside crashes. Curtain airbags and torso airbags together reduce the risk of death by 31%, and the combination head/torso airbags reduce the risk by 25%.
Europe Holds a Significant Market Share
Europe is the largest market for curtain airbags and is expected to register a CAGR of over 4.5% during the forecast period. With the growing consumer acceptance, advancement in technology, and lower prices, the market for curtain airbags has been witnessing a boost of growth in the region. Germany is the largest automotive hub in Europe, and it is a strategically important market for curtain airbags. Germany boasts of 41 automotive assembly plants, and thus, experiences augmented demand for curtain airbags. Other key contributors to the European market are France, Russia, Spain, and Italy.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing market for automotive curtain airbags and stores potential growth opportunities for market expansion. The rise in disposable income of consumers in the emerging economies, such as China and India, has been encouraging them to indulge in high-end cars that have curtain bags. The high adoption rate of passive safety systems and the rapid growth of the automotive industry support the growth of the market studied in China.
The automotive curtain airbags market is dominated by several players, such as Visteon Corporation, Continental AG, Autoliv Inc., Delphi Technologies, Neaton Auto Products Manufacturing Inc., and Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd, among others. These companies have been expanding their business by innovative and better quality curtain airbags so that they can have an edge over their competitors.
- In January 2019, Continental AG announced to expand its business in an Indian plant in Bengaluru to develop airbag control units, which have been designed on a modular safety platform called SPEED (Safety Platform for Efficient & Economical Design) that matches all market requirement.
- In July 2017, Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd jointly developed a new side airbag together with Toyota Motor Corporation, which has been attributing to vehicle crash safety assessment conformity in each region of the world and can be shared by various vehicle models. For instance, it is used on the new Toyota Camry and is scheduled for future use on about 2.5 million vehicles annually, including other models.
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