[International] Automotive IC sales roll, vehicle content up to $350


If there's a bright spot in the semiconductor industry's lackluster year, it's the automotive industry, where IC sales are riding the wave of increased new-car sales and the semiconductor content in vehicles is at record levels, according to new report.


 The research firm Databeans reported today (Aug. 23) that semiconductor content in vehicles has been growing at "double-digit" rates in recent years and will reach roughly $350 per vehicle this year.


 "Although high-end luxury cars have significantly higher semiconductor content than mid-range or economy vehicles, many optional features are now becoming standard on mid-range cars," Databeans said, adding the "trickle-down effect appears to be quickening. "Much of this comes from mega trends like increased wireless connectivity, energy savings, and safety."


Rising units; stable ASPs

This year, semiconductor vendors will sell $25.3 billion worth of products to automotive suppliers, flat with 2011 but units edged up to 76.7 billion pieces for an ASP of 33 cents. The IC industry's automotive revenues will rise 8 percent on average to $37.3 billion by 2017 and 112 billion units, Databeans forecast.


 Databeans pointed to STMicroelectronics (where the automotive division accounts for 17 percent of sales) and Infineon (43 percent of revenues) as standout vendors in the segment. Indeed, Mario Monti,  executive vice president and general manager of ST's automotive product group, told EE Times recently, "The future of the automotive industry is bright."



The Databeans report continued:


 "In the United States, new small car sales are growing at their fastest pace since 2008 as the auto-market continues to help lead the U.S. economy out of recession. In fact, recent U.S. government data showed motor-vehicle output contributed half of the 2.2 percent economic growth registered in the first quarter."


 "Heading into the second half of the year, car sales are expected to grow even faster after a government announcement in late May that China will resume its subsidies for consumer who scrap their older trucks for new, light commercial vehicles. On the flipside, new vehicle sales are declining in Europe, which is dragging down results in the market in general. Germany's auto-making association expects that Europe's auto market will contract 5 percent this year, although this decline could be smaller if the region's sovereign debt crisis gets resolved."


 Hybrid and pure electric vehicles (HEV/EV) continue a solid growth path, rising to 2 million vehicles in 2012, double the number in 2009. Databeans forecasts 4.2 million HEV/EV cars will be sold in 2017.


Source: EETimes