Global and China Automotive Audio and Infotainment Industry Report, 2013-2014
The report mainly covers the following:
- Global automotive industry and market
- China automotive industry and market
- Development trend of global automotive infotainment
- Global automotive infotainment industry and market
- 23 automotive infotainment vendors
Mid- to lower range automobile is usually equipped with a simple set of audio system, which is mainly composed of head-unit, amplifiers and loudspeakers, while for premium car, the addition of communications, navigation and display systems on this basis turns it into infotainment system. Massive prevalence of smartphone promotes the upgrading of infotainment system once more, developing towards integration of more functional systems, like infotainment in Model S of Tesla, which has become the automobile information and network center.
The infotainment market has evolved from a pattern absolutely dominated by infotainment suppliers to the one with three pillars, namely, automobile factory, infotainment supplier and mobile phone vendor. For the moment, it seems that mobile phone vendors have competitive edge. Apple and Google were early conscious of the trend and both introduced corresponding systems. For luxury car makers, customer satisfaction precedes costs and in order not to stand wrong side in the war between Apple and Google, they support the two systems. High-end vendors tend to support Apple's system, whereas medium and low-end automakers are more inclined to support Google's system.
The design of infotainment system has become unprecedentedly sophisticated, which caused differentiation of infotainment industry. The infotainment firms, especially European and American ones, which have close cooperation with carmakers, focus on design and outsource or purchase hardware as much as possible, while the companies, which originally excelled in hardware manufacturing, notably Japanese ones, started making more efforts in hardware field, providing OEM service or key parts. For now, regardless of any infotainment, its head-unit must be equipped with a suite of CD/DVD Mechanism, with over 75% market share held by Panasonic, J&K and Pioneer. Due to high barriers to entry, profit of OEM is no less than that of brand vendors.
It is quite peculiar when it comes to loudspeaker system. Although Japanese companies have superb technologies, but the loudspeaker system has been hardly accepted by Europeans and Americans, largely caused by great cultural differences. Consequently, Bose and Harman together occupy nearly 80% of loudspeaker system market.
Local infotainment companies have little say in China automotive industry. Foreign side controls joint ventures’ purchase of key parts, which are almost bought from joint ventures or solely foreign-owned enterprises, and indigenous brands purchase parts produced mainly by joint ventures. In the arena of infotainment, except Desay SV Automotive, which provides OEM, other companies can only operate in the aftermarket which has low threshold and is full of small companies. Combined with the yearly growing proportion of navigation-equipped new automobile, the aftermarket will gradually shrink.