The Europe automotive airbags market size witnessed significant growth in the past and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% during the forecast period (2022–2030).
An airbag is a safety feature incorporated into vehicles to protect drivers, passengers, and pedestrians in the event of an accident, minimizing the risk of severe injuries or fatalities. It is made of polyester or nylon and has various sizes and shapes. Acting as an inflatable cushion, the airbag is strategically positioned in areas such as the steering wheel, doors, roof, or seats. It utilizes a crash sensor to quickly activate and rapidly inflate, offering defense against the impact of a collision.
Europe holds a significant share of the global automotive airbags market, driven by ongoing research and development activities and a high concentration of leading manufacturers. The demand for electric vehicles and advanced driver safety systems has contributed to the growth of the European market. However, the market is approaching maturity, leading to a steady growth rate. Stringent safety regulations and investments in R&D by European automobile companies further fuel market growth.
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The automotive industry plays a vital role in Europe's economic well-being. It provides employment opportunities to 13.8 million Europeans directly and indirectly, accounting for 6.1% of total EU employment. Within the manufacturing sector, 2.6 million people directly produce motor vehicles, constituting 8.5% of manufacturing employment in the EU. Europe is a significant global producer of motor vehicles, and the industry leads in private investments in research and development (R&D). To enhance the competitiveness of the EU automotive sector and maintain its global technological leadership, the European Commission supports global technological standardization and provides financial support for R&D activities.
To address the growing number of accidents, governments worldwide have instructed automotive manufacturers to enhance their products and prioritize driver and passenger safety to minimize accidents. Prominent manufacturers are introducing various vehicle safety features, including cruise control, collision warning systems, lane assistance, and airbags. Road traffic accidents lead to approximately 1.3 million fatalities annually, resulting in significant economic costs for countries, accounting for around 3% of their gross domestic product. More than half of these fatalities affect vulnerable road users. Governments globally have made it a requirement for vehicle manufacturers to incorporate airbags in their vehicles to reduce the number of fatalities. For instance, the Indian government has mandated that all passenger vehicle manufacturers must equip their vehicles with airbags for the safety of the front driver and co-passenger.
Frontal airbags have demonstrated significant effectiveness by saving more than 60,000 lives each year. While they can prevent fatal outcomes in collisions, they also carry the potential to cause injuries. Car accidents can lead to various airbag-related injuries, such as facial cuts and broken noses, especially if the airbag is defective. The proper deployment of an airbag relies on the vehicle's sensors accurately detecting speed, braking, and impact. Malfunctioning sensors can result in the airbag deploying unnecessarily or failing to deploy in a genuine crash. Some airbags may inflate too quickly and burst, while others may not inflate rapidly enough to provide sufficient cushioning upon impact. Additionally, certain chemicals used in airbag deployment can lead to breathing difficulties, abrasions, burns, vision impairments, or hearing loss.
With increased sustainability, a shift in consumer behavior, electric vehicles, connected cars, mobility fleet sharing, and enhanced lifestyles, the automotive industry is racing toward a new world. According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, passenger car registrations in the European Union increased by 10 percent in 2021 compared to the previous month. In addition, demand for Special Utility Vehicles (SUVs) has recently increased due to increased leisure and tourism activities worldwide. In addition, competition among the major automotive manufacturers (such as General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, Daimler, Ford Motors, and others) has increased due to innovation and development time, reliability, fuel economy, safety, product quality and features, and pricing. Urbanization and industrialization have increased the demand for commercial and passenger vehicles.
The Europe automotive airbags market is segmented by country: Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Spain, and the Rest of Europe. The rest of Europe dominated the market with a CAGR of 5.4% during the forecast period.
Europe currently holds the second position in the global automotive airbag market. This is primarily due to numerous ongoing research and development activities and a high concentration of leading regional manufacturers. Additionally, the European market has experienced significant growth in demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and advanced driver safety systems, leading to increased adoption of airbags. However, the European automotive airbag market is nearing maturity, generating steady market growth. The European Union has implemented strict regulations regarding vehicle safety, compelling manufacturers to engage in rigorous development and testing to ensure maximum safety. Furthermore, European automobile companies invest in research and development to develop technologies that meet safety standards, facilitating market growth.
The Europe automotive airbags market is segmented into position, application, vehicle type, and distribution channel.
It is further segmented by position into frontal, side, and knee airbags.
Frontal Airbags dominated the market and are expected to register a CAGR of 6.7% over the forecast period. Front airbags are designed to deploy in moderate to severe frontal collisions to prevent a person's head and torso from colliding with hard vehicle structures. The governments of various nations mandated that all automobiles, light trucks, and vans be equipped with driver and passenger airbags for frontal impact protection. They provide the most protection when occupants wear safety belts and sit appropriately, but they are designed to protect all occupants.
Based on fabric, it is further segmented into coated and non-coated.
Coated dominated the market and is expected to register a CAGR of 6.6% over the forecast period. Not-coated fabrics are lighter, softer, less cumbersome, and recyclable. They have been created to replace coated airbags, which have inherent disadvantages such as excessive thickness, inability to be folded and crammed into small spaces, and deterioration over time. These airbags rely on the permeability of woven fabrics to allow gas to escape through the fabric pores. Consequently, the use of fabric is crucial to the efficient operation and efficacy of uncoated airbags.
It is further segmented into passenger and commercial vehicles based on vehicle type.
Passenger vehicles dominated the market and are expected to register a CAGR of 5.9% over the forecast period. In 2019, over 54 million passenger vehicles were manufactured worldwide. In Europe, over 11 million automobiles were sold in 2020. The quantity decreased by 23.3% compared to 2019. The covid-19 pandemic and quarantine caused the production decline
Based on the distribution channel, it is further segmented into OEM and aftermarket.
OEM dominated the market and is expected to register a CAGR of 6% over the forecast period. The aftermarket segment has the smallest market share. Implementing airbags in a vehicle that does not offer them is difficult. Airbag installation requires a new dashboard, steering, many new sensors, new cabling, and almost complete disassembly of the vehicle's interior. This is expensive, and the outcome may not be as desired. However, the demand for aftermarket airbags is driven primarily by the deployment of airbags due to accidents and other causes.