The Middle East and Africa automotive airbags market size witnessed significant growth in the past and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period (2022–2030).
An airbag is a component of a vehicle's safety restraint system that is swiftly inflated in the event of an accident. They are soft, pillow-like balloons with a sensor and inflation system wrapped into the vehicle's steering wheel, dashboard, seat, door, or roof. The primary function of the airbag is to shelter the driver or passenger during vehicle collisions and prevent the body from colliding with interior vehicle objects such as the steering wheel or window. In the event of a collision, the sensors within the vehicle provide the airbag electronic controller unit (ECU) with factual information, including collision type, angle, and severity of impact.
The Middle East and Africa have a relatively small global automotive airbag market share. The region has limited manufacturers focusing on development and research activities. Moreover, most Middle Eastern countries primarily rely on vehicle imports rather than domestic manufacturing. The annual vehicle production in the region is approximately 1.7 million. However, Africa has a larger presence of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and manufacturers than the Middle East, which is expected to expand.
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In response to the increasing number of accidents, governments have instructed automotive manufacturers to improve their products and prioritize the safety of drivers and passengers to minimize accidents. Prominent manufacturers are introducing various vehicle safety features, including cruise control, collision warning systems, lane assistance, and airbags. Road traffic accidents result in approximately 1.3 million fatalities a year and impose significant economic costs on countries, amounting to around 3% of their gross domestic product. Vulnerable road users account for more than half of these fatalities. Governments globally have mandated that vehicle manufacturers include airbags in their vehicles to reduce the number of fatalities. For example, the Indian government has made it compulsory for all passenger vehicle manufacturers to install airbags for the safety of the front driver and co-passenger.
Frontal airbags have proven highly effective, saving more than 60,000 lives annually. While they are designed to prevent fatal outcomes in accidents, they can also cause injuries. Car crashes can result in various airbag-related injuries, including facial cuts and broken noses, particularly when the airbag is faulty. The successful deployment of an airbag relies on the vehicle's sensors accurately detecting speed, braking, and impact. Sensor malfunctions can lead to unnecessary deployment or failure during a genuine crash. Some airbags may inflate too quickly and rupture, while others may not inflate rapidly enough to provide adequate cushioning upon impact. Additionally, certain chemicals used in airbag deployment can cause 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. 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 Middle East and Africa region is significant in the global automotive airbags market. The market growth in this region can be attributed to increasing vehicle production, rising awareness about passenger safety, and the implementation of stringent safety regulations. The airbag demand is expected to rise as governments emphasize road safety measures and consumers prioritize vehicle safety features.
The Middle East and Africa automotive airbags market is segmented into position, application, vehicle type, and distribution channel.
By Position, it is further segmented into frontal, side, and knee airbags.
Frontal Airbags dominated the market and are expected to register a CAGR of 7.2% over the forecast period. Side head and chest-protecting airbags are designed to deploy in side collisions to prevent people's heads and chests from colliding with protruding vehicle side structure, a striking vehicle, or an object like a tree or pole. Side airbags absorb and disperse impact forces so that no portion of the body sustains concentrated impact forces.
Based on fabric, it is further segmented into coated and non-coated.
Coated dominated the market and is expected to register a CAGR of 7.1% over the forecast period. Automobile airbags are manufactured using various varieties of fabric, such as nylon and polyester. As the choice of material can considerably increase the final cost of a vehicle, the demand for each type of fabric fluctuates according to manufacturers and their intended consumers. Silicon has been widely used as a coating for the past few decades, but other materials are gradually displacing it due to their superior strength and recyclability.
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 6.3% over the forecast period. Approximately 23 million commercial vehicles were manufactured worldwide. In most countries worldwide, commercial vehicle manufacturers are not required to install airbags. Nonetheless, numerous market participants have begun supplying airbags in midsize commercial vehicles. However, the number is extremely restrictive.
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 6.6% 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.