The North America automotive airbags market witnessed significant growth and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% during the forecast period (2022–2030).
An airbag is a safety mechanism installed in vehicles to safeguard drivers, passengers, and pedestrians from severe injuries or fatalities in the event of an accident. It is constructed using polyester or nylon and is available in different sizes and shapes. The airbag is a gas-inflated cushion strategically placed in the steering wheel, doors, roof, or seats. It utilizes a crash sensor to promptly trigger rapid expansion, protecting against the impact of a collision.
North America, ranked third in the global automotive airbag market, contributes approximately 11.9% of the 77.9 million vehicles produced worldwide. The United States takes the lead in this regional market. However, in recent years, due to market maturity, there has been a noticeable decline in both the demand for and production of vehicles.
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In response to the increasing number of accidents, governments have directed automotive manufacturers to enhance their products to improve driver and passenger safety and reduce the likelihood of accidents. Leading manufacturers are introducing various vehicle safety features, including cruise control, crash warning systems, lane assistance, and airbags. Road traffic crashes result in approximately 1.3 million fatalities annually, costing countries around 3% of their gross domestic product. More than half of these deaths occur among vulnerable road users. Governments globally have made it mandatory for vehicle manufacturers to install airbags to reduce the fatality rate. For example, the government of India has mandated that all passenger vehicle manufacturers must provide airbags for the front driver and co-passenger safety.
Frontal airbags have proven highly effective, saving over 60,000 lives annually. While they can prevent fatal consequences in a collision, they can also lead to injuries. Car accidents can result in various airbag-related injuries, including facial lacerations and broken noses, particularly if the airbag is faulty. The deployment of an airbag relies on the vehicle's sensors detecting the correct speed, braking, and impact. If a sensor malfunctions, the airbag may deploy without a crash or fail to deploy during an actual crash. Some airbags may inflate too quickly and rupture, while others may not inflate rapidly enough to provide adequate cushioning upon impact. Moreover, certain chemical agents used in airbag deployment can cause breathing difficulties, abrasions, burns, vision impairment, or hearing loss.
Road accidents are a global concern, particularly when driving in heavy traffic and poor weather conditions. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.25 million individuals die annually in traffic accidents. Airbags are widely used in vehicles to reduce the severity of collisions, for example, to enhance overall vehicle safety and reduce the number of collisions. In addition, increased consumer awareness and disposable income have led consumers to spend more on a vehicle's safety features. Leading automakers now equip their vehicles with side airbags (SABs) to prevent severe thoracic injuries in side-impact collisions. In 2019, Autoliv Inc. introduced a new front-center airbag, mounted between the driver and front-seat passenger, that reduces the risk of head, shoulder, and torso injuries and saves lives in side-impact collisions. Thus, adopting advanced safety systems (airbags) and growing consumer awareness of safety features are anticipated to propel the automotive airbag market.
The automotive airbags market is segmented by country: The U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The U.S. dominated the market with a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period.
The North American automotive airbags market shows promising growth prospects, driven by stringent safety regulations, increasing consumer awareness about vehicle safety, and technological advancements in airbag systems. With the presence of major automotive manufacturers and rising demand for advanced safety features, the market is expected to witness significant expansion in the region.
The US automotive airbags market shows regional variation, with different trends and factors influencing its growth across states. Factors such as population density, vehicle ownership rates, road safety, and consumer preferences for safety features contribute to the regional dynamics of the market.
The automotive airbags market in Canada is witnessing growth driven by increasing safety regulations and rising awareness regarding passenger safety. The demand for advanced airbag technologies, such as side and curtain airbags, is rising. Key players in the market are focusing on product innovation and strategic partnerships to gain a competitive edge.
The North American 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 6.2% 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 6.1% 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 5.3% over the forecast period. In 2019, over 54 million passenger vehicles were manufactured worldwide. 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 5.6% over the forecast period. More than 77 million units are produced annually on a global scale. Most automobiles manufactured and sold in Europe and North America are equipped with airbags. 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. OEM has a significant presence in Asia-Pacific.