Automotive Seat Belt Load Limiters: An Additional Line of Safety

Concerns about the safety of customers are growing faster than the rate at with the global vehicle parc is expanding. With safety becoming the primary criterion for customers while making a decision of purchasing a vehicle, automakers are coming up with more advanced and innovative automotive safety components to succeed in the hyper-competitive industry.

The increasing adoption of cutting-edge technologies has triggered the demand for digressive and progressive seat belt load limiters. However, with the automotive world progressing to embrace smart seat belt systems in tomorrow’s vehicles, the automotive seat belt load limiter market is expected to witness a sea change in terms of technological disruption.

Transparency Market Research (TMR), in its latest offering, provides a 360-degree viewpoint of the automotive seat belt load limiter market and exclusive information about which factors will impact the salient trends in the market. TMR’s study includes valuable, yet actionable insights for market players, which can help them in gaining a competitive edge in such a highly consolidated landscape.

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Automotive Seat Belt Load Limiter Market Grows with the Amplifying Need for Vehicle Safety

Customers’ need for safer vehicles has been directing some imperative business strategies of automakers since the past decade, giving rise to some groundbreaking innovations. Seat belt load limiters, albeit not integral, have become an important component in modern vehicles. From being limited to sports cars and high-end vehicles, seat belt pretensioners and load limiters have become ubiquitous in most passenger cars on the roads.

The global market for automotive seat belt load limiters recorded a sales of ~ 230 million units in 2018, reaching a valuation of ~ US$ 3 billion, and is expected to witness healthy growth in the coming future. The market is expected to ride on the coattails of tightening automotive safety regulations. However, the high frequency of the failure of adjacent components and high replacement cost of seat belt load limiters can prove problematic for the expansion of this landscape.

Though occupant safety has gained center stage in automakers’ business strategies, which will continue to drive market growth, the demand for this component largely depends upon automotive production and sales. The volatile nature of the automotive industry may remain a major threat for stakeholders in the automotive seat belt load limiter market.

Demand to Surge in Light Commercial Vehicle Category in Asia Pacific

Since the negative effects of the Great Recession have ebbed, the automotive industry has been flourishing more in Asia Pacific than any other geographical region. The rise in automotive sales and production has contributed to Asia Pacific accounting for ~ 48% of the global sales of automotive seat belt load limiters, in 2018.

As safety features of passenger cars have always had the biggest impact on the purchasing decisions of customers, it creates a high sales potential for seat belt load limiters in various types of passenger vehicles, which accounted for 9 in 10 units of seat belt load limiters sold in 2018.

The substantial rise in the sales and production of various types of passenger vehicles, including hatchbacks, sedans, and utility vehicles in Asia Pacific is fostering business growth for market players in this category. Meanwhile, increasing growth in the industrial landscape of the region has also bolstered the sales of commercial vehicles in developing countries such as India and China.

A potential upsurge in the number of light commercial vehicles running on the roads in these countries is expected to influence the upcoming trends in the automotive seat belt load limiter space. TMR’ study estimates that, global sales of automotive seat belt load limiters in the light commercial vehicle category are set to grow 8X between 2019 and 2027.

Sensing a drift from passenger vehicles to commercial vehicles in Asia Pacific, manufacturers are expected to capitalize on this opportunity by expanding their production capabilities of automotive seat belt load limiters used in light commercial vehicles.

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Strategies to Reflect a Shift in Focus from Front to Rear Seat Belt Load Limiters

Automotive seat belt load limiters are predominantly mounted on the front seat to reduce the impact on the occupant caused by the seat belt, especially when the airbags get inflated after a crash. Also, it is the most common belief that, an occupant in the front seat of a car is more vulnerable to the impact of a road accident, which underscores the high sales volumes of automotive safety components designed for front seats.

In 2018, seven in ten automotive seat belt load limiters sold worldwide were manufactured for the front seats of vehicles. However, safety researchers in leading companies are increasing their focus on offering automotive seat belt load limiters for safeguarding occupants in rear seats as well.

Various studies conducted by researchers and market players indicate that, automotive manufacturers as well as consumers are voicing the need for better designs of seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters for the rear seats. While the demand for automotive seat belt load limiters for the front seats will continue to remain high, efforts to enhance protection for occupants in the rear seats are likely to get a boost in the coming years.

In addition, a substantial rise in the number of ongoing studies and tests to examine the safety of rear seats will remain instrumental in dictating the upcoming strategies of stakeholders in the automotive seat belt load limiter market. Leading players are expected to increase focus on innovating the designs of automotive seat belt load limiters for the front seats, and those for the rear seats to sync with this emerging trend in this landscape.

Automotive Seat Belt Load Limiter Market Consolidation by Top 7 Players

Autoliv Inc., Joyson Safety Systems, DENSO Corporation, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Seat Belt Solutions LLC, TOKAIRIKA CO LTD., and Continental AG are the top seven companies accounting for ~ 60% revenue share of the automotive seat belt load limiter market.

Leading players have established a strong position in the market with heavy investments in research & development (R&D) for delivering the highest quality of automotive safety components.

As innovation becomes the top priority for frontrunners in the automotive seat belt load limiter market, they are fortifying their positions through state-of-the-art R&D capabilities and by staying updated with the changing regulatory environment. For instance, in July 2018, Autoliv Inc. announced that it had joined the new European H2020 research project OSCCAR (Future Occupant Safety for Crashes in Cars) to gain inputs on tests and safety regulations that will shape the future of occupant protection in the automotive industry.

Local and emerging players in the automotive seat belt load limiter market are struggling to comply with stringent regulatory frameworks, meet high industry standards, and mitigate production costs at the same time. However, a large number of new businesses are sprouting up in developing countries, especially in Asia Pacific, to capitalize on the increasing growth of the automotive industry in the region.

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

Authors of TMR’s study on the automotive seat belt load limiter market are optimistic about the growth of the market, and opine that, with the tightening regulatory framework vis-à-vis automotive safety, sales are set to grow ~ 1.5X between 2019 and 2027. As the basic design of automotive seat belt load limiters is implemented in most vehicles today, manufacturers will have to introduce more innovative and safer designs to gain momentum in the market.

Investing in R&D will remain the most trusted strategy among leading players in the automotive seat belt load limiter market. New entrants will have to focus on expanding their presence in local markets, especially in Asia Pacific, to improve their sales performance, with frontrunners gobbling a significant revenue share of the market.

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Automotive Seat Belt Load Limiter Market - Key Insights

  • The global automotive seat belt load limiter market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of ~ 6% during the period of 2019 to 2027.
  • In terms of technology, the digressive load limiters is a major segment of the automotive seat belt load limiter market, and it accounted for 65.28% share of the automotive seat belt load limiter market in 2018.
  • Front seats are preferred for the integration of automotive seat belt pretensioners along with load limiters in order to reduce the impact of a collision and reduce the tension of the seat belts on the front seats at the time of a collision.
  • The penetration of automotive seat belt pretensioners and load limiters is significantly higher among premium segment vehicles. Moreover, premium vehicles are equipped with pretensioners and load limiters in the retractors even on the rear seat belts.

Global Automotive Seat Belt Load Limiter Market: Drivers

  • Automotive seat belt load limiters are installed in automotive seat belts to reduce the tension created by seat belts during an impact. Automotive seat belt load limiters also protect the occupant from injury or prevent excess pressure from being exerted on the chest due to the seat belt in the vehicle.
  • A pretensioner used in the vehicle typically comprises a pyrotechnic device, which assists in holding the occupant in position and prevents the occupant from banging against the dashboard or front seat of the vehicle, while the automotive seat belt load limiter reduces the force exerted by the belt.
  • Increase in the demand for safety systems in vehicles has led to the development of advanced technology seat belts. Rising stringency of safety standards is driving the automotive seat belt market, which, in turn, is likely to boost the market for automotive seat belt load limiters.
  • Rise in per capita income in developing countries has led to the emergence of several first-time consumers, thus spurring vehicle production. This, in turn, fuels the demand for automotive seat belt load limiters.
  • Government initiatives in India and China to boost vehicle production in their respective countries is driving the automotive seat belt load limiter market in Asia Pacific.
  • Expansion of the automotive industry in ASEAN is projected to boost the automotive seat belt load limiter market in the sub-region. Increase in the demand for occupant safety is a primary driver of the global automotive seat belt load limiter market.
  • Increasing usage of active safety features in modern vehicles to enhance safety of passengers, and continuous developments in the field of safety equipment carried out by major manufacturers, such as Autoliv, Inc. and ZF Friedrichshafen AG, are anticipated to propel the automotive seat belt load limiter market during the forecast period.

Global Automotive Seat Belt Load Limiter Market: Challenges

  • Wearing seat belts regularly has, in a few instances, led to the appearance of rashes in some occupants, which, in turn, is discouraging some people from utilizing seat belts.
  • Automotive seat belt load limiters are not replaced individually; instead, the complete seat belt system needs to be replaced if there is a malfunction.
  • The high cost of automotive seat belt load limiter systems has led to the high usage of seat belts without load limiters for the rear seats.
  • The global automotive seat belt load limiter market has been segmented based on technology, seat, vehicle, and region.
  • Based on technology, the digressive load limiters segment accounted for a notable share of the global automotive seat belt load limiter market. The preference of manufacturers to install load limiters in combination with retractors has propelled the retractor technology segment in the automotive seat belt load limiter market, as load limiters are installed with retractors in order to reduce the force exerted by the seat belt on the occupant in case of a collision or sudden deceleration.
  • Based on seat, the front seats segment is likely to account for a prominent share of the automotive seat belt load limiter market, due to higher penetration of load limiters for front seats. This is because during a collision, the impact is higher on the driver and co-driver seat, and hence, automotive seat belt load limiters are used reduce the tension of the belt.
  • However, some vehicles are equipped with automotive seat belt load limiters on both, front as well as rear seats, in order to enhance the safety factor of the vehicle.
  • In terms of vehicle, the passenger vehicles segment accounted for a notable share of the global automotive seat belt load limiter market, owing to the significantly high production of passenger vehicles as compared to commercial vehicles.
  • Moreover, a higher number of seat belts are integrated in passenger vehicles as compared to commercial vehicles, which, in turn, propels the passenger vehicles segment in the automotive seat belt load limiter market.
  • Active technology seat belts are mostly employed in passenger vehicles.

Automotive Seat Belt Load Limiter Market: Regional Analysis

  • In terms of region, Asia Pacific dominated the global automotive seat belt load limiter market due to the high production capabilities of China, India, South Korea, and Japan.
  • The automotive seat belt load limiter market in countries in Asia Pacific and Latin America, such as India, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, is expected to expand at a notable growth rate during the forecast period, due to the rising demand for vehicles in these countries.
  • Rising penetration of automotive seat belt load limiters in Asia Pacific, owing to the increasing production of premium vehicles that are equipped with higher number of load limiters in seat belt systems, is expected to be a key driver of the automotive seat belt load limiter market in the region.
  • Europe held a significant share of the global automotive seat belt load limiter market, as the region comprises a large number of vehicles with active automotive seat belt load limiters as compared to vehicles in other regions.

Automotive Seat Belt Load Limiter Market: Competitive Landscape

  • Key players operating in the global automotive seat belt load limiter market include
    • APV Safety Products, Autoliv Inc.,
    • Belt-tech, BERGER GROUP,
    • Continental AG,
    • DENSO Corporation.,
    • Far Europe Inc.,
    • Goradia Industries,
    • GWR Co.,
    • Joyson Safety Systems,
    • Robert Bosch GmbH,
    • Seatbelt Solutions LLC,
    • TOKAIRIKA,CO, LTD, 
    • ZF Friedrichshafen AG.
  • Autoliv, Inc. and ZF Friedrichshafen AG are at the forefront in the development of seat belt systems, and pretensioners and hold a major share of the global automotive seat belt load limiter market.
  • In 2013, TRW Automotive Holdings Corp., which has been acquired by ZF Friedrichshafen AG, showcased SPR4, a next-gen seat belt retractor pretensioner that uses a plastic piston instead of conventional metal components to transfer tensioning torque, resulting in a simpler and lightweight design, as well as more compact packaging.

Transparency Market Research (TMR) has published a recent study on the global automotive seat belt load limiter market. It presents complete assessment of the key market dynamics, including the drivers, market trends, and challenges, as well as the structure of the automotive seat belt load limiter market report. TMR’s study offers valuable information about the automotive seat belt load limiter market, to elucidate how growth will discern during the forecast period of 2019-2027.

Top indicators of market growth, which include value chain as well as supply chain analysis, and Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR), are explained in TMR’s study in a comprehensive manner. This information can help readers understand the quantitative growth prospects of the automotive seat belt load limiter market during the forecast period.

An extensive analysis on leading market players’ business strategies is also featured in TMR’s study on the automotive seat belt load limiter market. This can help readers understand important factors to envisage growth in the automotive seat belt load limiter market. Readers can also find, in the study, precise information on the qualitative and quantitative growth prospects of the automotive seat belt load limiter market, which can help market players make apt decisions in the future.

Key Questions Answered in TMR’s Automotive Seat Belt Load Limiter Market Study

  • What is the scope of growth for automotive seat belt load limiter companies in the light commercial vehicle industry?
  • What is the influence of the changing trends in technologies on the automotive seat belt load limiter market?
  • Will Asia Pacific continue to remain the most profitable regional market for automotive seat belt load limiter providers?
  • Which factors will impede the growth of the automotive seat belt load limiter market during the forecast period?
  • Which are the leading companies in the global automotive seat belt load limiter market?

Research Methodology

A unique research methodology is utilized by TMR to conduct extensive research on the growth of the automotive seat belt load limiter market, and reach conclusions on future growth parameters of the market. This research methodology is a combination of primary and secondary research, which helps analysts ensure the accuracy and reliability of the conclusions.

Secondary resources referred to by analysts during the production of the automotive seat belt load limiter market study include statistics from company annual reports, SEC filings, company websites, World Bank database, investor presentations, relevant patent and regulatory databases, statistical databases, government publications, and industry white papers. Analysts have interviewed senior managers, product portfolio managers, CEOs, VPs, marketing/product managers, and market intelligence managers, who contributed to the production of TMR’s study on the automotive seat belt load limiter market, as a primary resource.

Primary resources and secondary resources provide exclusive information during these interviews, which serves as a validation from automotive seat belt load limiter industry leaders, and makes TMR’s estimates on the future prospects of the automotive seat belt load limiter market more reliable and accurate.

Key market players featured in the automotive seat belt load limiter market report include

  • DENSO Corporation,
  • Joyson Safety Systems
  • APV Safety Products
  • Continental AG
  • Autoliv Inc.
  • Beam's Seat Belts
  • Kingfisher Automotive
  • Belt-tech, Far Europe Inc. 
  • TOKAIRIKA CO, LTD
  • BERGER GROUP, GWR Co.
  • Goradia Industries
  • Seat Belt Solutions LLC
  • ZF Friedrichshafen AG.

Segmentation of the Automotive Seat Belt Load Limiter Market

TMR’s study on the automotive seat belt load limiter market includes information divided into four important segments—technology, vehicle, seat, and region. Changing industry trends and other important market dynamics associated with these segments of the automotive seat belt load limiter market are discussed in detail.

Technology

Digressive Load Limiters

Progressive Load Limiters

Adaptive/ Switchable

Vehicle

Passenger Vehicles

  • Hatchbacks
  • Sedans
  • UVs

Light Commercial Vehicles

Heavy Commercial Vehicles

Seat

Front

Rear

Region

North America

Latin America

Europe

Asia Pacific

Middle East & Africa