We live in an era where our lives are highly dependent on automobiles. This essentially calls for the need to enhance the safety infrastructure in automobiles, considering the rising number of vehicle users across the world. Road traffic injury is currently the leading cause of deaths among children and young adults. With seat belts being an essential aspect of road safety, governments across the world have mandated their use. However, despite these regulations, many individuals refrain from using seat belts, considering it an inconvenience. This notion is gradually changing with the shift in consumer perspective from 'convenience' to 'safety', boosting the growth opportunities for the automotive seat belt retractor market. The automotive seat belt retractor market also derives its strength from aftermarket sales, as consumers are keen on replacing old and defective parts of seat belts.

However, the development of vehicles with advanced safety measures may lead to ignorance in the use of seat belts. This essentially means that, although 'quantity' may drive growth, it is 'quality' that will drive consumer attention. That being said, manufacturers are cashing in on this opportunity by developing new technologies and working on enhancing overall user experience. Assessing the rise in lucrative opportunities for the automotive seat belt retractor market, due to incessant expansion in the automotive industry and stringent government laws, TMR conducted an extensive analysis on the market. In its latest study, TMR talks about how changes in consumer preferences and rising innovations impact the business strategies deployed by key enterprises in this market space.

automotive seat belt retractor market strategy

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Evolution and Future Prospects of the Automotive Seat Belt Retractor Market

The automotive seat belt retractor market has come a long way since the discovery of retractable seat belts in late 1955. Seat belt retractors were introduced when conventional seat belts no longer sufficed the need for safety. The need for enhanced safety drove the way for innovations, aimed at enhancing the safety aspect and comfort for the occupants. New seat belt retractor technologies have been evolving ever since, with the development of TRW’s next-generation SPR4 'snake pretensioner' in 2013, to the introduction of ZF Friedrichshafen AG’s active control retractor in 2018. The market is graduating towards success in conjunction with the increase in the production of vehicles. Market sales volume for automotive seat belt retractors was 426 Mn units in 2018, and the market is projected to rise at a CAGR of ~ 3% during the forecast period.

Notable Trends Redefining Automotive Seat Belt Retractor Market Growth

Increasing Production of Emergency Locking Retractors

The automotive seat belt retractor market is taking strides towards success with the rising popularity of emergency locking retractors. The growth of this segment is mainly attributed to the integration of this technology with maximum vehicles and its effectiveness. Manufacturers are vying towards increasing the production of emergency locking retractors, considering the lion’s share this segment occupies automotive seat belt retractor market. It accounted for ~ 53% of the automotive seat belt retractor market share in 2018, and is expected to lead the bandwagon through to 2027. Switchable retractor technology is also gradually taking center stage, since it is an upgraded version of the emergency locking retractor technology.

Consolidation of Position in Asia Pacific

Asia Pacific has emerged as a lucrative region for the growth of the automotive seat belt retractor market, with the rising sales of premium and luxury vehicles. Additionally, the high production volumes of vehicles in developing countries such as China, India, and Japan have created avenues of growth for the automotive seat belt retractor market. Sensing the market potential in this region, manufacturers are working towards enhancing their presence in Asia Pacific. Players are also strengthening their ties with the foreign automakers entering these regions in order to increase proliferation in Asia Pacific. India, in particular, is a key region for the market’s growth, owing to government policies such as 'Make in India' offering incentives to global players to establish manufacturing facilities in India.

Automotive Seat Belt Retractor Market: Key Winning Strategies

Tapping the Opportune Potential of Developing Countries

The automotive industry is prospering in many developing countries, owing to the rising population and the emergence of electronic vehicles. Moreover, stringent laws pertaining to the use of seat belts promote aftermarket sales for automotive seat belt retractors in these regions. Also, scarcity of manufacturers in these regions reduces the risk of competition. Sensing these opportunities, manufacturers are leveraging the growth potential of these countries, either by setting up new manufacturing units or building alliances with automakers in these countries.

New Product Development to Pave the Way for Growth

The automotive seat belt retractor market is driven by new innovations and technologies. Key players are engaging in research and development activities to come up with solutions that not only offer enhanced safety, but are also economically viable. Players are sensing the consumer behavior and new trends in the market, and are launching products aligned with the current market scenario. For instance, ZF Friedrichshafen AG developed a control retractor for the seat belt system which is light in weight, compact, and assembled with new software functions. Similarly, DENSO CORPORATION developed a seat belt electronic control unit that tightens to hold occupants in place during a collision.

automotive seat belt retractor market

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Analysis of the Competitive Landscape

The degree of competition is very high among manufacturers in the automotive seat belt retractor market. Prominent players operating in the automotive seat belt retractor market include Autoliv Inc., Beam's Seatbelts, BERGER GROUP, GWR Co., Joyson Safety Systems, Seatbelt Solutions LLC, Far Europe Inc., and ZF Friedrichshafen AG.

Product differentiation and creating a brand identity remain the preferred growth strategies among players in the automotive seat belt retractor market. Apart from this, market players rely on mergers and acquisitions, expansion of production units, and penetration in regional markets to gain an upper-hand in this market space.

Buyers in the market hold immense bargaining power, owing to the presence of a large number of established players with diverse portfolios and technologies. The intensity of competition among suppliers has increased, due to the soaring production of vehicles. However, the demand for advanced systems such as active seat belts is likely to enhance their bargaining power. There is a moderate threat of new entrants, as the incumbents have already established a brand identity in specific regions. New entrants can gain access to the market due to low initial investments that are required.

automotive seat belt retractor market segmentation

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Analysts’ Viewpoint on the Market

Authors of the report remain positive about the growth of the automotive seat belt retractor market during the forecast period. As the automotive industry continues to expand, the future will shine bright on the automotive seat belt retractor market too. Rising government regulations pertaining to the use of seat belts will help the market climb up the growth ladder. Due to the presence of a large number of manufacturers, key players are resorting to product differentiation as a key winning strategy in the market. They are keen on exploring the growth potential in developing countries, sensing the rising number of vehicle users in these regions. Authors of the report are of the opinion that, players strengthening their relationships with automakers will gain the first-mover advantage in the market, while the ones shying away from this aspect will be left behind in the race. New entrants in the market should target Asia Pacific to enhance their proliferation in the market and reap sizeable revenue benefits.

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Automotive Seat Belt Retractor Market - Key Insights

  • The automotive seat belt retractor market is projected to expand at a CAGR of ~ 3% during the period of 2019 to 2027.
  • Emergency locking retractors is a prominent segment of the automotive seat belt retractor market. It is anticipated to hold ~ 54% share of the automotive seat belt retractor market.
  • Front seats are preferred for the integration of automotive seat belt retractors to reduce the impact of a collision on the front seats. However, the rear seats segment accounts for a major share, as the number of rear seats in vehicles varies from three to five. Hence, the rear seat segment holds a major share of the automotive seat belt retractor market.

Drivers of the Automotive Seat Belt Retractor Market

An automotive seat belt retractor is installed in automotive seat belts to gather and store extra webbing in the seat belt.

  • Surge in the demand for vehicle safety systems has led to the development of seat belts with advanced technology. Increasingly stringent safety standards are driving the automotive seat belt market, which, in turn, is likely to boost the automotive seat belt retractor market.
  • Increase in first-time consumers in several emerging and developing countries, due to the rise in per capita income, spurs vehicle production in countries such as India, Brazil, and those in ASEAN. This, in turn, propels the demand for automotive seat belt retractors.
  • Initiatives undertaken by the governments of India and China are estimated to boost vehicle production in these countries, which, in turn, is estimated to fuel the demand for automotive seat belt retractors in these countries.
  • Economies in ASEAN are developing at a significant pace. Hence, the demand for transportation is high in this sub-region, which, in turn, is driving the automotive industry in ASEAN, and consequently, boosting the demand for seat belt systems and automotive seat belt retractors. Increase in the demand for occupant safety is a primary driver of the automotive seat belt retractor market.

Challenges for the Automotive Seat Belt Retractor Market

  • During a crash, the entire seat belt system gets damaged, and the replacement of a single part is not possible. Moreover, malfunctioning of the seat belt system necessitates the replacement of the entire seat belt system. Replacing the automotive seat belt retractor along with seat belt is highly critical, and incurs a high cost of replacement.

The global automotive seat belts retractor market has been segmented based on technology, seat, vehicle, and region.

Based on technology, the emergency locking retractors segment accounted for a prominent share of the automotive seat belt retractor market. Preference of manufacturers to install pretensioners and load-limiters in collaboration with emergency locking retractors has boosted the emergency locking retractors segment in the automotive seat belt retractor market. High effectiveness of emergency locking retractor seat belts is a key factor propelling their penetration in most passenger vehicles. The switchable retractors segment follows the emergency locking retractors segment, in terms of automotive seat belt retractor market share. These segments are likely to expand at significant growth rates in the automotive seat belt retractor market during the forecast period, due to the rising penetration of automotive seat belt retractors in mid-segment vehicles. The market share held by the automatic locking retractors segment is estimated to decline in the automotive seat belt retractor market, as the locking up of webbing prevents comfortable movement of the occupants.

Based on seat, the rear seats segment is likely to account for a prominent share of the automotive seat belt retractor market, as the volume of seat belts required is higher in rear seats, owing to various types of vehicles considered in the research, which have a higher number of occupancy space for rear seats, such as SUVs and MPVs. Occupants on the front seats have relatively more space and a little more time for the locking of retractors, as compared to rear seats, during an impact or collision. Several other safety features or equipment are installed or fitted in the front portions of vehicles, rather than the rear seats, even in base segment vehicles.

In terms of vehicle, the passenger vehicle segment accounted for a notable share of the automotive seat belt retractor market, as SUVs, a sub-segment of the passenger vehicles segment, are popular in Asia Pacific, and are a major contributor to the passenger vehicles segment. The sales of light commercial vehicles are rising, particularly in the U.K. and the Rest of the European sub-region. Consequently, the light commercial vehicles segment is expected to expand in the automotive seat belt retractor market during the forecast period.

Automotive Seat Belt Retractor Market: Regional Analysis

In terms of region, Asia Pacific dominated the global automotive seat belt retractor market due to the high production capabilities of China, India, South Korea, and Japan. The automotive seat belt retractor markets in countries in Asia Pacific and Latin America such as India, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, are expected to expand at notable growth rates during the forecast period, due to the rising demand for vehicles in these countries. Asia Pacific is witnessing high economic growth. The demand for commercial vehicles is anticipated to rise, which, in turn, is estimated to propel the demand for automotive seat belt retractors in the region.

Automotive Seat Belt Retractor Market: Competitive Landscape

Prominent players operating in the global automotive seat belt retractor market include

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

Autoliv, Inc. and ZF Friedrichshafen AG are at the forefront in the development of seat belt systems and retractors, and hold a major share of the global automotive seat belt retractor market. In 2018, ZF Friedrichshafen AG introduced an active control retractor that works in conjunction with an autonomous emergency braking system. The system can be an integral part of automated driving systems. In 2014, TRW introduced TRW FS1, approximately 15% lighter than the previous technology owing to its simple construction; it was also cost-competitive.

In its latest offering, Transparency Market Research (TMR) provides extensive analysis of the automotive seat belt retractor market based on statistically-refined forecasts, by region, broke down in terms of country. The report comprises a detailed assessment of the key stakeholders in the value chain of the automotive seat belt retractor market. The report covers key insights pertaining to the notable trends and developments impacting the automotive seat belt retractor market during the forecast period of 2019 to 2027.

The information presented in the report on the automotive seat belt retractor market helps stakeholders take important business-related decisions based on the analysis of the historical and current trends. The study gives a 360-degree overview of the automotive seat belt retractor market, and analyzes key opportunities on regional and global levels.

The report on the automotive seat belt retractor market begins with the preface and a brief market overview that gives the product definition and a brief introduction of the automotive seat belt retractor market. Additionally, this segment includes key research objectives. The next segment, the executive summary highlights key industry developments in the automotive seat belt retractor market. Further, key drivers, restraints, and opportunities have been detailed out in the market dynamics segment in a comprehensive fashion. The study also offers a section-wise categorization of the automotive seat belt retractor market, and independent assessment of each section based on key market aspects.

Each segment has been assessed with utmost detail, highlighting the key segment-specific trends and growth opportunities. In addition to this, actionable insights pertaining to the key players operating in each region have been divulged. The information provided encompasses supply chain analysis, value-chain analysis, y-o-y growth analysis, and cost structure.

Key Questions Answered in the Report on the Automotive Seat Belt Retractor Market

The study provides comprehensive information on the growth prospects of the automotive seat belt retractor market based on industry-validated data, facts, and significant statistics associated with market expansion. Insights provided in the report answer salient questions that help stakeholders devise robust strategies for their businesses. Some of these questions are listed below:

  • How have new technologies impacted the growth of the automotive seat belt retractor market?
  • What are the strategies deployed by leading players in the automotive seat belt retractor market?
  • How will the automotive seat belt retractor market unfold during the forecast period?
  • How are new entrants in the automotive seat belt retractor market expanding their global footprints?
  • How have historical trends in the automotive seat belt retractor market impacted the current market scenario?

Automotive Seat Belt Retractor Market: Research Methodology

A robust research methodology has been opted by TMR researchers to conduct comprehensive research on the automotive seat belt retractor market. Primary and secondary research has been conducted to obtain key insights regarding market figures, trends, opportunities, drivers, and challenges. Country-wise analysis of the market has been done through internal and external proprietary databases, and relevant patent and regulatory databases.

For primary research, one-to-one interviews have been conducted with vice presidents, marketing managers, business unit managers, product managers, and R&D heads in the automotive seat belt retractor market. For secondary research, TMR analysts relied on sources such as white papers, annual reports, national government documents, press releases, webcasts, and others. Readers can access the automotive seat belt retractor market report to gain information regarding key happenings in the market for the forecast period of 2019 to 2027.

Automotive Seat Belt Retractor Market: Taxonomy

The automotive seat belt retractor market is segmented into four broad categories - technology, seat, vehicle, and region.

Technology

Emergency Locking Retractors

Automatic Locking Retractors

Switchable Retractors

Seat

Front

Rear

Vehicle

  • Passenger Vehicle s
    • Hatchbacks
    • Sedans
    • UVs

Heavy Commercial Vehicles

Light Commercial Vehicles

Region

North America

Europe

Middle East and Africa

Latin America

Asia Pacific