An automotive seat heater is a heating element placed under the seat cushion to heat the seat in a vehicle and provide comfort to the occupant. The seat heater allows the driver to regulate the temperature of the seat. It primarily consists of a heating element, relay, thermostat, and a resistor.
Increase in disposable income of consumers and demand for luxurious lifestyle are driving the global automotive seat heater market. Global economic growth has fueled the demand for luxury vehicles, which in turn is driving the adoption of seat heaters in luxury vehicles. This, in turn, is fueling the demand for automotive seat heaters. High penetration of passenger vehicles in Europe is fueling the automotive seat heater market in the region. Europe experiences cold winters and witnesses high consumer affordability; hence, the region is an attractive market for automotive seat heaters. High sales of premium vehicles in North America is also a major driver of the seat heater market in the region. Carbon fiber seat heaters are increasingly being used due to their safety and heat dissipating capabilities. The carbon fiber panel can also be customized according to individual seat requirement, which is not possible in case of wire panels. The woven structure of carbon fiber ensures that the heaters do not tear apart and hence, minimizes the failure of seat heaters, which is likely to cause severe burns to passengers in certain cases. Carbon fiber provides good strength with flexibility and hence, can be tailored into varied trim sizes.
Demand for seat heater is restricted to cold regions only; however, climate control seats, as featured in several vehicles currently, contain the option of both ventilation and heating in order to provide cooling and heating as per the climate. Ventilation feature in conjunction with heating as a climate controlled seat is expected to boost the seat heater market and make the utilization of automotive seat heaters as standard in all vehicles.
The global automotive seat heater market can be classified based on heater type, vehicle type, sales channel, and region. Based on heater type, the automotive seat heater market can be segmented into carbon fiber heater and composite fiber heater. The carbon fiber heater segment is anticipated to expand at a high growth rate during the forecast period due to its safety advantage, strength, and flexibility.
In terms of vehicle type, the automotive seat heater market can be classified into passenger vehicle, light commercial vehicle, and heavy commercial vehicle. Rising vehicle production in China and Japan is anticipated to drive the demand for automotive seat heaters in these countries and thus, boost the market in Asia Pacific. The light commercial vehicle segment is anticipated to hold a significant share of the market in North America due to the high preference for light commercial vehicles in the region.
Based on sales channel, the automotive seat heater market can be segmented into OEM and aftermarket. Standardization of climate control seats in several vehicles is boosting the OEM segment of the automotive seat heater market.
In terms of region, the automotive seat heaters market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Europe & North America are mature markets for automotive seat heater. Asia Pacific is anticipated to gain share in the global market owing to rising consumer affordability and demand for luxury in the region.
Key players operating in automotive seat heater market include Gentherm Incorporated, Continental AG, Kongsberg Automotive, Panasonic Corporation, Bauerhin GmbH, and Rostra Precision Controls.
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