Light Vehicle refers to the commercial carrier vehicle thatdoes not weigh more than 3.5 tons. Safety features and enhanced comfort are the major factors for the increased demand of these light vehicle seating’s market. New designs using new materials assembly mechanisms and foams are expected to drive the market demand. Safety, comfort, and flexibility are the major drivers ofthis industry. Changing customer preferences have forced manufacturers to find innovative ways to cave into the rear seat rows. The seats of the vehicle are now comfortable and safer than it used to be before. Innovation and development are taking place at a faster rate in the light vehicle seating market. Rather than focusing on seating ergonomics, manufacturers are now focused on integrating fragrances, diverse seat fabrics, and added waterproof & breathable surface designs. Changing customer needs onseating arrangement is expected to have apositive impact on market growth.
Sports vehicles are the major contributors to the market demand for light vehicle seating. The other contributors include cars and trucks. Manufacturers are also working on reducing the weight of the vehicle by reducing the weight of seating in vehicles. Major players are also innovating to integrate seat heaters thatwould provide warmth to all parts of the seat in order to satisfy customers. While there is an increase in the seat heating industry, demand for seat cooling is expected to gather momentum overthe forecast period.
The dominant region in the light vehicle seating market is AsiaPacific. The growth in this region can be attributed to the growing disposable income of population and the presence of manufacturers in this region. The demand for small cars is prominent in this region thatis aiding the growth of light vehicle seating market in this region. Japan is driving market growth in this region due to the presence of major automobile manufacturers in the country. North Americais the second most dominant region owingto increased demand for automobiles in theregion. The growing interest rates can hinder market growth of light vehicle seating market in this region. The growth in this region is driven by the presence of manufacturers in the U.S and the research and innovation efforts carried out by the manufacturers. The European Light Vehicle Market is also growing substantially due to increasing demand for small vehicles.
The key manufacturers in this market include LEAR Corporation, Johnson Controls, Magna International, Faurecia SA, NHK Spring Co., TS Tech Co., Tachi-S, Toyota Boshoku Corporation, Toyo Tire and Rubber Co, Ltd., Woodbridge Group, Recticel SA, Grupo Antolin Irausa S.A., Kongsberg Automotive, Sharda Motor Industries, Grammer AG, Freudenberg, Dura Automotive Systems LLC, CVG Seating, Gentherm Inc., ContiTech, Brose Fahrzeugteile GmbH & Co.KG, Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd., and Autoliv.
The market is characterized by merger and acquisition activities. Large market players are integrating backward by acquiring small manufacturers to increase their dominance. Lear Corporation was acquired by Guilford Mills for approximately USD 257 million in 2014. The European manufacturers of Light Vehicle Seating are targeting small manufacturers in China due to growing automobile market in the region. Johnson Controls earns more than USD 6 billion of revenue from the Chinese market.
Lear Corporation offers seating in various materials as well as with added advantages of smart technologies to ensure better seating experience for customers. Johnson Controls is one of the leading manufacturers of Light Vehicle Seating and servescustomers such as Volkswagen, Porsche, and Volvo. Magna International is one of the leading organizations engaged in the innovation ofseating and improving seating experience. They offer complete seating systems, mechanism solutions, seat structure solutions, and foam & trim products. The research and innovation efforts at Faurecia are targeted towardsdeveloping lightweight seat mechanisms, advanced comfort systems, and integrated systems. The Woodbridge Group manufactures light vehicle seating under the ComforTech brand.
Research Support Specialist, USA