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The global automotive headrest market size was valued at USD 9.57 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 10.82 billion in 2022 to USD 15.95 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.7% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with automotive headrests experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 14.4% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), good head restraints can result in 11% reduction in injury claim rates. Headrests are an important safeguard necessary to prevent neck and head injuries in rear-end accidents. Availability of cheap labor, large youth population, rising middle class, and growing domestic consumption, especially in developing countries, are attributed to the consistent increase in vehicle production and sales. These factors, in turn, are fueling the growth of this market.
COVID-19 Accelerated Focus on Domestic Semiconductor Manufacturing Which Will Trigger Market Growth
Automotive factories were forced to close down due to the pandemic-induced lockdown or function at reduced operating capacity after production resumed, which led to a severe downturn in vehicle production. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), production was equivalent to sales in 2010, declining by 16% to less than 78 million vehicles.
For instance, Europe, which accounted for almost 22% share of the total production, witnessed a decline in production of around 21%. All the key producing countries in the region witnessed a decline in production ranging from 11% to 40%. The industry improved far earlier than expected in 2020, and demand for new vehicles was resilient among consumers. However, as services closed due to shutdowns, semiconductor chip and wafer suppliers diverted capacity to other sectors such as consumer electronics.
Due to their complexity, these chips have extremely long lead times (around 26 weeks). Hence, chipmakers were unable to fulfill the sudden ramp-up in demand. This shortage led automakers to cut production in 2021. For instance, Ford was compelled to decrease the production of its F-150 truck in Q2 2021, which accounts for a substantial portion of the company’s profits. These factors directly contributed to a considerable loss of revenue for automotive headrest manufacturers in 2020.
Several governments have introduced long-term plans to reduce the dependency on the small number of semiconductor chip manufacturers in Asia Pacific. For instance, Europe introduced the European Chips Act, and the U.S. government passed the CHIPS act in 2021 to boost the domestic production of chips. Furthermore, despite the overall decrease in car sales, more than 3 million electric cars were sold in 2020, increasing over 40% as compared to 2019.
Hence, these factors will contribute to the automotive industry's recovery over the mid to long term, which will propel the automotive headrest market growth during the forecast period.
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Increasing Adoption of 6-way Headrests to Augment Growth
A 6-way headrest provides additional comfort and support to the passengers by allowing them to modify the head restraint position. It not only slides up and down, but passengers can also unfold the side cushions to the ideal angle. Hence, automotive OEMs have started providing it optionally. For instance, Jeep offers a 6-way option in its ‘Cherokee model.’ Currently, the only company supplying 6-way headrests for automobiles is Ningbo Jifeng Auto Parts Co. Ltd.
Hence, with increasing consumer preference toward more seating comfort, penetration of 6-way automotive headrest is anticipated to increase during the forecast period.
Shared Mobility Will Create Demand for New Cars which will Augment Growth
New mobility services may reduce private-vehicle sales. However, this is expected to be compensated by increased sales of shared vehicles, which need to be replaced more frequently due to higher wear & tear. In ride-sharing or carpooling, the consumer expects to have comfortable seating during the journey. Thus, comfortable armrests and head restraints play an important role in a relaxed ride. Hence, ride-sharing companies will mostly install comfortable seating arrangements such as two-way and four-way headrests in their vehicles. These factors will propel the growth of the market.
Increasing Sales of Electric and Luxury Vehicles to Boost Market Growth
In 2021, luxury vehicle brands, such as Bentley, Rolls-Royce, BMW, and Porsche, witnessed record sales. Bentley sold 14,659 vehicles in 2021, a 31% improvement over 2020 and a benchmark for the business. Porsche sold 301,915 vehicles, representing 11% rise globally. Many luxury and electric vehicles are equipped with mostly two-way or four-way head restraints.
For instance, Tesla is equipped with a new accessory that attaches to the headrest to help the passenger’s posture and a more comfortable ride. The accessory is made of breathable vegan leather, and they easily attach to Tesla’s head restraint. They facilitate drivers to rest their neck and head on the seat while still maintaining a good posture to drive. Hence, these factors will drive the growth of the market.
Increasing Installation of Leather Headrest to Increase Overall Cost of the Vehicle which will Restrain Market Growth
Previously, leather headrests and seating were installed only in a few luxury vehicles from Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and Jaguar. However, the sedan and other entry-level car consumers have started demanding leather head restraints and seating for enhanced ride comfort with changing consumer preferences. For instance, Toyota and Chevrolet implemented it in their 2021 models, the Toyota Camry and Chevrolet Cavalier in the U.S. However, it increases the overall cost of the vehicle. Hence, these factors may restrain the growth of the market.
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2-way Headrest to Dominate Market Owing to Benefits such as High Strength at Low Cost
By type, the market is segmented into the fixed, 2-way, and 4-way headrest.
The 2-way segment held the largest share of the market attributed to its high strength, lightweight, low adjustment effort, and low replacement cost.
The 4-way segment is projected to grow faster during the forecast period. It provides backset adjustability that offers improved comfort and is thicker; hence, providing more comfort cushioning and a higher level of support. These factors will positively influence the growth of the segment.
Passenger Cars Held Largest Share of the Market Supported by Increase in Luxury Vehicle Sales
Based on application, the market is segmented into passenger cars and commercial vehicles.
The passenger cars segment held the largest market share in 2021. Sales of luxury vehicles have continued to increase (despite the overall negative effect on car sales during the pandemic and subsequent chip shortage). For instance, Rolls Royce (a BMW subsidiary) witnessed an increase in sales by 41% in 2021 despite COVID-19. Sales of luxury vehicles increased by 14.7% in 2020 to 2.53 million vehicles and accounted for a significant share (13%) of the total passenger car market. Hence, these factors will drive the growth of the segment.
The commercial vehicles segment is anticipated to exhibit a higher CAGR during the forecast period. Demand for commercial vehicles is greater in Brazil, China, and India. Features and amenities are of less importance than basic reliability and safety. Hence, the majority of the commercial vehicles in this region (mainly buses and heavy trucks) are primarily equipped with fixed automotive headrest.
Asia Pacific Automotive Headrest Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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Asia Pacific dominated the automotive headrest market share (with China accounting for majority of the share), and it stood at USD 5.38 billion in 2021. Macroeconomic factors, such as a rise in purchasing power and improved safety standards in vehicles (for instance, regulations have been implemented in China that mandate rear head restraint installation), will fuel the growth of the market in this region. Moreover, there is a shift in consumer preference from sedans & hatchbacks to larger SUVs in key countries such as India and China. This will lead to an exponential increase in demand for automotive headrest.
Europe is expected to show significant growth in the market due to the high demand for comfort driving and consumers' preference for luxury & in-vehicle driving safety features. Moreover, established regulations on occupant safety and the higher disposable income of customers are responsible for the high demand for advanced adjustable head restraints in this region.
North America is also expected to witness good growth in the market. In the U.S., luxury vehicle brands have witnessed a consistent increase in demand. According to Kelley Blue Book (a vehicle valuation company), luxury brands accounted for 16.1% of total sales, increasing from 15.6%. Demand for mid-size & compact SUVs and full-size pickups is also high, with those three segments accounting for around 49% of total vehicle sales in the U.S. These factors will positively impact this market’s growth.
Lear Corporation Dominates Market Owing to Productive Partnerships and Industry-Leading Products
Lear is one of the leading automotive headrest players in the market. Its business primarily involves the development and manufacturing of automotive interior systems. Although Lear’s automotive headrest and seating revenue primarily rely on two OEMs, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors, for more than two-thirds of its sales, the company's seats can be found in more than 80 different car models globally. These factors have enabled the company to capture a larger market share.
An Infographic Representation of Automotive Headrest Market
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The global automotive headrest market research report covers a detailed market analysis. It focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading product applications. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report delivers an in-depth analysis of several factors that have contributed to its growth in recent years.
Value (USD Billion), Volume (Thousand Units)
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 9.57 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 15.95 billion by 2029.
In 2021, the Asia Pacific market size stood at USD 5.38 billion.
The market will exhibit a promising growth rate of 5.7% CAGR during the forecast period (2022-2029).
The 2-way headrest segment held the largest share of the market in 2021.
Increasing penetration of shared mobility services and rapid urbanization is the key factor driving the market's growth.
Toyota Boshoku Corporation, Brose Fahrzeugteile, and Lear Corporation are the major players in the global market.
Asia Pacific held the largest share in the market in 2021.
Factors, such as the increasing demand for mid-size and compact SUVs and electric vehicles, especially in China and India, are expected to fuel the market growth during the forecast period.
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