COVID-19 Crisis Causes Sharp Decline in Consumer Footfall in Car Showrooms
The suspension of operations and minimal workforce in plants are few of the many measures companies in the front-end module market are adopting during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis. Despite setbacks in the global economy, manufacturers are anticipating growth in business activities in the last quarter of 2020. They are taking cues from previous product launches. For instance, in January 2020, the U.S. semiconductor company Qorvo introduced a full suite of automotive products that include integrated front-end modules (FEM) to support dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) systems.
The expansion of the front-end module market has slowed down due to reduced consumer footfall in showrooms. Automakers in Europe, the U.S., Russia, and India are scrambling to keep vehicle assemblies humming. Postponement and cancellation of industry events are likely to cause issues for car makers.
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Aesthetic Surfaces and Precision Molding Being Preferred by Automakers in Front-end Modules
Companies in the front-end module market are increasing their production capacities to manufacture glass mat thermoplastic (GMT) components and mechanical assemblies for small as well as luxury cars. SUVs among passenger vehicles are projected to hold the highest revenue share in the market. OEMs in India are strengthening their distribution chains with countries such as France, Germany, and Spain. Apart from Asia and Europe, manufacturers are tapping into business opportunities in other automotive regions such as South and North America.
The front-end module market is expected to cross a value of US$ 100 Bn by 2030. OEMs are increasing efforts to offer full system solutions to automakers. With the help of manufacturing expertise in elastomer and polymer processing and highly specialized technology, companies are gaining competitive edge over other component suppliers. Aesthetic surfaces and precision molding are highly preferred by automobile manufacturers.
High-speed Automotive Ethernet Improves Throughput in V2X Communication
The trend of vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication is bringing a significant change in the front-end module market. As such, the automotive Ethernet is being used to connect the telematics control unit (TCU) in cars. However, the drawback of automotive Ethernet is that it lags behind standard Ethernet maximum throughput. Hence, companies in the front-end module market are introducing high-speed Ethernet of more than 10 Gbit/s to improve the throughput.
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Manufacturers are increasing their portfolio in simple plastic as well as mechanical assemblies. For instance, Motherson Sumi Systems— a joint venture between Samvardhana Motherson International Ltd. of India and Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd. of Japan, is increasing production for highly integrated modules. As such, plastic is predicted to dictate the lion’s share among all materials in the market, while pelletized long fiber pp material is anticipated for rapid growth during the forecast period.