No. 1 automotive MEMS supplier is Bosch,
lead position retained: reports IHS
IHS iSuppli has released the automotive MEMS report that
positioned Bosch GmbH Automotive Electronics of Germany
as the world's top supplier of automotive microelectromechanical
systems (MEMS) in 2011.
Booking $625 million in revenue last year, Bosch's 19 percent
expansion from $524 million in 2010 outpaced the 14 percent
growth of the automotive MEMS industry as a whole. It was
also $339 million ahead of its nearest rival, No. 2 provider
of MEMS, Denso Corp. of Japan, which grew 9 percent to post
revenue of $286 million.
Bosch, Denso and the rest of the automotive MEMS Top 10
enjoyed combined revenues in 2011 of more than $2.0 billion,
up 11 percent from $1.8 billion the year before, as shown
in the table below. The other companies joining Bosch and
Denso in the elite circle included Panasonic Corp., Freescale
Semiconductor Inc., Sensata Technologies Inc., Analog Devices
Inc., Infineon Technologies AG, VTI Technologies Oy, GE
Sensing Inc. and Delphi Electronics.
Together the Top 10 accounted for 91 percent of the market
Overall 2011 revenue for automotive MEMS sensors amounted
to $2.24 billion, up 14 percent from $1.96 billion in 2010.
Growth occurred despite a disrupted supply chain in the
aftermath of natural disasters last year in Japan and Thailand,
with expansion in the next two years to be driven hard by
government mandates in the United States and Europe for
electronic stability control (ESC) and tire-pressure monitoring
"Bosch's success last year can be credited to its
internal captive market, which promoted stable revenue and
visibility into future demand for the company," said
Richard Dixon, principal analyst for MEMS & sensors
at IHS. "Bosch is a major player in the dominant auto
MEMS markets-being the No. 1 supplier overall in MEMS sensor
shipments for ESC systems in vehicles; as well as supplying
the highest combined total of related automotive MEMS sensors
such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and pressure sensors.
Bosch's performance was also boosted by a rapidly growing
airbag market in China, along with a surge in demand for
frontal and side airbags in the United States, where especially
stringent testing is needed for side impacts of vehicle
doors, unlike in Europe or anywhere else in the world."
Denso, Sensata and Panasonic make gains; Freescale struggles
Runner-up Denso is the major supplier in the Japanese
market, with a diverse customer base that also includes
almost half of Toyota's auto MEMS business. Denso as a concern
reported heavy declines in sales in the second quarter of
last year after the Japan earthquake-tsunami disaster in
March, but managed to recoup its losses during the next
Denso is a top supplier of MEMS sensors of automotive heating/ventilation/air
conditioning (HVAC) systems, as well as satellite airbag
accelerometers and oil-pressure sensors. Nonetheless, Denso's
growth during the last two years has been relatively subdued
compared to the rest of the auto MEMS market, because of
an overly strong yen against the U.S. dollar hindered exports.
Moving up a spot to No. 3 last year was Panasonic of Japan,
with revenue of $202 million, up 12 percent from $181 million
in 2010. Most of Panasonic's sales came from its automotive
gyroscope business, reflecting a narrower focus compared
to that of the leading two companies. However, Panasonic
is the undisputed leader in in-dash navigation gyroscopes
and ranks a very close second to Bosch in gyroscopes needed
for ESC systems. The two devices are the highest-priced
components in the automotive MEMS space.
Just the same, the company is no longer the sole supplier
of yaw rate sensors to European Tier 1 Continental, and
in the future will see increased competition from Finnish
maker VTI on combo-packaged inertial sensors for ESC systems.
Rounding out the Top 5 last year were U.S. makers Freescale
Semiconductor, down one place to No. 4 with automotive MEMS
revenue of $191 million; and No. 5 Sensata, separated from
Freescale by just $1 million.
The top-ranked U.S. supplier within the circle, Texas-based
Freescale is the leading supplier of satellite airbag accelerometers,
even though it temporarily lost share in that market last
year as a result of earthquake damage to its Sendai facility
For its part, Sensata in Massachusetts concentrates MEMS
production on pressure sensors, and is No. 1 in high-pressure
applications like brake and common fuel rail sensing, using
its silicon piezoresistive sensors that are glass-bonded
to steel substrates. Sensata also had the second-highest
yearly growth rate of 24 percent, ahead of even top-ranked
Growth varies for other Top-10 players
Among the remaining Top 10, growth ranged from an anemic
3 percent for Michigan-based Delphi, to an outsized 36 percent
for VTI of Finland-the largest rate of growth within the
group, thanks to VTI's strong position in ESC accelerometers.
Infineon of Germany and Analog Devices from Massachusetts
joined Bosch, Sensata and VTI in recording growth rates
higher than the industry average of 14 percent, while GE
Sensing in California had slightly below-average expansion
of 12 percent.
Fuji Electric of Japan sat in 11th place, with overall
revenue of $30 million.