Global automotive connectivity module and chipset shipments grew by just 3% YoY in H1 2022, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Global Automotive NAD Module and Chipset Tracker.
China is the largest region as electric vehicle players, including new start-ups such as NIO, Xpeng Motor and Seres, are offering infotainment systems with large displays and smart cockpit solutions that have a wide array of features, and ADAS that requires embedded connectivity. But during H1 2022, automotive connectivity module shipments in China declined by almost 7% YoY due to slow car production caused by supply chain disruption and COVID-19 restrictions.
Automakers across Europe are trying to generate significant revenues from in-car software services via subscriptions. For this, they are now offering embedded connectivity, even in lower vehicle trims. The Ukraine crisis derailed the European automotive market’s post-COVID recovery. Automotive connectivity module shipments in Europe declined by more than 10% YoY as car production in Germany, France, UK, and other European nations suffered due to the lack of components caused by the Ukraine crisis.
While the two biggest markets could not avoid the effects of the geopolitical crisis and fresh COVID restrictions, North America remained more resilient with automotive connectivity module shipments increasing by 27% YoY during H1 2022.
Commenting on the market dynamics, Senior Research Analyst Soumen Mandal said, “With the increasing adoption of digital features and ADAS, the requirement for embedded connectivity in passenger vehicles will increase. The sales penetration of connected cars surpassed those of non-connected cars for the first time H1 2022. Previously, embedded connectivity was prevalent in luxury models, but now mainstream players like Volkswagen, Toyota and Stellantis are offering connectivity for their mass-market cars.
Qualcomm has a dominant position in the chipset market with more than 80% market share. The strong product portfolio and partnerships with major tier-1 suppliers and automakers are all helping Qualcomm. And now, Qualcomm is offering complete solutions for automotive digital transformation starting with hardware and extending to cloud services with the Snapdragon Digital Chassis. This one-stop solution is helping ecosystem players reduce time to market and be more competitive.
MediaTek and Samsung launched 5G solutions last year. As the automotive sector is gradually adopting 5G connectivity, we expect MediaTek and Samsung to increase their market share in 5G automotive connectivity. However, they will likely require a more concerted effort to substantially grow their share and benefit from greater economies of scale.”
Automotive specialists lead, but IoT giants aiming for slice of module market
Commenting on the automotive connectivity module player dynamics, Research Vice President Neil Shah said, “Automotive connectivity modules must pass various quality and compliance tests and certifications, hence special expertise is an advantage. Consequently specialist automotive connectivity module players such as Rolling Wireless and LG are leading the market. Quectel, the largest IoT module player, has broken into the top three rankings due to strong performance in its domestic China market. We have seen Quectel gain certification for automotive-grade modules with North American and European telecom operators. This will give strong competition to traditional specialist players like Rolling Wireless, LG, Continental and Harman.
The entry barriers are relatively high for IoT module players but the revenue opportunity afforded by the automotive transformation is attractive. Nevertheless, geopolitical trade tensions and data security concerns will likely be a barrier to Chinese IoT module players penetrating international markets.
Automakers will aim to multisource modules to offset supply-chain risks while supporting the growing demand for connectivity. In addition, we expect some emerging countries like India, Indonesia, Thailand and Brazil will try to build their own manufacturing ecosystem to have better control over the supply chain.”
Discussing the market outlook, Research Vice President Peter Richardson commented, “Automotive connectivity module shipments are expected to grow annually by around 11% on average to reach 97 million units by 2030. The demand for 5G modules is increasing and we expect around a half of connected cars sold in 2027 will have 5G connectivity. The evolution of centralised architecture with digital cockpit, autonomous capability (ADAS L3+) and electrification will drive growth for 5G technology.
In terms of revenue, the automotive connectivity module market is projected to reach $5 billion by 2030. The multi-billion segment opportunity will ensure the segment remains vibrant and highly competitive.”