Market expands for TPMS sensor replacements

Laws mandating the installation of tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) in new vehicles are leading to a swift increase in the installed base of this technology in the U.S. and European Union (EU). With the proliferation of universal sensors and aggressive efforts to raise consumer awareness, the TPMS aftermarket is set for robust revenue growth.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, "Strategic Analysis of the North American and European Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Aftermarket," finds that the market earned revenues of over $111.7 million in 2011 and estimates this to reach $386.6 million by 2018.

The original equipment (OE) installation rate for TPMS in North America has remained at 100 percent since 2007. As sensor batteries typically last for six to 10 years, many vehicles will require new TPMS sensors by 2015.

"By 2014, nearly 38 percent of vehicles in North America will feature TPMS – a 13 percent increase from 2011 – thus, increasing the addressable market size," said Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Kumar Saha. "In Europe, the TPMS installed base, though much lower, is expected to more than double by 2014 due to supportive legislation."

As more European countries, including Turkey, Poland and Belgium adopt winter tire legislations, TPMS revenues and unit sales will increase in the short and medium term. On the other hand, TPMS direct sensors installation in the U.S. will spike due to battery replacements, malfunctions, and winter tire replacements. Additionally, if the U.S. government mandates functioning TPMS sensors at all times, and tightens gas mileage policies, this technology will become a key component in vehicles.

High OE installation rates have also provided manufacturers with the economies of scale they need to reduce prices and offer attractive TPMS replacement packages to consumers.

However, low installer awareness and long battery life have curbed TPMS replacement volumes, particularly in North America. High prices and the proliferation of stock-keeping unit (SKU) counts for sensors daunt independent distribution and retail channels, further restraining growth.

To stay competitive, suppliers need to put adequate pricing and product placement strategies in place. Offering universal sensors, already introduced in North America by key manufacturers, will reduce inventory burdens on independent retailers.

"Consumers are more likely to replace their sensors while purchasing new tires. As such, tire retailers and distributors are perfectly positioned to take full advantage of the sensor market," concluded Saha. "They need to ensure that their front-line staff educates consumers, makes the right recommendations, and capitalizes on sensor sales opportunities."

Strategic Analysis of the North American and European Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Aftermarket is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Services program, which provides global mega trends, information on emerging markets and the latest technology innovations, market, economic, customer, competitive, and best practices research. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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