Air conditioning systems in passenger cars

Annual global fitment of air-conditioning units to light vehicles is projected to rise by more than a third from an estimated 57.1 million units in 2013 to 76.1 million by 2018.
Demand for air conditioning systems in passenger cars has grown rapidly over the last decade and is continuing to grow according to research undertaken by (information provided by ReportLinker).
Annual global fitment of air-conditioning units to light vehicles is projected to rise by more than a third from an estimated 57.1m unit in 2013 to 76.1m by 2018.

The research report, Global light vehicle HVAC market 2008 to 2028 forecasts that HVAC growth will be strongest in rapidly growing markets, such as China, India and Brazil.
In all these regions, the report says, the climate conditions warrant at least a basic air-conditioning system and as consumer disposable income increases in line with economic growth, there is a growing demand for HVAC in new vehicles.
However, in mature markets such as Japan and North America, penetration levels for AC in new vehicles are nearing saturation and are unlikely to offer much room for further growth, the report concludes.
The report concludes that while it seems unlikely that air-conditioning will become standard fit across all vehicle segments in all regions, penetration rates will slowly increase over time and such systems will become commonplace.

On a global scale compact, inexpensive systems have also been applied to vehicles in markets such as China where around 75% of vehicles produced in 2013 offered air conditioning in some shape or form.

The report also notes that emphasis is also being placed on energy efficient systems which have been designed to improve emissions reduction and fuel consumption. This has been driven to a large extent by climate and environmental considerations and regulations. The introduction of the electric compressor is a good example of product innovation in this area. Toyota was the first to introduce an electric compressor which it first used in the 2003 Prius hybrid passenger car.

While mature markets offer little room for overall growth there are nevertheless growth opportunities. In Europe, the B-segment (subcompact cars or superminis) is a fast growing segment of the market and includes vehicles such as the Toyota iQ, Fiat 500 and Opel's ADAM. Penetration levels for HVAC in this segment are estimated at 60-65% and rapidly increasing. This is also the segment that offers the best opportunity for semi-automatic and fully automatic HVAC systems. Currently penetration levels for automatic systems in the Sub B segments are relatively low at around 33% leaving considerable scope for suppliers to win new business.