The global market for Automotive Airbags is projected to reach US$71.8 billion by 2025, driven by the indispensability of air bags as a key mandated safety technology for all vehicles. Adding to the positive outlook for the market is the stable automobile production trend; development of new air bag technologies; decline in costs of driver side airbags; development of smart airbags with sensors; focus on road safety as a result of the recent spike in road accidents and the resulting legislation of regulations that mandate installation of airbags in all types of automobiles, especially in developing economies. However, the sentiment in the market is sobered down by the flaring up of Takata's airbag recall in the year 2020 when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced immediate recall of another 10 million vehicles carrying the defective airbag. The recent recall is in continuation of recalls which began in the year 2011. Running for over 9 years now, the recall is the largest and most complex in the history of the automotive industry that sent Takata into bankruptcy in the year 2017. Over 15 OEMs worldwide today face billions of dollars in recall losses. Globally, over 30 deaths and 350 injuries have been associated with takata's faulty air bags. In the United States, virtually every OEM is impacted by the recall including Detroit's giants Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Daimler, Subaru and Volkswagen and Audi. Approximately, 45 million vehicles in the United States have been equipped with these defective air bags which are prone to explosion during deployment. General motors (GM) has estimated a bleak and painful US$1.2 billion in losses accruing from the ongoing recalls that involves over 6.5 million GM models with faulty Takata inflators. Honda is faced with the recall of an additional 131 million Honda and Acura vehicles in North America alone. The recalls till date has and continues to involve the recovery of over 100 million inflators, impacting over 19 major OEMs worldwide. During the early phases of the recall, Takata repaired over 50% of the airbags and the current 10 million new recalls include some of these already replaced modules as well, forcing OEMs to initiate expensive campaigns to replace even previously recalled inflators with updated parts. Mazda is recalling over 117 thousand vehicles including those already recalled and repaired. With regulators in the U.S mulling the possibility of expanding the recall to include additional modules which were not part of the original recall, the blow for OEMs is expected to get even sharper. With the total cost of the expanded recalls running into billions of dollars mostly shouldered by auto OEMs, the automotive industry stands disrupted and uncertain as it struggles to negotiate this new and emerging risk landscape.
Product recalls is the emerging new risk for auto OEMs, which is compounded by complexity of global decentralized supply chains, stringent government safety mandates that push up quality related risks, and increasing cost pressure for suppliers and cost based decisions that bring-in inherent vulnerabilities. With product related risks becoming the single most biggest threat for OEMs, the importance of supplier relationship management (SRM) is coming to fore. Globalization has cast a "Ripple effect" on product recalls making them more larger, wider, deadlier and devastating for stakeholders. Global companies today sell millions of cars worldwide and source components from numerous manufacturers worldwide. Managing this complex global supply chain is the biggest and an increasingly difficult challenge for OEMs today. Takata's recalls has laid bare major gaps in SRM practices in the automotive industry. Over 70% of OEMs have 0% visibility of their tier 2 &3 suppliers. Most supplier programs are built only for tier 1 suppliers. The need of the hour is the development of robust, responsible relationships with suppliers to reduce the risk of recalls. A strong OEM-supplier governance mechanism will also ensure socially responsible recalls and quicker recovery of both parties from a recall crisis. Strategic supply chain management supported by supply chain analytics and software systems for supplier tracking and management, is therefore growing in importance. Especially against the backdrop of the progress being made in the commercialization of autonomous cars and smart cars loaded with electronic and software features such as autonomous-driving assistance, geolocation services etc., the focus on "zero-defect" manufacturing should gain more significance. OEMs need to move from reactive fire-fighting to recall prevention by stepping up quality-management strategies from single quality processes to integrated quality systems.
The United States and Europe represent large markets worldwide with a combined share of 50.8% of the market. China ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 6.5% over the analysis period supported by strong proliferation of frontal driver airbags, increase in global road safety partnerships and transfer of traffic safety knowledge to motorizing Asian countries, high motor vehicle accidents as a result of improper road infrastructure, and encouraging macro market trends such as stable automobile production and sales as a result of economic growth, aspirational lifestyles of the middle class and a parallel increase in per capita vehicle ownership rates.
Competitors identified in this market include, among others, Ashimori Industry Co. Ltd., Autoliv Inc., Continental AG, Denso Corporation, Hyundai Mobis Co. Ltd., Infineon Technologies AG, Joyson Safety Systems Inc., Nihon Plast Co. Ltd., Neaton Auto Products Manufacturing Inc., Robert Bosch GmbH, Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd., Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation, ZF Friedrichshafen AG.