HVAC control panel & ECU sector
Demand for HVAC control panels and ECUs is expected to show growth from 2017 to 2023 as HVAC systems become an intrinsic cabin comfort feature. Volume for automatic climate controls is expected to grow steadily, replacing manual HVAC control systems as a major driver for the sector.
Automobile cabins have evolved to become more sophisticated, advanced, safer, and comfort-oriented over the years—a far cry from the simple stark cabins of the yesteryears. The cabin temperature control features too have changed dramatically. The earliest vehicles were equipped with only heating and ventilation, with air conditioning (A/C) finding its way into automotive application only when Packard introduced the first “factory” automotive A/C system, in 1939, on its 1940 Senior models, the 160 and 180. However, Packard’s system was in principle a retrofitted solution as the system was not installed at the Packard plant in Detroit, nor was the system even developed by Packard. Instead, vehicles ordered with the additional USD475 option (about USD5,000 today) were shipped to Cleveland, Ohio, where Bishop and Babcock (B&B) performed the installation of its system. Since then, automotive heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have transitioned from an optional comfort feature to a necessity in today’s competitive automotive market. The wide variations in average ambient temperatures around the world have made effective and efficient cabin temperature control a critical aspect of passenger comfort. The automotive HVAC systems are an amalgamation of several individual components such as compressors, heat exchangers, blowers, expansion valves, HVAC controls, and electronic control units (ECUs), among others.