Seat assembly suppliers face challenging times ahead
Seating suppliers which were looking at recovery this year, after struggling in 2019, are now staring at the worst decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Demand for complete seat assembly is directly related to global light vehicle production. According to IHS Markit data, demand in the global complete seat assembly market declined by 5% year on year (y/y) in 2019, to 269.9 million units, in line with the 5.6% y/y decline in light vehicle production, to 94.2 million units. IHS Markit had forecast that the seat assembly market was expecting a recovery in 2020 and was set for moderate growth over the next few years through 2025 to reach 300.8 million units. However, this forecast is likely to be revised downward amid an expected sharp decline in global vehicle production due to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The pandemic, which first forced automakers to suspend manufacturing operations in mainland China, has now done the same in Europe, North and South America, and the rest of the world. As a result, 2020 is likely to decline sharply in vehicle production, which is set to further impact recovery for complete seating suppliers.