North America and Europe Medium-Heavy Duty Truck Seating Systems Market, Forecast to 2025
North America & Europe Medium-Heavy Duty Truck Seating Systems Market is expected to grow at CAGR 2.2% in 2016-2025. Driver shortage and retention, Health, Wellness and Wellbeing, digitalization and IoT, autonomous driving and light-weighting are the key trends transforming the seats market in the study period. With back pain being one of the major contributors to deterioration of driver health, seats will be customized and designed to minimize vibration on road and increase driver’s career longevity. Proliferation of premium seats are set to nearly double in the next 9 years as fleet managers deploy superior seats that reduce occupational fatigue as a strategy to promote driver retention.Technological innovation will also lead to the push for certain premium features into standard seats by 2025. Increasing focus on safety of drivers will be major driver of premium seats with long-haul fleets being some of the key adopters of this segment of seats. However, standard seats with air-ride suspension will be preferred in the medium term with fleets’ focus on minimizing costs.
Seating systems provide safety and comfort to driver through components such as head rests, arm rests, seat belts, airbags, lumbar support and suspensions. Seating systems are classified as standard or premium based on features offered by top manufacturers such as climate control, ventilation and damper adjustment. Standard seats consist of fixed or static seats as well as seats with air-ride suspension. In medium duty trucks, driver and passenger seats are included as bench seats, which comes into the category of standard seats. Premium seats are presently differentiated from standard seats only by comfort features. Safety features will be focused on by suppliers in the long-term. Comfort and ergonomic features are preferred by fleets; premium features are not preferred owing to higher price.
In North America, since average lifetime of seats is marginally higher than average lifetime of trucks (7-8years), such parts are substituted in aftermarket by fleets when required. Around 19% of OE seats is estimated to be substituted. Premium segments preferred by few fleets currently owing to higher price and lesser focus on driver comfort. Average age of drivers in US is 49 for over-the-road truck driver (52 for private fleets). This can potentially drive penetration of premium seats into 2025. Preference for premium seats expected to increase gradually in market owing to factors such as driver retention, focus on health, wellness and well-being technologies, autonomous trucking, and driver safety.
In Europe, fleets take onus to provide better seats for drivers to enhance driver comfort, safety. Average lifetime of seats is slightly higher than lifetime of trucks in Europe (8-9 years); seats are replaced rarely due to wear and tear. Aftermarket segment is estimated to be around 18% of OE market currently. The seats in Europe tend to last longer. Market for standard seating systems in Europe will slightly decline beginning in 2017. European fleets show a greater preference for premium seats that North American fleets. Growth in adoption of premium seats expected to result from factors such as health, wellness and well-being technologies, and addressing growing problem of driver shortage. 40% of German truck drivers are set to retire by 2027 and 84% of French truck drivers aged over 30.
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