As with the U.S., Canada’s light vehicle production levels fell significantly during the 2008-2009 financial crisis and the expected rapid growth going forward will be the result of the rebound from that downturn. Like the U.S., Canada is becoming an increasingly mature market for the older electronic systems and sensors.
In large part this is because virtually all Canadian light vehicle production is owned by U.S. companies and the bulk of the vehicles produced in Canada are shipped back to the U.S.
Obviously, these vehicles must mirror the electronics content found in U.S.-produced cars and light trucks. On a sensor dollars per vehicle basis, Canada is on par with most developed nations, although somewhat below the level registered in the U.S. This divergence is ca used by vehicles produced for the local market, which typically are more basic vehicles featuring less optional content than do vehicles sold in the U.S. market.
Overall, gains in demand will accelerate on a per-vehicle basis through 2014, the result of rebounding light vehicle production and the continued introduction of new electronics-based technologies. The latter reason will be particularly important, with most new product introductions coming in the areas of entertainment, communications and safety equipment.
Demand for engine and drive train automotive sensors in Canada will increase nearly 15% per year to U.S.$230 million in 2014, in line with the U.S. market, due to the smaller vehicles sold in the local market. Safety and security system sensor demand will grow the quickest, expanding almost 20% per year to US$220 million in 2014, on the strength of continued introductions of new and more sophisticated airbag and other passive safety systems, as well as on the continued introduction of advanced active safety systems such as integrated ESP.
Demand for emission control sensors will grow over 17% annually to US$145 million in 2014, an accelerated recovery-driven growth spurt.
Entertainment, communication and navigation sensor demand will jump nearly 17% per year to US$45 million on the strength of new audio, multimedia and navigation system sensor introductions. Demand for other sensors will grow at a strong at over 20% annually to US$10 million in 2014 as new climate control and convenience features continue to be added to light vehicles.
Manufacturers of OEM automotive sensors with operations in Canada include ArvinMeritor, BorgWarner, BREED Technologies, Delphi, DENSO, Siemens, Tenneco, TRW and Visteon.