Automotive monitor display market stalls for the first time in a decade as trade dispute puts the brakes on China’s economy

Collateral damage from the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China is spreading, with the market for TFT LCDs used for automotive monitor displays declining for the first time in 10 years, according to IHS Markit | Technology, now a part of Informa Tech.

Global shipments of TFT LCDs used for automotive monitor displays are set to decline to 156 million units in 2019, down 5 percent from 2018, as reported by the IHS Markit | Technology Automotive Display Intelligence Service. The trade clash has already taken a toll on China, with the country in August facing a slowdown in growth in industrial production, fixed-asset investment and retail sales. Retail sales in China were particularly impacted by the slowing growth of the auto segment.

“After the currency crisis of 2008, the market for TFT LCDs used for automotive monitors entered the fast lane, with annual shipments rising to 162 million units in 2018, up from 18 million in 2009,” said Hiroshi Hayase, senior director, small-medium display, at IHS Markit. “However, shipment growth has hit the brakes in 2019 as China’s economy is facing an increased risk of recession due to the trade uproar. Increased U.S. tariffs on Chinese cars and automotive components are causing the market to suffer its first downturn in 10 years.”

Automotive monitor market

Automotive monitors are gaining acceptance due to the steady expansion of electronic controls in cars, covering areas including safety, convenience, entertainment and energy-savings. Auto monitor equipment products areas include center stack displays (CSD) with navigation, multifunction monitors in instrument clusters, head-up displays (HUD) and rear seat entertainment (RSE) systems.

“The downturn is having a negative impact on every display maker that expected the automotive segment to become the next big growth opportunity in 2019,” Hayase said. “On the upside, automobile monitor display demand is expected to return to growth after 2020. Autonomous cars and new safety monitoring features will increasingly drive sales of cars with multiple displays in the coming years, boosting monitor requirements from the industry.”

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