A locking retractor is a part of a vehicle seat belt safety system. The retractor holds the webbing of a seat belt system. The retractor helps to keep the passenger safe in case of a collision during the journey.
Rising awareness of passenger safety even in emerging and developing economies is estimated to increase the demand for seat belt systems and subsequently increase the demand for locking retractors. Locking retractors locks the webbing at a specified position as selected by a passenger to make his or her journey secure. The retractor does not allow any extra webbing and helps to keep the passenger in upright position in automatic locking retractor. Passengers get uncomfortable during normal journey due to stretched webbing.
A new type of retractors known as emergency locking retractors allows free movement of passengers but locks the webbing instantly during vehicle de-acceleration or crash. Thus, rising technological innovation of locking retractors is further projected to increase their demand. Sweden-based automotive manufacture, Volvo first introduced three-point safety belt for passengers in 1959. Transition from two-point safety belt system to three-point safety belt system is also anticipated to increase the demand for locking retractors.
Rising demand for automobiles across the world is estimated to increase the demand for locking retractors. A major restrain for the locking retractor market is poor implementation of automotive safety rules by authorities in emerging and third-world countries. Furthermore, passengers in these countries are not sensitive to passenger safety issues. Autonomous driving is likely to require a new class of locking retractors. There is a significant opportunity to create new and sophisticated locking retractors due to the advent of autonomous driving in the next decade. This is projected to increase the demand of locking retractors.
In terms of type the locking retractor market is segmented into manual locking retractors, automatic locking retractors and emergency locking retractors. In terms of vehicle type the market is segmented into passenger vehicles, heavy commercial vehicles and light commercial vehicles. The share of emergency locking retractors is more than automatic locking retractors. In locking retractor market, the share of passenger vehicles is more than the share of light commercial vehicles and heavy commercial vehicles.
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In terms of geography the market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa and Latin America. Asia Pacific is the dominant segment in the global locking retractor market. China is a significant market for locking retractor in Asia Pacific. Increase in automobile sales y-o-y in China was considerable in 2016. Furthermore India is a major locking retractor market. India followed China in terms of increase in automobile sales y-o-y in 2016. Japan is a large locking retractor market.
In terms of automobile volume, Japan is the third largest market in 2016, however the locking retractor market is estimated to contract in Japan due to decreasing sale of automobiles. North America is a prominent market for locking retractors. The U.S is the major market for locking retractor in the region and across the world. The U.S y-o-y growth in automobile sales increased marginally, however in terms of market size, it followed China in 2016. Europe is the third largest locking retractor market.