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Connected cars to be a 125 million+ units market by 2022, 5G cars by 2020

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Counterpoint research revealed that General Motors, BMW, Audi and Mercedes Benz are leading the global connected car market, as of 2017.

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The market is expected to get a major boost with EU's eCall mandate and rising adoption in China.

Further, according to the latest research from Counterpoint's Internet of Things Tracker service, the global connected carsmarket is expected to grow 270% by 2022 with more than 125 million connected passenger cars with embedded connectivity to be shipped during 2018-2022. The data only represents the global passenger car shipments with embedded connectivity and does not indicate number of active connections. In terms of number of units, the market will be primarily driven by EU's eCall mandate and rising adoption in China. In Europe, major car consuming economies such as Germany, UK, and France will provide the major thrust to the market.

Commenting on the findings, Hanish Bhatia, Senior Analyst for IoT & Mobility said, "In terms of overall penetration, Germany, UK and US are leading the market at present with highest percentage of total shipments with embedded connectivity sold in 2017. Europe's eCall mandate is expected to change the market dynamics with higher penetration across European countries. The adoption of eCall in Europe is expected to create ripples across other geographies thereby catalyzing the overall car connectivity ecosystem."

Discussing on the brands performance, Hanish Bhatia further highlighted, "General Motors is leading the market in terms of number of shipments, followed by BMW, Audi and Mercedes Benz, respectively. The connectivity platforms such as GM's OnStar, BMW's Connected Drive and Audi Connect are offering various services while creating new revenue streams and bridging the gap to stay connected with the consumers. Together, these brands account for more than 90% of the total connected passenger cars with embedded connectivity sold in 2017". "Also, much talked about US-based car maker "“ Tesla, continues to offer embedded connectivity across its' portfolio", he added.

Looking at the connectivity technology, Neil Shah, Research Director at Counterpoint Research said, "The market is more aligned towards 2G/3G networks as of now, however, it is moving swiftly towards 4G LTE connectivity and we expect 4G LTE network to account for nearly 90% of connected passenger cars with embedded connectivity by 2022. Further, we expect 5G connectivity in cars to kick-in from 2020 onwards, however, the overall penetration is likely to remain low till 2022. The progress on the levels of autonomous technology in a car will also dictate the usage of 4G or 5G technology embedded in the cars beyond 2022 when 5G coverage rollout becomes ubiquitous. Further, 5G NR (Standalone or SA) mode rollout which promises lower latencies will be critical for driving an inflection point in commercialization of autonomous cars later in the next decade."

Market Highlights:

  • The global connected cars market is expected to grow 270% by 2022 with more than 125 million connected passenger cars with embedded connectivity to be shipped during 2018-2022

  • In 2017, China and US accounted for nearly 45% of the total shipments. China alone accounted for 32% of the shipments. This is primarily due to a significantly bigger passenger car market in China.

    In Europe, major economies including Germany, UK, France, and others are expected to touch nearly 100% connected car penetration by 2020, with early adoption kick-in due to eCall mandate

    In case of top brands, General Motors is leading the market with its OnStar platform offering connectivity across geographies
  • After GM, premium car brands BMW, Audi and Mercedes Benz are leading the market. Together, these brands accounted for 90% of connected passenger car shipments with embedded connectivity in 2017

    Japanese car OEMs are still behind the curve on embedding cellular connectivity within their cars but should be able to grow faster as they scale faster
  • In terms of connectivity, 2G/2.5G remains dominant connectivity platforms globally, followed by 3G in 2017

However, 4G is likely to gain traction and account for nearly 90% of connected car connections globally. In case of 5G, Japan and South Korea are expected to lead the market with higher penetration as compared to other markets.


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Connected cars to be a 125 million+ units market by 2022, 5G cars by 2020
Modified on Wednesday 11th April 2018
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Connected cars to be a 125 million+ units market by 2022, 5G cars by 2020
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