Revving Up Growth: The Resilient Automotive PCB Market Amidst Industry Contractions

The global PCB industry has faced challenges due to economic downturns and sluggish end-market demand. However, the automotive PCB market stands out as a beacon of growth, defying the odds with a projected CAGR of 12% from 2022 to 2026. This surge is primarily fueled by the rising global penetration of electric vehicles (EVs) and the growing adoption of autonomous driving technologies.

TrendForce’s report forecasts a remarkable 14% annual increase in the automotive PCB market, reaching a value of US$10.5 billion in 2023. This will account for 13% of the total PCB market, marking a significant increase from 11% in the previous year. Looking ahead, the market is set to reach US$14.5 billion by 2026, commanding 15% of the total PCB market.

The booming demand for EVs is a major catalyst for the automotive PCB market’s growth. EVs require PCBs with higher values, approximately 5 to 6 times that of conventional fuel vehicles. The control systems in battery electric vehicles (BEVs), connected via wire harnesses, account for over half of the PCBs used. Moreover, the trend toward automotive lightweighting is driving a shift toward the adoption of flexible printed circuits, further boosting the use of PCBs within electric control systems.

Autonomous driving technology is also playing a pivotal role in shaping the automotive PCB sector. The integration of cameras, radars, and other electronic devices for autonomous driving systems is set to drive demand for PCBs, particularly high-density interconnect (HDI) boards, which are triple the price of conventional boards. HDI boards used in light detection and ranging (LIDAR) systems, critical for advanced autonomous driving systems, contribute significantly to the automotive PCB market’s future growth in value.

The report highlights changes in PCB types within the automotive sector. By 2023, 4 to 8-layer boards are expected to account for approximately 40% of total automotive PCBs, decreasing to 32% by 2026. In contrast, HDI boards are projected to increase from 15% to 20%, and flexible printed circuit (FPC) boards from 17% to 20%. Additionally, thick copper and RF boards will see a rise from 8% and 8.8% to 9.5% and 10.8%, respectively, while lower-priced single and double-layer boards are predicted to decrease from 11.2% to 7.7%.

In conclusion, the automotive PCB market is thriving against the odds, primarily driven by the increasing adoption of electric vehicles and the proliferation of autonomous driving technology. These advancements are not only reshaping the automotive industry but also propelling the growth of the global PCB market.

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