Demand in China for higher-end safety and comfort features is exceeding even the most optimistic predictions, says an executive at safety systems maker TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.
"I would have thought China would be a market that would have gone through ABS for a number of years and then progressively move to electronic stability control," Peter Lake, TRW's executive vice president of sales and business development, said in an interview. "But the vehicle manufactures there, even the domestic manufacturers, are very anxious to move to higher levels of functionality more quickly."
Last year, the Chinese market's ABS/ESC fitment-rate mix was approximately 85 percent for basic ABS systems and 15 percent for more advanced ESC systems that are packaged together with ABS, according to TRW's data.
The market's uptake rate for ESC is expected to exceed 50 percent by 2014 while simple ABS systems are forecast to slip below 50 percent, TRW's estimates show.
That means some automakers in China will skip ABS and leap from basic braking systems right to ESC/ABS technology.