Retail current value sales of in-car entertainment declined by almost a third during 2020, as restrictions on movement meant that local consumers spent much less time in their cars, exacerbating the economic shock of the pandemic, which resulted in a sharp decline in consumer confidence. They will continue to decline during 2021, albeit at a more modest rate, as local consumers move around more and economic conditions begin to stabilise.
In contrast to in-dash media players and in-car speakers, retail current value sales of in-car navigation will decline at an accelerated rate during 2021, as a growing number of local consumers use their smartphones for navigation. Moreover, a growing number of new cars come with in-car navigation installed as standard.
Other non-grocery retailers (car workshops/garages) will remain the dominant distribution channel for in-car entertainment during 2021. While e-commerce was given a boost by the pandemic in 2020 (as it led to the closure of non-essential retail outlets for an extended period) and will continue to expand during 2021, this did not adversely affect car workshops/garages, which are regarded as essential and thus allowed to remain open.
There will be a significant rebound in retail current value sales of in-car entertainment during 2022, reversing most of the decline that occurred in 2021 (though not that of 2020). This will be driven by in-car speakers and particularly in-dash media players, with retail current value sales of in-car entertainment continuing to decline throughout the forecast period.
With a post-pandemic economic recovery anticipated in 2022, demand for both new and used cars is likely to be buoyant. This will be supported by the fact that some local consumers (especially more affluent ones) engaged in precautionary saving during 2020 and (to a lesser extent) 2021.
Within in-dash media players, ‘mechless’ digital media receivers that can be connected to smartphones and other portable devices via auxiliary inputs, USB ports or Bluetooth will continue to grow in popularity, particularly among younger adults. Entry-level mechless products resemble digital car radios and cost as little as EUR30, but they are very limited in terms of functionality.
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This report originates from Passport, our In-Car Entertainment research and analysis database.
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