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Output for the global electronics industry is forecast to reach US$1,861 billion in 2015 and compares to US$1,047 billion thirty years earlier. Over the period the dynamics of the industry has changed. Production has migrated from high cost to low cost locations and China has emerged as the focal point for electronics equipment production for high volume products in the computing, consumer and communications, or the 3C segment of the market. In 2015, China is forecast to account for 38% of electronics equipment production up from 2.6% in 1995 while low-cost geographies overall accounted for 69% of the total in 2015 (1995: 25%). In the same period production in the mature geographies has fallen to 31% from 75% in 1995.
Despite the migration of production to lower cost facilities a significant proportion of equipment production, where the focus is on lower volume higher mix products, has remained in Western Europe and the US. These sectors, primarily in the industrial, medical and communications (including defence) sectors of the market will continue to offer significant opportunities for a wide range of companies. Both regions will also benefit from their leading position in research, design and development. The requirement for lower cost manufacturing within closer proximity of the end market has benefited both Mexico and Central and Eastern Europe. Initially, the focus for higher volume manufacturing the pressure to reduce costs has seen an increase in the production of more complex products, a trend which will accelerate over the next five years. In Asia, China itself is coming under increasing pressure as the major global OEMs and Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) providers look to relocate production to offset higher costs. India and Indonesia, with large domestic markets and the recent move by their respective governments to introduce requirements for “local” manufacture, and the benefits of lower costs in Vietnam, will be attractive alternatives to manufacturing in China.
Mirroring the transition in production the focus for the global electronics market is also towards the emerging countries not only for products in the volume segments of the computing, consumer and communication markets but also in areas such as medical, control and instrumentation, defence and industrial. In these segments, where the focus is on more complex lower volume products, the benefits from producing within or close to the end market, whether in the emerging or mature regions, is an increasingly important trend across all sectors of the global electronics industry. The electronics industry is a global one but to fully understand it you need to be aware of developments not only globally but also regionally and at a country level. The Global Electronics Database, which draws on over 40 years of research, enables you to achieve this both cost-effectively and in a format where you can analyse the data for your own specific needs.
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