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Automotive Electrical Connectors Selection Guide

The global automotive connector market is valued at $12.1 billion in 2021. Looking ahead, the market is expected to reach $16.7 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 5.94% from 2022 to 2027.

The expansion of the automotive industry, increasing urbanization levels, and rising consumer living standards are driving the global automotive connectors market. Moreover, the increasing prominence of high-end infotainment and audio systems is increasing the adoption of electronic components, which is contributing to the market growth. Moreover, the emergence of hybrid and autonomous vehicles with many innovative features such as parking assistance and departure warning systems, and adaptive headlights is fueling the global market. In addition, several regional manufacturers are using heat-resistant and lightweight materials for wiring harnesses, which is expected to cater to the global automotive connectors market during the forecast period.

Increasing adoption of advanced safety features in vehicles and growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) are the key factors driving the market growth. In addition, the increasing complexity of automotive sensors and infotainment systems is increasing the global demand for automotive wiring harnesses and connectors. Automotive manufacturers are replacing copper cables with plastic optical fiber (POF) to improve data transmission and design flexibility while reducing the overall weight of the vehicle. The effective functionality of POF requires automotive connectors.

In addition, advanced automotive systems utilize memory and data storage connectors to support Wi-Fi networks in autonomous vehicles. This, coupled with the growing popularity of hybrid vehicles, is further contributing to the growth of the market. In addition, various product innovations such as adaptive headlights, cruise control, parking assistance, and deviation warning systems, along with the incorporation of machine learning into autonomous vehicles, are expected to drive the market in the coming years.

Automotive electrical connectors are specifically used in automobile electrical systems.

Basic Information

Electrical systems have experienced increased prominence during the recent history of automobile design. Modern cars are extensively wired and microprocessor-controlled, resulting in a growing need for more reliable wiring and connectors.

Connector Types

Automotive connectors can be classified in a variety of ways, including by electrical system components.

For example, audio connectors are used to power and connect a vehicle's audio system. ISO standard 10487 defines four types of audio connectors:

Power connectors (A group) attach the vehicle's head unit to a power supply, on/off switches, and specialized components such as antennas and speed-dependent volume controls.

B-group connectors are used to connect speakers around the vehicle.

C-group connectors are optional and are used to connect specialty peripherals such as remote controls, CD decks, and external amplifiers.

D-group connectors are optional and typically connect satellite navigation systems.

Other vehicle systems requiring connectors include computer systems, sensors, relays, ignition systems, lighting, radio receivers, and power doors and windows.

Form Factor

Automotive connectors may take one of a variety of form factors:

Sealed connectors are multi-pin devices that represent the majority of automotive connectors. Sealing prevents the ingress of environmental contaminants.

Wire terminals are used to make an unsoldered wire connection.

Wire-to-board connectors connect components to computer circuit boards. Board-to-board connectors connect two circuit boards.

Wire-to-wire connectors are used to join two wire-terminated cables.