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Market Overview: 2012 Switch Sales up 4% and Bookings 1% better than 2011

04.10.2013 // Michael Schwert // Switches & Relays

Total reported sales for all switch categories in North America for Q4 ’12 were 1% higher than the previous quarter and 13% better than the fourth quarter of 2011. Sales units for Q4 ’12 resulted in 3% more than units sold in Q3 ’12 and 2% better than Q4 ’11.

The total booking dollars reported for all switch categories in North America for Q4 ’12 ran 10% more than the previous quarter and above Q4 ’11 by less than 1%. The second quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for dollars was 0.996. Booking units in Q4 ’12 came in up 11% from Q3. The second quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for units was 0.993.

The fourth quarter versus the third showed total sales dollars up 1% and units higher by 3%. All but keylock, rocker and snap action experienced dollar and unit increases. Five of eight switch categories realized higher prices but the total ASP slipped by 2% on a mix shift to lower priced product. The comparison to the fourth quarter of 2011 yielded better results dollars up in six of eight categories and 13% in total. Units were up for five categories and better in total by 2%. Pricing from a year ago was up in five of eight categories and in total by 11%. Year-over-year results show a mix of half the categories rising and half falling in terms of dollars and up 4% in total. Units and price were also up for four of eight categories. In total, units were down less than 1% causing the ASP to rise 4%.

Sales Growth by Switch Category

  Q4 2012 Versus Q3 2012 Q4 2012 Versus Q4 2011 CY 2012 Versus
CY 2011
Category Dollars Units ASP Dollars Units ASP Dollars Units ASP
DIP 7.5% 2.7% 4.7% 34.6% 40.0% -3.8 -1.1% 0.7% -1.8%
Keylock -29.4% -33.8% 6.7% -12.9% -17.2% 5.1% -12.1 % -26.3% 19.3%
Push Button 19.9% 31.0% -8.5% 39.9% 60.5% -12.8% -0.2% 22.7% -18.6%
Rocker -10.4% -1.0% -9.5% 7.6% 3.1% 4.3% 7.0% -0.7% 7.7%
Slide 4.0% 21.3% -14.3% 24.6% 22.0% 2.1% 12.1% 18.7% -5.5%
Snap Action -6.6% -11.8% 5.9% 6.6% -2.5% 9.3% 5.7% -5.8% 12.2%
Tact 17.2% 3.7% 13.1% -6.8% -12.9% 7.0% -4.1% -5.1% 1.0%
Toggle 3.5% 0.1% 3.4% 10.3% 45.3% -24.1% 2.7% 17.0% -12.2%

Total

1.2% 3.4% -2.1% 12.7% 1.9% 10.7% 3.7% -0.6% 4.3%

When compared to last quarter, total booking dollars and units increased 10% and 11%. Dollars were up in all but keylock and snap action categories and units rose in six of eight categories. Booked prices were up for a majority of categories but down about 1% in total. Booked dollars in Q4 against the same quarter of 2011 were up for most categories and in total by less than 1%. Units were also up for most categories and by less than 7%. Prices showed five of the eight categories decreasing and the total moved 6% lower. Performance for the full year shows half of all categories up in dollars and down in units. In total, dollars were up just under 1% and units nearly 6% lower. Half of the categories grew in booking price with the total going up 7%.

Bookings Growth by Switch Category

  Q4 2012 Versus Q3 2012 Q4 2012 Versus Q4 2011 CY2012 Versus
CY 2011
Category Dollars Units ABP Dollars Units ABP Dollars Units ABP
DIP 8.4% 0.3% 8.1% 7.5% 17.8% -8.7% -16.7% -13.2% -4.0%
Keylock -8.2% 55.4% -40.9 % 33.4% 69.9% -21.5% -10.3% -14.4% 4.8%
Push Button 25.6% 42.1% -11.6% 32.7% 51.5% -12.4% 9.7% 13.7% -3.6%
Rocker 16.4% 26.9% -8.3% 26.0% 16.3% 8.3% 13.8% 3.1% 10.4%
Slide 9.4% -8.0% 18.8% 44.2% 16.7% 23.6% 16.5% 18.5% -1.7%
Snap Action -5.6% -6.2% 0.7% -29.5% -9.2% -22.4% -3.9% -6.5% 2.9%
Tact 23.3% 18.0% 4.4% 7.6% 1.8% 5.8% -5.0% -12.3% 8.3%
Toggle 18.2% 6.8% 10.6% 33.3% 34.8% -1.1% 7.9% 17.7% -8.3%

Total

10.2% 11.4% -1.1% 0.2% 6.6% -6.0% 0.9% -5.9% 7.2%

The graph below shows total quarterly indexed sales and bookings in dollars and units for the reported data since Q4 CY ’10. All measures except booked dollars peaked in Q2 ’11 then dropped sharply in Q3. Sales continued lower in Q4 while booking dollars jumped. The first half of 2012 saw improvement in all metrics then a significant drop in Q3 and some improvement Q4.

table-3.jpg

Book-to-bill units have generally trended lower through Q4 ’10, then jumped back above 1.0 in Q1 ’11, followed by another trend lower to Q1 ’12, improved in Q2, slipped a bit in Q3 then improved again in Q4. Book-to-bill dollars have shown a similar trend with more amplitude. The booking to selling price ratio had been trending lower until Q4 ’11, peaking in Q1 ’12 then moved lower for two quarters and stabilized in Q4.

table-4.jpg

Indexed booking prices generally trended higher until Q1 ’11, fell in Q2 and Q3, jumped back up in Q4 and peaked in Q1 ’12 then fell in Q2 and held fairly steady in Q3 and Q4. Indexed selling prices have followed a similar but slightly lower path until Q2 ’11 when booking prices moved below it. From the end of 2011 booking prices had been above selling and converged in Q3 ’12. The second price graph shows prices indexed since Q1 ’03 and both the selling and book prices have risen from all time lows set in Q3 ’09. Selling prices have increased to the highest level ever recorded in Q3 ’12.

table-5.jpg table-6.jpg
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Statements of fact and or opinions expressed in MarketEYE by its contributors are the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply an opinion of the officers or the representatives of TTI, Inc.

Featured Contributor:
Michael Schwert

Michael Schwert

Michael is the founder of Cumulus, Inc. He has more than 30 years of marketing and sales as well as design experience in the electronic and electrical component industry. Prior to founding Cumulus, he was Director of Marketing for Cherry Electrical Products and held other marketing management positions with Panduit, BRK Electronics, and Ideal Industries.

Cumulus provides market information and consulting services for the global electronic components industry. The company offers three publications: Switch Tracks, a quarterly report with market information on component switches; the Relay Report, a quarterly report with market information on component relays; and Market Notes, a monthly report on sales, bookings, and business conditions in the relay and switch market. Cumulus also manages projects that help leading global suppliers in the relay and switch industry to develop new products and reach new markets.

Schwert provides MarketEYE with monthly articles that include timely and accurate market information for the electromechanical component sector of the electronics industry.


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