European Switch Market Ends 2012 with Sales and Bookings 5% Lower than 2011 | TTI, Inc.

Total reported sales for all switch categories in Europe for Q4 of 2012 were 10% below the previous quarter and slightly more than observed in the fourth quarter of 2011. Sales units for Q4’12 came in 13% lower than Q3’12 and 7% less Q4’11.

The total booking dollars reported for all switch categories in Europe for Q4 2012 ran 5% better than the previous quarter and below Q4’11’s total bookings by 1%. The fourth quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for euros was 1.075. Booking units in Q4’12 were 8% higher than Q3. The fourth quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for units was 1.044.

The fourth quarter versus the third shows lower rates for sales euros in all but the keylock type and down 10% in total. Units decreased 13% in total and in all eight categories while the average selling prices (ASP) increased in half the categories and rose over 3% in total. Q4 compared to a year ago shows loses in euros for five of eight categories but a slight gain in total due to snap action switches. Units were down 7% in total while ASPs increased for four of the eight categories and were up by 8% in total. 2012 compared to 2011 shows euros down 5% in total with loses in six of eight categories. Units are down for all categories, except slides, and 12% in total while ASPs rose in all types and 8% in total.

Sales Growth by Switch Category
  Q4 2012 Versus Q3 2012 Q4 2012 Versus Q4 2011 CY 2012 Vs. CY 2011
 Category Euros Units ASP Euros Units ASP Euros Units ASP
 DIP -17.3% -9.0% -9.2% -13.4% -9.2% -4.6% -5.6% -10.9% 6.0%
 Keylock 18.3% -1.0% 19.5% 28.5% -19.1% 58.9% -3.6% -13.6% 11.6%
 Push Button -9.8% -16.5% 8.0% -4.6% 1.9% -6.5% -10.4% -17.5% 8.6%
 Rocker -15.5% -10.2% -5.9% -24.0% -20.9% -4.0% -23.0% -31.9% 6.8%
 Slide -26.6% -23.6% -3.9% -4.4% 26.3% -24.3% 7.8% 9.7% -1.7%
 Snap Action -4.4% -12.0% 8.6 % 8.9% -2.1% 11.3% -0.1% -3.9% 3.9%
 Tact -14.9% -12.7% -2.5% -4.3% -10.8% 7.4% -11.3% -17.5% 7.5%
 Toggle -8.7% -11.1% 2.7% 34.2 % 0.0% 34.1% 14.3% -10.5% 27.7%
Total  -9.8% -12.6% 3.3% 0.4% -6.9% 7.9% -4.7% -12.0% 8.3%

When compared to the last quarter total bookings were higher in euros for five of eight categories and in total euros were up 5%. Units also moved up in five types and over 8% in total. The average booking price fell for only three of eight categories but fell 3% in total due to decreases in snap action and tact types. Bookings in Q4 versus a year ago were up in euros for six of eight categories but down 1% in total on a large drop in tact switches. Units were up 2% in total and for half of the categories. The total average booking prices compared to the same period a year ago was down 3%% in total and in four of the categories. Last year compared to the previous year, sales euros are down 5% and 12% in units with losses in the majority of categories. Booking prices have risen for all but DIP and slide switches and 9% in total.

Bookings Growth by Switch Category
  Q4 2012 Versus Q3 2012 Q4 2012 Versus Q4 2011 CY 2012 Vs. CY 2011
 Category Euros Units ABP Euros Units ABP Euros Units ABP
 DIP -0.2% 4.4% -4.5% -13.1% 8.3% -19.8% -2.6% 2.9% -5.3%
 Keylock 38.7% 38.2% 0.3% 2.0% -35.8% 58.9 % -16.0% -34.5% 28.2%
 Push Button 9.3% 3.4% 5.7% 5.9% 9.6% -3.4% -7.4% -8.6% 1.3%
 Rocker 11.3% -2.9% 14.6% 12.2% -0.1% 12.4% -15.2% -20.1% 4.1%
 Slide -13.4% -21.9% 10.8% 11.2% 66.9% -33.3% 15.8% 16.4% -0.5%
 Snap Action 6.8% 8.7% -1.8% 3.8% -1.8% 5.8% 0.5% -4.7% 5.4%
 Tact -6.6% 5.2% -11.3% -19.1% 3.6% -21.9% -18.2% -18.6% 0.5%
 Toggle 31.2% -26.9% 79.3% 34.0% -22.4% 72.7% 17.7 -13.6% 36.2%
Total  5.2% 8.4% -3.0% -0.6% 2.2% -2.7% -4.6% -12.3% 8.7%

The graph below shows total quarterly indexed sales and bookings in euros and units for the reported data since Q4 CY 2010. Sales and booking euros and units moved higher starting in Q3’09 and continued moving up until a dip in Q4’10. Sales and booking euros set two-year highs in Q1 of 2011 then all but sales units moved lower the next two quarters. All measures except booking euros moved lower in Q4’11 and improved in Q1 and moved lower again in Q2 and Q3’12. In Q4 sales continued lower as bookings improved.


Book-to-bill euros peaked in Q4’10 then generally declined to a low in Q3’11 improved the next two quarters only to move down in Q2 and Q3 of last year then improved in the last quarter. The unit ratio saw its best mark in Q4’10 then fell to 0.8 in Q3’11 and recovered in Q4 and Q1 then went down the next two quarters and recovered in Q4. The ABP-to-ASP ratio fell below 1.0 in the fourth quarter of 2010 but has been above 1.0 for most of the last two years.


For the period, sales and booking prices generally trended higher.


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.  View other posts from Michael Schwert.


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