North American Switch Market Sales and Bookings Up 11% in Q1 Versus Q4

Total reported sales for all switch categories in North America for Q1 of 2016 were 11% above the previous quarter and 2% higher than the first quarter of 2015. Sales units for Q1 2016 ran 17% better than units sold in Q4 2015 and 20% more than Q1 of 2015.

The total booking dollars reported for all switch categories in North America for Q1 2016 came in 11% better than the previous quarter and above Q1 2015’s total by 7%. The fourth quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for dollars was 1.036. Booking units in Q1 2016 were 7% greater than Q4. The first quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for units was 0.883.

The first quarter versus the fourth showed total sales dollars up11% and units 17% better. Dollars were up for five of eight categories and units increased for half of the categories. Prices were down 5% in total and the majority categories. In comparison to the first quarter of 2015, dollars were down in four of eight categories and 2% in total. Units were up for half of the catgories and jumped by 20% in total on the strength of tact switches. Pricing from a year ago was down in five of eight categories and in total by 15%.

When compared to last quarter total booking dollars increased by 11%. Units were up in five of eight categories and in total by 7%. Booked prices rose 4% with increases in the majority of categories. Booked dollars in Q1 against the same quarter of 2015 were up for most categories and in total by 7%. Units were also up for half the categories and 27% in total due to significant increases in DIP, push button, and tact. Prices were lower for most of the categories and 16% overall.


The graph below shows total quarterly indexed sales and bookings in dollars and units for the reported data since Q1 CY 2014. Sales dollars improved in Q1 of 2014 and have since remained flat except for Q4of last year quarter while units moved up and down but were near all-time highs in Q3 of 2015 and Q1 of this year. In Q1 of 2014 booked units moved lower and continued lower until the last four quarters of growth.


Book-to-bill units have generally trended lower over the last two years but that may be changing. Book-to-bill dollars have oscillated above and below 1.0 over the last two years. The booking to selling price ratio has trended higher over the past two years.


Indexed booking prices general increased to a peak in Q1 of 2015 and fell dramatically the last four quarters. Indexed selling prices improved until the start of last year and have generally declined the last five quarters and are now at Switch Tracks all-time low as shown in the second graph below.


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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