The $888 billion stationary lead-acid market took a fall last year, according to a Battery Council International report.
The figures came to light as Hollingsworth and Vose’s Mitchell Bregman gave his report during the annual BCI conference.
Using data from BCI members, Bregman said the stationary market fell for the first time in seven years, with an overall 9.4% drop in 2014 (instead of the predicted 8.1% rise).
Sales of flooded lead-acid batteries were the worst affected, with sales in communication, UPS and standby falling. Only VRLA batteries kept the decline to single figures (1.1% and a 54% share of the market).
However, the industrial motive power sales rose by 9.4%, driven in part by lift truck sales rising to an almost 11 year high.
Government environmental regulations were blamed for decline of sales in mining– down 20% to a seven year low in 2014.
The two-part report included Dale Gospodarek’s shipment review and forecast, which showed new car sales had returned to pre-recession levels, and used U.S. car sales reached 38.4 million.
This helped global OEM manufacturing to rise 3.3% – of which Asia-Pacific’s share equalled both EMEA and the Americas combined.
Godpodarek predicts aftermarket and OEM sales will grow up to 2020, with CAGR to rise 0.8% and 2.1% respectively.
The report stated that Mexico’s OEM industry was emerging with growth of 6.6%, almost double that of North America, in 2014.
But at a time when the lead-acid industry is looking for ways to diversify, one possible direction could be golf carts (+6.1% or 263,000 units) and powersports (+8% or 344,000 units).
Both of which helped the non-automotive segments of the aftermarket sector represent 71% of the 1.3 million unit sales. Food for thought in a market which only grew 0.4% overall between 2013-14.
Read the full report of the BCI 2015 conference in Savannah in the Summer issue of BEST magazine.
Picture: Hollingsworth and Vose’s Mitch Bregman