Total reported sales for all switch categories in Europe for Q1’14 were 12% above the previous quarter and 6% better observed in the first quarter of 2013. Sales units for Q1’14 totaled 11% better than units sold in Q4 and 6% better Q1’13.

The total booking dollars reported for all switch categories in Europe came in 7% more than the previous quarter and below Q1’13’s total bookings by 1%. The first quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for euros was 1.054. Booking units in Q1 2014 ran 7% better than Q4. The fourth quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for units was 1.046.

The first quarter versus the fourth shows higher euros for all but tact switches and units for all but keylock and toggle. In total euros were up 12% and units 11%. The average selling prices (ASP) increased in half the types and were up 1% in total. Q1 compared to a year ago shows gains in euros for three of eight categories and a 6% rise in total. Units were up 6% in total with increases in five of eight categories. ASPs decreased for five of the eight categories and nearly unchanged in total.

Sales Growth by Switch Categories

  Q1 2014 Versus Q4 2013 Q1 2014 Versus Q1 2013
Category Euros Units ASP Euros Units ASP
DIP 37.0% 29.4% 5.9% 32.1% 26.7% 4.3%
Keylock 1.4% -23.2% 32.0% 1.4% -18.9% 25.0%
Push Button 9.7% 13.4% -3.3% -6.1% 3.2% -9.0%
Rocker 4.6% 2.8% 1.8% -1.5% -1.1% -0.4%
Slide 26.2% 31.8% -4.3 % -2.8% 21.0% -19.7%
Snap Action 11.4% 13.6% -2.0% 7.1% 8.0% -0.8%
Tact -1.5% 6.8% -7.8% -5.2% 2.6% -7.7%
Toggle 5.0% -17.0% 26.5% -7.4 % -25.8% 24.8%
Total 11.7% 10.8% 0.8% 5.8% 6.0% -0.2%

When compared to the fourth quarter total bookings were up in euros for six of eight categories and in total euros 7%. Units moved higher in four types and 7% in total. The average booking price rose for four categories but was unchanged in total. Bookings in Q1 versus 2013 were up in euros for six of eight categories but down 1% in total. Units were up 5% in total with all but keylock, push button, and toggle increasing. The total average booking prices compared to the same period the previous year were down 5% in total and in three of the categories.

Bookings Growth by Switch Category

  Q1 2014 Versus Q4 2013 Q1 2014 Versus Q1 2013
Category Euros Units ABP Euros Units ABP
DIP 49.3% 81.4% -17.7% 25.3% 44.0% -13%
Keylock 4.0% 9.8% -5.3% 8.0% -2.2% 10.5%
Push Button -0.1% -10.4% 11.4% -10.6% -17.0% 7.7%
Rocker 1.6% -1.2% 2.8% 5.7% 1.5% 4.2%
Slide 16.8% 35.5% -13.8% 4.4% 39.2% -25.0%
Snap Action 18.0% 19.4% -1.1% 8.2% 3.3% 4.7%
Tact 3.9% -1.4% 5.4% 3.6% 4.0% -0.4%
Toggle -42.5% -55.2% 28.2% -47.0% -59.9% 32.4%
Total 6.7% 6.8% 0.0% -1.3% 4.2% -5.3%

The graph below shows total quarterly indexed sales and bookings in euros and units for the reported data since Q1 CY 2012. All measures improved in Q1’12 but moved lower through the rest of that year. The first quarter of 2013 had a nice move up for all metrics. In the second quarter sales improved slightly as bookings decreased followed by a decrease in all measures in Q3. Q4 saw sales decrease and bookings improve. In Q1 all metrics were at or near two year highs.

Book-to-bill euros generally declined to a low in Q3’12 improved the next two quarters only to move down in Q2 and Q3 of last year, then improved Q4, and down again in Q1. The unit ratio had a similar but lower path than the euros. The ABP-to-ASP ratio has been above 1.0 for the last two years but came close 1.0 in Q1.

chart-2

For the period, indexed sales and booking prices generally trended lower. Booking prices are slightly higher than selling prices. 

chart-3

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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