Total reported sales for all switch categories in Europe for Q3 of 2014 were 4% above in the previous quarter and 10% better than the third quarter of 2013. Sales units for Q3 2014 ran 4% above the units sold in Q2 and 7% better than Q3 2013.

The total booking dollars reported for all switch categories in Europe for Q3 2014 came in 5% less than the previous quarter and above Q3 2013 by 9%. The first quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for euros was 0.935. Booking units in Q3 2014 ran 4% less than Q2. The third quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for units was 0.951.

The third quarter versus the second shows higher euros for four of eight categories. In total euros were up over 4% and units better by just less than 4%. The average selling prices (ASP) increased in more than half the categories and were up almost 1% in total. Q3 compared to a year ago shows gains in euros for half of eight categories and a 10% rise in total. Units were up 7% in total with increases in half of the categories. ASPs increased for half of the eight categories and 3% in total. Year to date euros were up 6% driven by increases in half the categories. Units rose slightly less in total with gains in five of eight categories. The ASP was nearly unchanged despite losses in six of eight categories.

Sales Growth by Switch Category

  Q3 2014 Versus Q1 2014 Q3 2014 Versus Q3 2013 YTD 2014 Vs. YTD 2013
Category Euros Units ASP Euros Units ASP Euros Units ASP
DIP 48.4% 53.3% -3.2% 70.3% 94.5% -12.4% 40.0% 52.0% -7.8%
Keylock -2.1% -7.7% 6.1% -2.3% -27.7% 35.2% 0.1% -18.0% -118%
Push Button 13.9% 8.0% 5.4% 15.7% 9.0% 6.1% 2.3% 3.1% -0.8%
Rocker -1.0% -1.9% 1.0% 1.5% -7.0% 9.2% -1.6% -5.2% 3.7%
Slide 13.5% 11.0% 2.2% -0.1% 18.3% -15.5% -4.3% 32.3% -28.5%
Snap Action -2.2 % 2.3% -4.4 % 12.7% 8.1% 4.3% 11.1% 5.4% 5.4%
Tact 2.9% -2.2% 5.2% -12.1% -1.7% -10.5% -10.8% 1.7% -12.4%
Toggle -0.1% -5.7% 6.0% -13.9 % -6.1 -8.3% -7.2% -6.9% -0.5%
Total 4.3% 3.7% 0.6% 10.3% 7.3% 2.8% 6.3% 5.5% 0.8%

When compared to the second quarter, total bookings were down in euros for three of eight categories and in total euros by 5%. Units were nearly the same as euros and lost 4%. The average booking price slipped for two categories but lower by less than 1% in total. Compared to the same quarter a year ago, euros and units were up 9% and 15%. The ABP dropped 6% despite price gains for most types as the mix shifted to lower priced switches. Year to date booking euros were up 7% in total on the strength of snap action and tact switches. Units came in 12% better with half of categories improving. Booking prices fell for all categories except rocker and by 5% in total.

Bookings Growth by Switch Category

  Q3 2014 Versus Q2 2014 Q3 2014 Versus Q3 2013 YTD 2014 Vs. YTD 2013
Category Euros Units ABP Euros Units ABP Euros Units ABP
DIP 32.4% 17.0% 13.2% 57.8% 52.7% 3.3% 43.4% 52.2% -5.7%
Keylock 22.4% 9.7% 11.6% 17.3% 1.2% 16.0 % 7.9% -11.1% -102%
Push Button 6.9% 2.1% 4.7% 5.6% 3.2% 2.3% -3.6% -1.1% -3.0%
Rocker -7.2% -1.2% -6.2% 1.9% -2.8% 4.8% -0.4% -1.1% 0.7%
Slide -3.0% 9.9% -11.7% 19.5% 58.9% -24.8% 6.4% 36.9% -22.4%
Snap Action -17.8% -18.5% 0.8% -3.8% -4.8% 1.1% 5.8% 7.2% -1.9%
Tact 16.4% 1.6% 14.5% 36.0% 26.7% 7.3% 8.0% 11.9% -3.5%
Toggle 13.0% 8.5% 4.1% -15.7% -15.5% -0.3% -10.9% -6.0% -5.2%
Total -4.8% -4.3% -0.6% 8.7% 15.4% -5.9% 6.9% 12.1% -4.8%

The graph below shows total quarterly indexed sales and bookings in euros and units for the reported data since Q3 CY 2012. All measures decreased through 2012. 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 and slipped back a bit in Q2. In Q3 sales improved as bookings slipped.

CY 2012/2014 Total Reported European Switch Sales & Bookings Indexed (Q1 2007 = 100)

Book-to-bill euros generally declined to a low in Q3 of 2012 improved the next two quarters only to move down in Q2 and Q3 of last year, then improved Q4 and Q1 with a decline in Q2 and Q3 of this year. The unit ratio had a similar but generally lower path than the euros. The ABP-to-ASP ratio has been above 1.0 except for four of quarters that includes Q3 of 2014.

CY 2012/2014 Total Reported European Switch Market Ratios

For the period, indexed sales and booking prices generally trended lower, except for the last two quarters. Indexed booking prices were generally slightly higher than selling prices, until the last two quarters.

CY 2012/2014 Total Reported European Switch Price Index (Q1 2007 = 100)

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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