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Spark Plugs Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Product Type (Spark plugs and Glow plugs), By Electrode Material (Copper, Platinum, and Iridium), By Sales Channel (OEM and Aftermarket), By Application (Two Wheelers and Four Wheelers (Passenger Cars and Commercial Vehicles)), and Regional Forecast, 2023 – 2030

Last Updated: May 06, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102001

 

KEY MARKET INSIGHTS

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The global spark plugs market size was valued at USD 1.76 billion in 2022. The market is expected to grow from USD 1.82 billion in 2023 to USD 2.18 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 2.6% during the forecast period.


A spark or glow plug is a crucial component in the ignition system of internal combustion engines. It is a device that fits into the cylinder head of an internal combustion (IC) engine and produces an electric spark to ignite the air-fuel mixture in the engine's combustion chamber. The spark plug comprises a center electrode surrounded by a ceramic insulator and a ground electrode. When high voltage is delivered from the ignition system, a spark is generated between the center and ground electrodes, initiating the combustion process within the engine and enabling it to generate power.


Spark plugs market growth is attributed to increasing development in the automotive industry with regular usage of vehicles globally, particularly in emerging markets. Similarly, regular maintenance and replacement cycles in these vehicles further drive the spark plug aftermarket growth.


COVID-19 IMPACT


Decline in Automotive Production Resulted in a Sudden Fall in Demand for the Product


The COVID-19 pandemic asserted an adverse influence on the market. With the major sales of new and used vehicles, the demand for peripherals such as spark and glow plugs was utterly reduced. With the social distancing norms and stringent lockdowns worldwide, the production was deficient or nonexistent in a few regions. This slowed down the market economy, leading to upheavals in supply chains of the automotive industry across the globe and a raw material scarcity. Moreover, restrictions in travel, a decrease in automotive production, and lockdown measures resulted in a reduction in demand, further impacting the sales of automotive spark plugs. The automotive industry’s deliveries and production were affected due to the upheaval, further hampering global market growth.


In addition, the economic downturn across the globe and the financial strain on suppliers due to the cut back on payments and orders made by their customers, influenced their ability to make investments in research and development activities, further resulting in potential delays in technological advancements related to automotive sparkplugs. Furthermore, the rapidly rising electric vehicle penetration during the pandemic owing to government subsidies/incentives, tightening emission norms, and concerns regarding the environment threatened components of conventional automotive, such as the product. As this rapidly growing EV sales witnessed rise in post-pandemic, it further hindered the demand for automotive sparkplugs.


LATEST TRENDS


Research on Utilizing Plasma Ignition is an Ongoing Trend in the Market


One major trends is the increased demand for long-lasting, fuel-efficient, and high-performance products, which has led to the development of new materials such as iridium and platinum. A significant trend is the rise in hybrid vehicles, which require different types of spark plugs than traditional gasoline engines with stricter emission norms worldwide. Automakers are focused on more efficient and cleaner-burning engines to comply with these regulations. Spark plug innovation has played an important role in improving engine efficiency and reducing emissions.


Furthermore, engine manufacturers are continuously working on developing more fuel-efficient engines. Spark plug advancements have optimized engine performance and fuel efficiency, making them crucial in achieving these goals.



  • For instance, in January 2023, Transient Plasma Technology (TPS) launched its Transient Plasma Ignition System. The company reports that it can increase engine efficiency by 20%, reduce NOx emissions, and be compatible with several different fuel types.


Plasma-jet ignition is a key innovation area in the automotive sector. The plasma ignition system is a direct ignition device that mixes 1 kW class microwave energy at a frequency of 2.45GHz in the pathway of a high voltage delivered to the spark plug from the second coil of the ignition device. It can output both sparks by a high voltage and microwave energy from a spark plug tip.


Toyota is one of the leading originators in tube-spurt ignition. The company has developed a slice-edge ignition system that backs the standard spark entrapments in a machine with an ignition module that ignites the energy/ air admixture inside the cylinder using extremely brief tube beats. Denso, Ford Motor, BorgWarner, and Hitachi are leading originators in this technology sphere. The aftermarket demand for products grew as the global fleet increased and older vehicles required maintenance and the replacement market for it, expanded.


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DRIVING FACTORS


Rising Vehicle Sales and Production In Each Region to Boost Market Expansion


Spark plugs and glow plugs are highly crucial components in conventional automobiles. They play a vital role in efficient fuel combustion in engines. Thus, the high-quality plugs demand is impacted by steady expansion in automobile sales and production. For example, as per OICA (International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers), the manufacturing of commercial and passenger vehicles has witnessed significant growth in recent years. In 2022, passenger car production rose by 8%, with more than 61 million units, and total vehicle production increased by 6% as compared to 2021 with more than 85 million units. Therefore, global automotive production drives automakers for spark plugs and glow plugs.


This is the primary driver is the growth and evolution of the automotive industry. As vehicles on the road increase and new vehicles are manufactured, the demand for the product rises. This growth is influenced by rising population, increasing urbanization, and economic development in various regions worldwide. In addition, expanding vehicle types and models, along with the uptake of modern vehicle engines to meet the diverse demands of the consumer, is fueling the adoption of spark plug types, which is further slated to accelerate the market growth.


Stringent emission norms and regulations imposed by governments globally are a significant driver. As environmental concerns grow and regulations become stricter, a greater demand for more efficient and cleaner-burning engines exists. Spark plug technology advances to meet these requirements, enhancing engine efficiency and reducing emissions.


RESTRAINING FACTORS


Emergence of Megatrend of Automotive Electrification May Impede the Industry Expansion 


The world is witnessing the emergence of an ongoing megatrend of automotive electrification. Governments worldwide are focused on the uptake of green mobility to combat air pollution and climate change. Therefore, governments are implementing initiatives to boost the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs). Moreover, government initiatives such as the improvement of EV charging station network and necessary infrastructure, delivery of subsidies and incentives on the purchase of electric vehicles, and others are bolstering the uptake of electric vehicles across the globe.


The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that electric car sales are registering exponential growth as sales surpassed 10 million units in 2022. The share of electric cars in overall car sales has tripled over the past three years. IEA also stated that electric car sales would continue to grow strongly through 2023.  According to the report from International Energy Agency (IEA), in the first quarter of 2023, 2.3 million units of electric cars were sold worldwide, which is 25% higher than the first quarter of 2022. Moreover, automakers' focus on shifting their vehicle fleet to electric to grab early growth opportunities in the EV megatrend is expected to restrain the market growth.



  • For instance, in November 2021, Mercedes-Benz announced that it would go all-electric by 2030 when market conditions allow it to. Similarly, other automakers such as Volkswagen and General Motors have also announced their goals to go all-electric in the upcoming years.


This initiative of automakers to shift to electric is expected to deter the demand for automotive sparkplugs. While electric vehicles (EVs) do not use the product, the increasing interest and growth of the EV market influenced the overall automotive market. This shift affects the demand for traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, impacting spark plug requirements in those vehicles.


SEGMENTATION


By Product Type Analysis


Prevalence of Petrol-Powered Vehicles Fueled the Spark Plugs Segment Growth


Based on product type, the market is segregated into spark plugs and glow plugs.


The spark plugs segment held the largest share in the market in 2022 globally and is poised to dominate the market during the forecast period. Modern automobiles utilize petrol more than diesel, considering the emission norms. Due to the prevalence of gasoline-powered automobiles globally, plugs have a significant market presence.


Most commercial vehicle engines are diesel-propelled, requiring glow plugs. Though diesel vehicles are discontinued in some parts, a few still have to rely on aftermarket sales of glow plugs under their maintenance. Some diesel passenger vehicles also use glow plugs. The growth of the glow plugs segment is closely linked to the continuing prevalence of diesel engines, especially in the heavy-duty automotive and industrial sectors. Thus, this segment has indicated marginal growth in the market.


By Electrode Material Analysis


Copper Segment Dominates Owing to Its Cost-Effective Properties 


In terms of electrode material, the market is divided into copper, platinum, and iridium.


The copper segment is dominant in the market, with the largest share. Traditional products often utilize copper as the primary material for the electrode. While being highly conductive, copper electrodes erodes more quickly than other materials. They are cost-effective but have shorter lifespans. Mostly, two-wheelers are equipped with copper products, making them dominant in the market.


The iridium segment is expected to grow at a highest CAGR during the forecast period. Iridium has seen significant growth in this industry due to its outstanding hardness, high melting point, and excellent durability. Iridium-tipped products offer prolonged service life and excellent performance, albeit at a higher cost. This is anticipated to drive the segmental growth in the market.


Platinum-tipped products were gaining popularity due to their exceptional durability and resistance to erosion. They maintain consistent performance over an extended period but are more expensive than copper. Thus, it has showcased a significant growth rate in the market.


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By Sales Channel Analysis


Development of Efficient Spark Plugs by OEMs to Propel the Segment Growth


By sales channel, the market is divided into OEM and aftermarket.


The OEM is the highest contributor, making it the dominant segment in the market. OEMs develop and use efficient spark plugs for ignition systems. This channel involves direct sales to vehicle manufacturers for new vehicle assembly. The manufacturers supply their products to automakers as original components for installation in new vehicles. This has made the segment dominant in the market.


The aftermarket segment is predicted to witness the fastest growth rate during the forecast period. Aftermarket sales of products encompass a broad spectrum of distribution channels. This includes sales through retail outlets, auto parts stores, online marketplaces, independent garages, and repair shops. These outlets cater to consumers seeking replacement products for their vehicles during routine maintenance or when experiencing performance issues. The aftermarket segment has grown due to the need for regular maintenance and replacement of the product in existing vehicles. These factors are anticipated to lead to the segment’s growth.


By Application Analysis


Passenger Cars Segment Dominates the Market Share due to Urbanization


Based on application, the market segments are as follows: two wheelers and four wheelers. The four wheelers segment is further divided into commercial vehicles and passenger cars.                             


The passenger cars segment accounts for the major spark plugs market share globally and is expected to dominate during the forecast period. The availability of affordable vehicle models, economic growth, urbanization, stricter emission norms, and others influence the adoption of efficient products in passenger cars among aftermarkets and automakers. The commercial vehicles segment registered the second-largest share in the market in 2022. Emerging e-commerce industry with last-mile delivery solutions and rising intercity cargo transportation demand is impelling segment growth.


The two wheelers segment, including motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds, has grown consistently. Two-wheeler manufacturers have been focusing on producing more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly models. The manufacturers have been developing products tailored to the specific engine designs of these vehicles.


REGIONAL INSIGHTS


This market scope is analyzed across the Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and the rest of the world.


Asia Pacific Spark Plugs Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)

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The Asia Pacific dominated the market in 2022 and is slated to dominate with the fastest CAGR over the forecast period. The presence of a robust auto sector in emerging economies of the Asia Pacific, including India, Japan, China, and others, is aiding the regional expansion. The need for new vehicles and replacement parts, including the product, was a primary growth driver.


Europe captures the second-largest share due to the early adoption of the new spark plugs market trends and the second largest manufacturing hub for electronic components across the globe. Europe’s focus on clean technology, including emissions control and fuel efficiency, has influenced the demand for more advanced and environmentally friendly products, driving the regional growth.


North America is expected to grow at a steady growth rate. The region has a mature automotive industry with consistent replacement demand and new vehicle sales which is supporting the regional demand.


The market in rest of the World which includes South America and MEA, showed varied growth patterns influenced by regional economic conditions, industrialization, and infrastructure development.


KEY INDUSTRY PLAYERS


Focus on the Expansion of Sales and Distribution Network Strategies Enabled NGK to Stand out Among the Leading Players


NGK is known for its innovative spark plug designs and materials. The company is among the first companies to introduce iridium and platinum-tipped products, offering improved performance and durability. With a strong global presence, NGK has manufacturing facilities and a worldwide distribution network catering to various automotive markets.


The company emphasizes significant investments in research and development, leading to the creation of cutting-edge spark plug technologies. It operates through four divisions: automotive components, semiconductors, ceramics, and others. The company has established 9 domestic and 25 transnational accessories. The company has significant presence in North America, the Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Europe. It is strengthening its business through the expanding its deals network. It has inked several agreements for force contracts with BMW, Fiat, Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and other major automotive OEMs.


The company is also trying to expand its business in Asian countries. For example, anticipating the rising demand of the spark plugs, the company recently started new shops in Nino, Kani-shi, and Gifu in Japan. NGK SparkCo. Ltd has invested around USD 4,332 million till 2022, for the development of the installations. Automotive factors are the primary profit source for the company. It is also gaining experience in the automotive spark and glow entrapments request by leading new products incorporated with the streamlined technology for its original and transnational guests.


This leading manufacturer is consistently gaining competitive position in the market through its dedication to research and development, quality manufacturing processes, and an emphasis on meeting the evolving needs of vehicle manufacturers and consumers.


List of Key Companies Profiled:



KEY INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS:



  • July 2023, MAN Engines started offering pre-chamber spark plugs adapted to the respective combustion chamber to all turbocharged natural gas engines of the current MAN E3262, E3268, E0836, and E0834 series as an option, as well as MAN E3872 as obligatory. According to the company, pre-chamber plug for turbocharged natural gas engines will increase the efficiency of hydrogen admixture by up to 20% by volume.

  • July 2023, NGK initiated the acquisition of Denso ceramic products such as spark plugs, O2 sensors, and air-fuel ratio sensors to NGK. Among Denso's internal combustion engine products, it will acquire the development, manufacturing, and sales functions of spark plugs and exhaust sensors in Japan and overseas.

  • June 2023, Niterra introduced the final addition to their product lineup, the groundbreaking ILKFR7A8 reference spark plug, featuring a unique double precious metal design. This innovative spark plug is designed to meet the needs of various Stellantis models, including the durable Jeep Compass, the stylish Alfa Romeo Tonale, and the versatile Fiat 500X crossover.

  • February 2023, Mazda devised a method to further develop the proficiency of the Skyactiv-X engine technology by incorporating an additional spark plug. The company filed a patent outlining the new technology to bolster the control of spark-controlled compression ignition (SCCI). This advancement enables Mazda to regulate timing more precisely, minimizing irregular combustion effectively. Consequently, the engine generates more power while consuming less fuel, potentially integrating into models such as the Mazda 3.

  • March 2021, The European Commission initiated the LASIG-TWIN project to explore more effective methods for igniting fuels within internal combustion engines commonly used in automobiles. The project team sought to assess the potential of alternative ignition systems, such as laser ignition, in enhancing the efficiency of combustion engines. Various techniques were examined and tested within the project network, encompassing approaches for assembling and connecting optical and metallic materials to develop laser spark plugs.


REPORT COVERAGE


The report provides a detailed spark plugs market analysis and focuses on key aspects such as leading market players, competitive landscape, and type. Besides this, it includes insights into the products market forecast trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the market's growth in recent years.


An Infographic Representation of Spark plug Market

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REPORT SCOPE & SEGMENTATION






















































ATTRIBUTE



DETAILS



Study Period



2017-2030



Base Year



2022



Estimated Year 



2023



Forecast Period



2023-2030



Historical Period



2017-2021



Growth Rate



CAGR of 2.6% from 2023 to 2030



Unit



Value (USD Billion)



Segmentation


 


 


 



By Product Type



  • Spark plugs

  • Glow plugs



By Electrode Material



  • Copper

  • Platinum

  • Iridium



By Sales Channel



  • OEM

  • Aftermarket



By Application



  • Two Wheelers

  • Four Wheelers


    • Passenger Cars

    • Commercial Vehicles




By Region



  • North America (By Product Type, By Electrode Material, By Sales Channel, and By Application)


    • U.S.  (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

    • Mexico (By Application)


  • Europe (By Product Type, By Electrode Material, By Sales Channel, and By Application)


    • UK (By Application)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)


  • Asia Pacific (By Product Type, By Electrode Material, By Sales Channel, and By Application)


    • China (By Application)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • South Korea (By Application)

    • Rest of the Asia Pacific (By Application)


  • Rest of the World (By Product Type, By Electrode Material, By Sales Channel, and By Application)






Frequently Asked Questions

As per the Fortune Business Insights study, the market size was USD 1.76 billion in 2022.

The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.6% over the forecast period (2023-2030)

The market size in the Asia Pacific stood at USD 0.80 billion in 2022.

NGK, Denso, Robert Bosch, and BorgWarner are some of the top key players in the market.

The Asia Pacific held the largest share in the market in 2022.

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