Disability via any accident or by birth cripples people in various ways. But as far as mobility is concerned, wheelchair accessible vehicles are nothing short of a blessing for the sufferers. These wheelchair accessible vehicles are available in several types and can be customized for functionality according to individual requirements. According to a recent study by Transparency Market Research, the market for wheelchair accessible vehicle converters in North America was valued at US$781.8 mn in 2015, and is estimated to reach US$1.9 bn by 2024, rising at a robust CAGR of 11.1% during the forecast period 2016–2024.
Which are the factors fueling the wheelchair accessible vehicle converters market?
A 2010 study by the United States Census Bureau stated that nearly one in five people have a disability in the country, which figures to 56.7 mn people or 19% of the population. Apart from the significant number of potential consumers, the Americans with Disability Act of 1990 is one of the most prominent factors driving the growth of the market for wheelchair accessible vehicle converters in North America. Title II of the act determines specific regulations for public transport and facilities to be equipped with assistive equipment for people using wheelchairs. American veterans who were disabled in the line of duty as well as those injured outside the war arena, get more than $40,000 in funds for such wheelchair vehicles.
Moreover, technological advancements in terms of fuel efficiency and the introduction of electric wheelchair accessible vehicles has further increased the adoption rate of these customized vehicles for people with disabilities. One of the primary restraints on this market is the lack of awareness among end users about the availability of these vehicles. However, in recent times, consciousness has grown among citizens owing to the penetration of the Internet and the emergence of social media. Rising geriatric population is another favorable factor for this market as age-related diseases frequently tend to affect mobility.
Where do Canada and the U.S. stand as markets for wheelchair accessible vehicle converters?
The TMR report estimates the U.S. to account for an incredible 88.3% of the revenue generated from by the North America market for wheelchair accessible vehicle converters by 2024. However, that figure is reflective of 318 mn population of the U.S. as compared to merely 36 mn for Canada. The country is projected for a healthy CAGR of 10.5% through 2024, owing to the rising number of people with disabilities.
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As per the Canadian Survey on Disability, in 2012, as high as 81.3% of the population with disabilities used assistive devices for mobility. Affordability and availability of these wheelchair accessible vehicle converters is also not an issue in the developed country of Canada. The segment of full-sized vehicles is most in demand due to ample interior space and easy mobility, although minivans and medium-sized SUVs are gaining popularity among the younger generation.
Players in the market for wheelchair accessible vehicle converters are facing growing competition from driver driven taxi services such as Uber and Lyft. However, innovative and customized wheelchair vehicles can solve consumer’s issue permanently, and hence are preferred.