What is the profile for the wheelchair market?

by Peter Kaminski CC-BY

by Peter Kaminski CC-BY

The wheelchair industry is a very interesting one since it is recession proof and most of the units being sold are the more expensive kinds, including the powered variety.

A report from Global Industry Analysts Inc. breaks down the market with a forecast for 2010:

  • Overall Wheelchair Market – 4.2 million units ($3.2 billion)
  • Manual Wheelchairs – 2 million units ($1.5 billion)
  • Powered  Wheelchairs – 2.2 million units ($1.7 billion)

In 2007 the value of manual wheelchairs slightly exceeded that of powered wheelchairs, but the powered market is growing faster (estimated compound annual growth of 8%).

The major players covered in the report are:

  • 21st Century Scientific Inc
  • Graham-Field Health Products, Inc
  • Invacare Corporation
  • Otto Bock HealthCare GmbH
  • Permobil Inc
  • Pihsiang Machinery Manufacturing Company Limited
  • Pride Mobility Product Corp
  • Sunrise Medical, Inc.

Supply Chain

The focus of the supply chain, according to Wheelchair Market Description, is to provide custom, configured, made-to-order products from facilities close to the customers. As costs are very high in North America and Europe, factories in those areas focus on providing competitive advantage to sales and marketing teams.

European Market

A report from Research and Markets says that the market in the top five European countries inceased by 5.8% in quantity (2008) but only by 5.2% in money terms due to declining unit prices. The report looks ahead to 2011, predicting approximately 300,000 wheelchairs sold, for 737 million Euros.

These are the top five countries considered:

  • Germany
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • Italy
  • Spain

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