Global Wheelchairs (Powered and Manual) Market to Reach 8.0 Million Units by 2017, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

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GIA announces the release of a comprehensive global report on Wheelchairs (Powered and Manual) markets. The global market for Wheelchairs (Powered and Manual) is forecast to reach 8.0 million units and US$5.5 billion by 2017. The market for wheelchairs is being driven mainly by the aging baby boomers, a trend that is a result of increasing life expectancy. Growth is also emerging from technological advancements being witnessed, as manufacturers strive to come up with new models. Changing consumer preference is expected to provide an impetus to the lightweight and ultra-lightweight wheelchairs worldwide. Growth drivers, however, show significant variations regionally. While high-end products drive the value growth in developed markets such as Canada, manual wheelchairs continue to drive demand in emerging markets of Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Wheelchairs (Powered And Manual): A Global Strategic Business Report

Follow us on LinkedIn – Aging global population is driving the demand for all products used by this population segment, including wheelchairs. Consequently, the recent economic downturn failed to affect the wheelchairs market in the way it did to other industries. Global market for wheelchairs and mobility scooters witnessed a slowdown during the recession. Increasing life expectancy around the world is leading to the increasing age of baby boomer population, which in turn is expected to drive the demand for wheelchairs in the foreseeable future. Simultaneously, technological advancements are making the use of wheelchairs more convenient and feature-rich, which on their part are contributing to the increased sales of wheelchairs. Manufacturers are involved in advancing technologies in wheelchairs used in homecare and hospital settings for providing superior comfort, and mobility for the aged, and people with disabilities. Proliferation of charity organizations, around the world, which distribute manual chairs in poorer countries, is also driving the market for wheelchairs.

Wheelchair frames, made up of lightweight materials, represent one of the revolutionary technologies in the global wheelchairs industry. Historically, stainless steel dominated the wheelchairs market. Following the intensive efforts of manufacturers to innovate and to manufacture discerning products, lightweight and ultralight wheelchairs flooded the market. Presently, wheelchairs made up of a wide range of materials, including steel tubing, stainless steel, aluminum, chrome, and alloys of chrome and other lightweight materials, such as titanium, are available in the market. Maximum impact of technological developments in the wheelchairs industry has been on the ultralight and powered categories. Ultralight wheelchairs have witnessed the increased usage of aluminum and various alloys, titanium and carbon fiber towards developing designs, which are more suited for the sports-oriented application of this product. In fact, over the past five years, composite materials for the construction of wheelchair have vastly enhanced the mobility horizons of the users.

Reimbursement policies and government regulations play a crucial role in determining market conditions, including product prices. The type of wheelchair, either powered or manual, determines the reimbursement levels. Frequent changes in reimbursement policies greatly affect the growth potential of the markets. For instance, most of the reimbursement agencies do not offer reimbursement services for electric scooters. In the US, while standard-weight powered wheelchairs are covered under the Medicare K0011 code, no such codes exist for electric scooters. As a result, customers, who generally prefer to buy electric scooters, are opting for powered wheelchairs, notwithstanding the fact that electric scooters cost much less as compared to the powered wheelchairs. All of the above factors are hampering the development of electric scooters market on many fronts. For instance, the lack of substantial incentives discourages the manufacturers to invest in research activities that improve the performance of electric scooters. Presently, research efforts in electric scooters market are targeted at the development of low-cost scooters, as customers opt for low-cost products, in the wake of absence of reimbursement facilities.

The US represents the largest regional market for wheelchairs (powered and manual) worldwide, as stated by the new market research report on Wheelchairs. While aging baby boomers are expected to be the key drivers for wheelchairs in the US, growth is expected to be stifled by factors, such as lower reimbursement rates and Medicare repayment procedures. Europe trails behind the US market, while growth in the market is expected to be driven by markets, such as Japan, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. Japan, in particular, is projected to be the fastest growing market for wheelchairs worldwide through the analysis period, in terms of unit as well as value sales. Latin America, meanwhile, is projected to post a compounded annual growth rate of more than 6.7% in terms of value during the analysis period.

Segment-wise, Manual Wheelchairs represents the largest segment in terms of value. Despite technological advancements and the emergence of powered wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs are still witnessing a growth in demand. Aging population, and legislation that requires improvements in workplace remain as prime drivers of the market. Powered Scooters represents the fastest growing segment in terms of volume, with sales projected to rise at a compounded annual rate of 7.1% during the analysis period. The US dominates the global Powered Wheelchairs market.

Electronic controls are heralding a major change in the design of powered wheelchairs. Dramatic improvements in flexibility, apart from the range and variety of controls offered by electronic programming, hold the promise of developing revolutionary models for the market participants. Events such as Olympics had challenged the design capabilities of companies, by placing increased demand for even better ultralight models. Leading players have been formulating their new product development strategies around innovation and technological superiority. Intensifying competition, declining margins, and spreading wings of dominant players such as Sunrise Medical and Invacare, who have access to wide distribution networks, are forcing new entrants and other small manufacturers of wheelchairs to focus on the niche segments. Major players profiled in the report include 21st Century Scientific Inc., Graham-Field Health Products Inc., Invacare Corporation, LEVO AG, Otto Bock HealthCare GmbH, Permobil Inc., Pihsiang Machinery Manufacturing Company Limited, Pride Mobility Product Corp. and Sunrise Medical Inc.

The research report titled “Wheelchairs (Powered And Manual): A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Global Industry Analysts Inc., provides a comprehensive review of the wheelchairs markets, current market trends, key growth drivers, recent product approvals, recent industry activity, and profiles of major/niche global as well as regional market participants. The report also discusses the growing popularity of Bariatric wheelchairs, and standing wheelchairs. The report provides annual sales estimates and projections in value as well as volume terms for wheelchairs market for the years 2009 through 2017 for the following geographic markets - US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Rest of World. Key product segments analyzed include Manual Wheelchairs, Powered Wheelchairs, and Powered Scooters. Also, a six-year (2003-2008) historic analysis is provided for additional perspective.

For more details about this comprehensive market research report, please visit –

About Global Industry Analysts, Inc.
Global Industry Analysts, Inc., (GIA) is a leading publisher of off-the-shelf market research. Founded in 1987, the company currently employs over 800 people worldwide. Annually, GIA publishes more than 1300 full-scale research reports and analyzes 40,000+ market and technology trends while monitoring more than 126,000 Companies worldwide. Serving over 9500 clients in 27 countries, GIA is recognized today, as one of the world's largest and reputed market research firms.

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Global Industry Analysts, Inc.
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