CAD Report 2010

July 10, 2011 — Right along with the rest of the world, the Computer Aided Design (CAD) industry suffered severe setbacks in the recession of 2008-2009. Fortunately, in 2010 world economies are recovering and so are parts of the CAD industry. Because CAD tools are used in architecture, manufacture, plant design, assembly, tool design, mapping and Geographical Information Systems (GIS), recovery is decidedly uneven. For example the architecture industry was the first to feel the recession and it will take the longest to recover. On the other hand, the automotive industry, which saw a spectacular meltdown in 2009, is coming back more quickly. As with all recessions there are benefits to be realized in a slowdown and in some cases those benefits are already showing up in 2010.

Jon Peddie Research (JPR) estimates the CAD software market to be $5 billion in 2009. This is a 23% decrease compared to 2008 when the market reached a high of $6.7 billion. All industries in all geographies felt the effects of the recession. The market will grow in 2010 but it will not recover to the high levels seen in 2008, which was unnaturally fueled by financial bubbles. As difficult as the recession in 2009 has been and will continue to be for many companies, it will serve as a jump start for long term growth as many companies take the time afforded by a slow down to move to advanced technologies and retrain workers.

Inevitably, this same process is driving many workers out of the CAD industry. The contraction is tightest at the bottom rungs of the CAD work force where CAD operators or CAD drafters move on to find new opportunities. JPR estimates that at least 200,000 workers have left the CAD industry worldwide. In the coming years there will be increased opportunities for CAD workers who can take advantage of new software capabilities to increase their companies' efficiencies. In the architecture related fields, these opportunities will come to people who can help their companies move to a Building Information Management (BIM) workflow. In manufacture, we are seeing new opportunities appear in improving Product Data Management/Product Life Management/Customer Relationship Management (PDM/PLM/CRM) workflows, and analysis. In all segments of the CAD industry, rendering is become a mainstream capability across the board as workers become interested in creating their own visualizations.

In 2010, the CAD market will grow to $5.4 billion, a modest increase of 5%. We expect the CAD market to fully recover by 2013/2014.

Jon Peddie Research has been covering the CAD market for over 10 years. This latest report comes as world markets are recovering from a worldwide recession. The CAD market is very sensitive to economic influences because CAD is an essential tool in so many industries including architecture, construction, automotive/ aerospace, energy, process and power, consumer electronics, and industrial design to name just a few. Although 2009 was a very difficult year, it was preceded by a period of expansion. Emerging companies have been ramping up their factories, populations have been moving from the country to the city, and the world has become conscious of the need for greener technologies. In addition, businesses have been making the transition to more powerful computers and more efficient workflows. None of this stops dead during a recession and in fact we have seen companies investing in new technologies. They are letting go some employees, but they are re-training the employees they have.

JPR’s CAD Report 2010 breaks out the CAD market and reports on the industry’s evolution and growth including company market share, geographies, market segments, and end users. In addition the report provides a forecast for the CAD industry between 2010-2014.


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