Growing Consumer Interest in Hybrid and Electric Vehicles to Drive Innovations
The automotive industry, over the past decade, has witnessed growth as well as several plateauing phases due to a host of factors. While the sales of automobiles continue to fluctuate worldwide, the automotive sector is gradually adapting to the new regulatory landscape and industry requirements. In the wake of mounting environmental concerns, OEMs and other players involved in the automotive sector are increasingly investing resources toward the development of environment-friendly automotive concepts, production of lightweight components made from new materials, and product design to stand-out from other competitors in the current automotive half shaft market landscape.
In addition, as driver safety and driving experience quotient continues to influence the purchasing trends across the global automotive sector, market players are aligning their operations with evolving consumer preferences. The global automotive half shaft market is expected to witness steady growth in the upcoming decade, owing to technological advancements, research, entry of new lightweight materials, and increasing demand for automobiles in the developing regions. The gradual shift toward full-electric and hybrid automobiles is another factor that is expected to accelerate innovations in the global automotive half shaft market during the assessment period.
At the back of these factors, along with the growing emphasis on improving the fundamental characteristics of automotive half shafts, the global market is expected to surpass the market value of US$ 25 Bn by the end of 2030.
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Market Players Focus on Redefining Driveline Technologies
The tectonic shift toward full-electric and hybrid vehicles has brought about a considerable change in the global automotive half shaft market in recent years. Existing driveline technologies are primarily optimized for traditional powertrains. However, with the emergence of hybrid and electric vehicles, market players are expected to develop and optimize driveline technologies in line with the requirements of electric vehicles. Driveline innovations are projected to gain considerable momentum in the upcoming years, as the automotive industry gears up for a new era of electric and hybrid vehicles.
The electric vehicle segment was niche and less common in comparison with the mainstream vehicles a few years ago. However, in the current scenario, the sales of electric and hybrid vehicles continue to move in the upward trajectory, owing to stringent regulatory landscape and increasing support by governments across the world. The changes in the wheel suspension movement and articulation angles that have an impact on the performance of vehicles are likely to drive the global automotive half shaft market in the forthcoming decade. At present, market players operating in the current global automotive half shaft market are increasingly focusing on improving the software control of oscillations by rolling out stiffer automotive half shafts.
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Focus Likely to Remain on Design Factors and Material Selection
With steady research pertaining to driveline applications, manufacturers are primarily aiming to offer both, optimum performance and comfort to consumers. The design factors and material selection process are the two fundamental criteria that are likely to gain considerable attention in the near future. Market players are increasingly exploring the potential benefits of new materials in the manufacturing of half shafts to achieve these objectives. In recent years, carbon fiber (polymer matrix composite) has emerged as a popular choice of material in half shaft production, and the trend is anticipated to gain further momentum during the assessment period.
Some of the key factors that players operating in the global automotive half shaft market are increasingly focusing on include improvement in vehicle performance, reduction of fuel consumption, minimization of un-sprung mass, better vehicle handling, and decline in residual out of balance forces.
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Production to Move at Slow Pace amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Automotive is one of the worst hit sectors by COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The closure of manufacturing units as a result of the stringent lockdown measures imposed by governments, especially in India and China, has majorly affected the production of automotive components, including half shafts. Moreover, restrictions on cross-border trade and transportation are some of the other factors that have played a pivotal role in disturbing the global supply chain of the automotive half shaft market. While the demand for automotive half shafts is expected to decline in 2020, the production is expected to move in the slow lane. As consumers are increasingly shying away from purchasing new vehicles due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the global automotive half shaft market is likely to grow at a sluggish pace.
Automotive Half Shaft Market: Overview
- The global automotive half shaft market is expected to expand at a CAGR of ~5% between 2020 and 2027
- Inability of production units to operate at full capacity due to the global coronavirus pandemic has significantly hindered the market. Additionally, disruption of supply chain and unavailability of materials is anticipated to hinder the market significantly for the year of 2020.
- Economic downturn in the first of half of 2020 is anticipated to lead to a significant slowdown in the demand for vehicles. On the other hand, the demand for light trucks is rising across all the regions due to high influence of the auto industry in North America, along with the ability to use utility vehicles for diverse applications. Furthermore, rising popularity of utility vehicles and light trucks among consumers in Asia Pacific is likely to drive the half shaft market in the region.
Drivers of Automotive Drive Shaft Market
- Europe is emphasizing on the adoption of new emission regulations under which, all automakers should meet 95 gram/Km target by the end of 2020. It is essential for automakers and suppliers to adopt fuel-saving and emission-reduction technologies by minimizing the weight of the components. The lightweight half shaft helps automakers comply with stringent emission norms, thereby driving the demand from automakers. This, in turn, is estimated to propel the automotive half shaft market.
- Production of vehicles has been increasing consistently for the past five years; however, a slowdown in vehicle production was witnessed in the second half of 2018 and in 2019. Moreover, improving global economy played a key role in driving the demand for vehicles across the globe.
- Developing countries such as India, China, Brazil, and Mexico have also planned to enact emission stage equivalent to Euro 6 in the near future. Adoption of such reforms by developing countries, which are also witnessing high vehicle production, is anticipated to drive the demand for emission control devices globally.
- Automakers have registered increased penetration of sports utility vehicles and multiutility vehicles globally. Furthermore, the advent of vehicle drive technology has prompted automakers to develop vehicles with all-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD).
- AWD and 4WD vehicles use higher number of half shafts as compared to that utilized by two wheel drive vehicles, which in turn is anticipated to drive the market
Challenges for Automotive Drive Shaft Market
- Automakers, such as General Motor Company, BMW AG, and Audi AG are leading players developing electric vehicles (EVs). Electric vehicles are independent of traditional internal combustion engines to power vehicles.
- EVs do not require traditional transmissions, drive shafts, power dividers, and differentials, as electric motors in EVs replace traditional diesel powertrains in some applications. This, in turn, is anticipated to restrain the use of half shafts in vehicles by automakers.
- Global commodity market has been experiencing price volatility in the last few days. This has significantly affected the prices of steel and aluminum, which are key materials used for the manufacture of automotive half shafts.
- Along with raw materials, prices of semi-finished products such as castings, forgings, bearings, and other components have also witnessed a similar trend. Suppliers as well as manufacturers are also under constant pressure from OEMs to reduce their prices. This trend is likely to hamper the automotive half shaft market.
Segmentation of Automotive Drive Shaft Market
- In terms of material, the steel segment held a notable share of the automotive drive shaft market in 2019. Steel has been a conventional material to manufacture automotive shafts and axles, owing to its adequate strength, machinability, and cost effectiveness.
- Aluminum half shafts came later in the picture due to their lightweight and high strength.
Composite and carbon fiber half shafts are the latest trending materials, which are highly preferred for their application in performance-oriented and high-end vehicles.
- Carbon fiber is a highly advanced material used to manufacture half shafts; however, the demand for carbon fiber half shafts is increasing significantly due to their considerably higher strength and lightweight.
- Based on vehicle, the utility vehicles segment held a leading share of the global automotive half shaft market, owing to their high production coupled with higher penetration of four-wheel drive technology in the segment
- Utility vehicles and light duty vehicles are key trending vehicles, primarily in Asia Pacific and North America. Consequently, segments are likely to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period.
- In terms of sales channel, the OEM segment held a major share of automotive half shaft market in 2019. It is likely to maintain its dominance during the forecast period.
- Automotive half shafts possess significantly high lifespan and come with a warranty of 100,000 miles, which remains the same throughout the lifespan of the vehicle. Boots at the end are highly susceptible to deterioration and hence, they can be replaced; however, service providers recommend replacing the entire shaft instead of just replacing the boot.
- Based on drivetrain, production of ICE vehicles is significantly high, and they consumed more than 95% of half shafts in 2019; however, rising stringency of emission norms and adoption of NEVs (new energy vehicles) across the globe are likely to drive the demand for half shaft at significantly higher pace for electric vehicles.
- Electric vehicles are the new face of the automotive industry, and a rise in the demand for electric vehicles is boosting the half shaft market; however, the development of hub motor may hinder the automotive half shaft market
- Key manufacturers of the industry are focused on the development of improved drivetrain for electric vehicles
Automotive Drive Shaft Market: Regional Analysis
- Asia Pacific held a significant share of the global automotive half shaft market in 2019, owing to high production of vehicles, and rise in demand for premium and luxury vehicles among developing countries of the region. The global automotive half shaft market is directly influenced by vehicle production and sales.
- Availability of major component manufacturers and presence of major automotive manufacturers in the region are key factors attributed to the notable share held by Asia Pacific of the global automotive half shaft market
Automotive Drive Shaft Market: Competition Landscape
- Key players operating in the global automotive half shaft market include –
- Advanced Composite Products & Technology Inc.
- American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
- Bailey Morris Limited
- D & F PROPSHAFTS
- Dana Limited
- GKN Plc.
- HYUNDAI WIA CORP.
- IFA Group
- JTEKT Corporation
- Nexteer Automotive Group Ltd.
- Wilson Drive Shaft
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