A drive shaft or propeller shaft is a piece of an automobile which takes power from the engine and delivers to the wheels. A drive shaft has to be strong enough to absorb the torque of the engine and lightweight to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle. A drive shaft should be perfectly balanced and should spin equal to the torque coming out of the engine and the transmission for a smooth driveline performance. In the recent times most of the automobiles are front wheel drive, soothe drive shafts are between the transaxle and each front wheel. In rear wheel drive automobiles the drive shaft is between the rear axle and each rear wheels. Drive shaft has to be strong and rigid as it has to bear the immense torque produced by the engine.
Increasing concern about fuel efficiency, manufacturers are more focused on developing lightweight driveshaft without compromising on its performance and rigidness. Rise in the growth of automobile sector globally, it is indirectly fueling the growth of drive shaft market as drive shafts are required in every automobiles to power the wheels. With the rise of four wheel drive vehicles is also increasing the demand for drive shaft market. Drive shafts are also used in motorcycles to as they are maintenance free and have a long life than a chain drive. Increasing demand for vehicle comfort and performance offered by the new light weight drive shafts, OEMs are also adopting to the new light weight drive shafts. The increasing number of vehicle production, enhanced driving experience, stringent carbon emission regulations and norms and increase in fuel efficiency by using the new light weight drive shafts is mainly driving the market globally.
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Some of the major drivers influencing the drive shaft market globally is the increasing number of global automobile production and the growing demand for light weight drive shafts which would aid to better fuel efficiency. Some of the major restraints of the drive shaft market globally are high fluctuations of the material prices which hinders in manufacturing of light weight drive shaft.
The drive shaft market can be distinguished by product outlook and vehicle type. In the product outlook, there are generally three types; slip in tube drive shaft, one piece drive shaft and two piece drive shaft and. In the vehicle type segment, it generally includes heavy commercial vehicles (HCV), light commercial vehicles (LCV) and passenger vehicles.
Asia Pacific being the largest automobile manufacturer globally also posses the largest market for drive shaft industry. Moreover the increasing demand for fuel efficient vehicles in regions such as India, China, Japan and South Korea has led to the development of light weight drive shaft to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle, thus returning more mileage. Europe led the second largest market for drive shaft industry followed by North America and West of the World.
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Some of the major players in this industry are GKN PLC (U.K.), Dana Holding Corporation (US), NTN Corporation (Japan), Nexteer Automotive (U.S.), American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings, Inc (U.S.), Hyundai Wia (South Korea), Yamada Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Japan), Neapco Holdings LLC (U.S.) and Trelleborg AB (Sweden) among others.
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