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The global automotive bearing market size was valued at USD 14.35 billion in 2022. The market is projected to grow from USD 14.76 billion in 2023 to USD 19.46 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.0% during the forecast period.
Bearings are mechanical components deployed to minimize friction between moving rotating parts and to support the rotary parts to achieve the specified motion. Automotive and aerospace & defense sectors are among the notable end-users of bearings along with various other industrial segments.
Automotive bearings improve vehicle performance by bearing heavy loads and minimizing friction. They are primarily used in gearboxes, engines, wheels, transmissions, steering, pumps, electrical motors, and other vehicle components. In addition, they are used for the smooth operation of wipers, rearview mirrors, doors, and bonnet hinges. Furthermore, automotive bearings are used in various vehicles, including passenger cars, commercial vehicles, off-highway equipment, and two-wheelers.
Vehicle Production Declined in COVID-19 Pandemic, Hindering the Market Growth
The outbreak of COVID-19 severely impacted the automotive industry, especially since both value and supply chain players experienced a heavy disruptions owing to the spread of the virus globally. In China, suppliers around the globe placed production lines in quarantine or shut them down completely.
Trade and legal restrictions and closed borders increased the shortage of required parts and limiting the distribution of supplies, primarily for raw materials from Asia, such as paints, steel parts, and machinery. This resulted in substantial delays in fulfilling existing orders. Just-in-time production strategy and limited parts supply including quarantine measures and reduced workforce led OEMs to halt production. This is improved by the need for securing liquidity and reducing the overproduction owing to decrease in sales.
Despite short-term sales declines in the early days of the pandemic, demand for electric vehicles remained strong and sales recovered. The market is expected to grow significantly soon due to increased vehicle sales and the introduction of advanced technology-based automotive bearing for a variety of automotive components/applications
Major companies in the market have seen a major decline in revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. Production of bearings has been hampered or lowered due to lack of raw materials and high import taxes. Although, the duration of the pandemic is difficult to predict, the release of COVID-19 vaccines in early 2021 is projected to benefit market growth.
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Increasing Focus on Vehicular Weight Reduction to Enhance Vehicle Efficiency
By improving fuel economy and reducing carbon emissions, OEMs worldwide are focused on reducing their gross vehicle weight. Lightweight automotive bearings help reduce the weight of the car. To achieve the same, bearing manufacturers are utilizing tight tolerance forging techniques and improved forging techniques to meet the changing standards and to stay competitive.
For instance, SKF is developing lightweight, compact bearings designed for ultra-high speed with increased rigidity, better load-carrying, and extended service life. In addition, modern automobiles and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) require lightweight bearings to improve performance and minimize weight. Hence, manufacturers increasingly focus on reducing vehicle weight to drive the market growth.
Growth in Vehicle Sales and Production will Boost the Market Growth
Bearings are required for most of the components of a vehicle to function. Automotive bearings are used for gearboxes, engines, wheels, transmissions, electric motors, steering, and pumps. Rising population, urbanization, and high disposable incomes will positively influence automotive sales over the next few years. Moreover, favorable trends associated with the transportation of goods will drive the commercial vehicle demand. As mentioned earlier, these trends will drive the automotive bearing market growth during the forecast period.
New Technological Advancements in Bearing Will Improve Market Growth
Manufacturers will be forced to produce advanced bearings as government regulations to decrease carbon footprints become more rigorous. It also adds weight to the vehicle; hence, several manufacturers are producing automotive bearings made of lightweight metals to reduce vehicle weight.
Companies are focusing on implementing new bearing types such as ceramic. These are made to survive harsh operating conditions such as high temperatures, vacuum, contamination, and corrosive environments. Further, ceramic bearings are heat resistant, lightweight, and have a longer lifespan than steel bearings. In addition, as the need for high-performance bearings grows, OEMs are developing integrated bearings.
Furthermore, to improve vehicle performance, the majority of manufacturers are working on producing extreme rotation bearings. Leading manufacturers, such as SKF, are investing in new technological advances and adapting or redesigning traditional bearings. A new part of automotive bearing redesigning includes polymer cage and rolling components.
Fluctuating Raw Material Prices May Restrain Market Growth
A key restraint faced by the market includes its associated cost. Raw materials constitute a significant part of bearing production. The prices of raw materials continuously vary as per the changing economic conditions of the market. Since alloy and high-grade steel are primarily used in bearings, their price gets affected by worldwide steel price fluctuations.
These factors challenge automotive bearing manufacturers to produce high-quality products at a comparative price. Besides, bearings need regular maintenance for longer life and to prevent failures, increasing maintenance costs. As a result, the global market growth may be affected by volatility in raw material prices and ongoing maintenance expenses.
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Ball Bearing Segment Will Dominate the Market During the Forecast Period owing to its Superior Operational Characteristics
Based on type, the market is divided into ball, roller, and others.
Ball bearings are widely used in vehicles for various applications such as steering, gearbox, engine, wheel, suspension, clutch, transmission, and air conditioning. Various types of ball bearings, tapered roller bearings, thrust ball bearings, and deep groove ball bearings are used in vehicles.
Miniature ball bearings offer low vibration, frictional torque performance, and noise. Ball bearings are manufactured from steel and are durable, robust, and less corrosion-prone. These ball bearings improve vehicle performance and boost efficiency by reducing brake demand when the vehicle is in motion. They help the vehicle to adjust when traveling through rough terrain. These bearings dampen shocks and minimize vibrations from sudden braking activity.
Ball bearings are engineered to handle heavy loads and support rotating components robustly. These bearings are built to withstand high speeds, extreme temperatures, and various operating conditions. Ball bearings facilitate precise movement and alignment of automotive components. In addition, these bearings are compact and lightweight compared to alternative bearing designs. They are relatively low-maintenance components, offering ease of serviceability in automotive applications.
Technological Advancements Associated with Vehicle Powertrain to Augment Market Growth
Based on application, the market is categorized into powertrain, chassis, and others.
Vehicle bearings play a vital role in powertrain, which consists of components responsible for power transmission from the engine to the wheel. Engine bearings, also known as crankshaft bearings, support the crankshaft and enable smooth rotation. These bearings are subjected to high loads and continuous rotation, requiring them to be durable and capable of reducing friction.
Transmission bearings facilitate the movement and support of rotating shafts and gears. These bearings help reduce friction and ensure precise alignment, contributing to smooth gear shifting and overall transmission performance. Bearings are used in differential to support the ring gear, pinion gear, and other rotating components. These bearings provide smooth rotation and help distribute the torque evenly.
Driveshaft bearings support its rotation, reduce friction while maintaining proper alignment, and contribute to the efficient torque transfer to the wheels. High investment in research & development activities by vehicle manufacturers to improve powertrain efficiency will catapult the bearing demand in the future.
Passenger Vehicle Segment to Gain Traction Owing to High Production and Sales
Based on vehicle type, the market is segmented into passenger vehicle, light commercial vehicle, and heavy commercial vehicle.
Developing countries are experiencing rapid industrialization and urbanization, leading to a surge in car ownership. These countries have large populations and rising middle-class segments, which creates a substantial market for passenger vehicles. Advances in automotive technology, including electric vehicles and autonomous driving features have generated excitement and increased interest in owning new cars. This demand for vehicles can contribute to rise in production.
Many governments have implemented policies and incentives to promote car manufacturing and sales. Favorable financing conditions such as low-interest rates can make vehicle ownership more affordable and attractive. This can stimulate demand and increase production, leading to future market growth.
Asia Pacific Automotive Bearing Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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The Asia Pacific market was valued at 53.73% in 2022, leading the highest automotive bearing market share and is expected to grow at a rapid pace during the forecast period. The market is expected to be dominated by Asia Pacific due to increasing production & sales of passenger cars in the region. This growth is due to a growing preference for personal mobility to drive the growth of automobiles and warehouses in the post-COVID-19 period. Government initiatives to boost the adoption of EVs are expected to drive market growth over the forecast period.
Europe is the second-largest market due to consumer approval and shared mobility for self-driving and electric cars to drive market expansion in the region.
During the forecast period, the North America market is anticipated to witness significant growth. As government regulations on vehicle emissions become more stringent, rapid adoption of new technologies and heavy spending on product innovation are driving the market in North America.
The rest of the world contributes significantly less to the industry than other regions. This is attributed to a lack of automotive OEMs and bearing suppliers, limited technological adoption, and lack of various types of vehicles. However, it is projected to increase in the future.
Diverse Product Offerings Have Propelled SKF, Schaeffler AG, and NSK to Gain Competitive Advantage
A few key players dominate the global market due to their diverse product portfolio, higher production capacities, and competitive pricing models.
Manufacturers are focused on bringing technological innovations in the automotive bearing manufacturing process to improve productivity and lower costs. For instance, SKF developed a hybrid Deep Groove Ball Bearing (DGBB) that uses ceramic rolling elements and steel rings. Products of this type offer improved high-speed performance and best-in-class electrical insulation characteristics, making them the premium choice for high-performance EV powertrains.
An Infographic Representation of Automotive Bearings Market
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The research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading product applications. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the market's growth in recent years.
CAGR of 4.0% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion)
By Vehicle Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the market size was USD 14.35 billion in 2022 and is projected to register USD 19.46 billion by 2030.
The market is expected to register a CAGR of 4.0% during the forecast period 2023-2030.
The positive outlook of automotive production will trigger the market growth.
Asia Pacific led the market in 2022.
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