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The global automotive axle market size was USD 27.19 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 39.78 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period.
The axle is one of the most essential parts of any vehicle as it keeps the wheel position constant to the vehicle body and transmits driving torque to the wheels. The axle that maintains the wheel location is a dead axle, which is primarily installed at the end of vehicles. On the other hand, axles that can transmit the torque are known as drive axles. Automotive axles are of two types, front axle, and rear axle. Rear axles comprise a combination of both dead and drive axles. The front axle carries the load of the front end of the vehicle and helps to absorb shocks, which can arise due to irregular road surfaces.
Declining Demand for Automobiles amid COVID-19 to Affect Market Growth
The automotive & transportation sector is amongst the most exposed verticals to the COVID-19 outbreak and is currently reeling under widespread uncertainty. The pandemic has had a severe and swift impact on the globally integrated automotive sector.
In the international arena, the China-US trade war, which started in July 2018, has intensified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2018, the US imposed a 25% tariff on Chinese imports worth USD 34 billion. This was the first in a series of increases in tariffs during the subsequent year, and China also retaliated with tariffs on some US goods (albeit on lower values of imports). The tariff war between the US and China has had a severe impact on the supply chains including the supply of raw materials and the final processing of semi-finished goods from China to the US. The automotive industry is one of the most affected industries by these trade tensions. This is placing huge pressure on the automotive industry, thus hampering the sales and production of automobiles.
Moreover, companies are reluctant to relocate their plants from locations such as China that not only assist as production platforms but are also important markets for their products. Most of the automakers announced massive declines in production and sales. For instance, prominent automotive companies such as Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda have been witnessing a decline of 20% to 30% owing to the limited inventories and fewer incentives, which is holding back the sales of vehicles.
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Alliances between Raw Material Suppliers and Market Players to Boost Growth
The automotive axle manufacturers are forming strategic alliances with raw material suppliers, such as aluminum, steel, and manufacturing equipment providers, to cope up with the rising demand from automakers. Furthermore, there is also an emerging trend of designing and developing propeller shafts, which are cost-effective and lightweight. As a result, suppliers are now more inclined towards using lightweight materials such as carbon fiber as a replacement for metals to make the axle drivetrain components owing to their advantageous features, including corrosion resistance, high strength to weight ratio, and enhanced workability. For instance, Meritor Inc., a US-based axle manufacturing company, invested USD 36.5 million to expand its assembly line in India. This development is expected to create opportunities for market growth in the coming years.
Increasing Adoption of Commercial Vehicles in Developing Countries to Boost the Market
One of the key drivers for the automotive axle market growth is the increasing demand for heavy-duty commercial vehicles from developing countries such as China, India, and others. The need for heavy lifting operations is rising as these operations are carried out by heavy-duty commercial vehicles that have lift axles installed in them. These key factors are contributing to the increasing sales of commercial vehicles in developed and developing countries. Developing economies such as India, which are displaying significant GDP growth, are expected to propel the demand for automotive components. The rapid growth in the demand for commercial vehicles will ultimately increase the demand for automotive axle.
Rapid Growth in Sales of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles to Propel Growth
Rapid growth in the sales of hybrid and electric vehicles is anticipated to boost the growth of the market over the forecast period at a significant CAGR, as governments are recognizing the importance of reducing carbon emissions in the transportation sector. Furthermore, initiatives such as The Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI), which is a multi-government policy forum started for accelerating the introduction and adoption of electric vehicles worldwide, will also aid this market’s expansion. These types of initiatives have contributed to the growth of the electric and hybrid vehicles market, which in turn is anticipated to fuel the automotive axle market during the forecast period.
There is also increasing adoption of lightweight axles in electric vehicles as these vehicles are designed to be lightweight for improving efficiency. Various technological developments and increasing usage of composite materials in axles for lowering the weight of electric and hybrid vehicles is further augmenting the market. For example, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2019, the global sales of electric cars exceeded 2.1 million, surpassing the record-breaking 2018 and increasing the stock of electric vehicles to 7.2 million. Electric vehicles accounted for 2.6% of global car sales and about 1% of global car stock in 2019, registering a year-on-year increase of 40%.
High Maintenance and Operating Costs to Hinder Market Growth
Fluctuating prices of raw materials is one of the key restraints faced by automotive axle vendors. Rapidly changing prices of raw materials such as steel, aluminum, and copper are negatively impacting the profit margins and revenues of axle vendors. Most of the world's leading automotive companies source 30% to 60% of their auto components, including modules and subassemblies, from China. However, owing to the COVID-19 impact, the supply chains have encountered numerous disruptions, which have affected the auto component industry to a large extent.
Another key restraint affecting the global market is the high cost associated with automotive axle. Moreover, the technologically-advanced and lightweight axles have high initial costs along with maintenance costs. These factors are likely to hinder the growth of the market during the forecast period. For instance, according to the data from the New York consulting firm, AlixPartners, in August 2018, the average cost of raw materials for vehicles manufactured in North America was USD 2,000 per vehicle, an increase of USD 221 over the same period the previous year. Moreover, in September 2018, Ford CEO Jim Hackett admitted that tariffs are costing his company USD 1 billion in profits. General Motors also said in July 2018 that the cost of goods in the second quarter was USD 300 million higher than the same period the previous year. This implies that there is extreme volatility in the costs of raw materials, which may hamper the market growth.
Front Axle Segment to Grow at a Fast Pace
Based on application type, the market is segmented into the front axle and rear axle. The increasing demand for comfort, safety, and lightweight fuel-efficient auto parts is anticipated to increase the adoption of composite materials and sturdier components in the development of the rear axle.
The front axle is mostly used in passenger cars due to the fewer complexities in the economic assembly requirements. These parameters are anticipated to boost the growth of the market over the coming years.
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Drive Axle Segment Dominated the Market in 2019
Based on axle type, the market segments include drive axle, lift axle, and dead axle. The drive axle segment is anticipated to have the largest market share over the coming years. As there is increasing penetration of all-wheel-drive drivetrain in the passenger car segment, there is an increasing demand for the technologically advanced axles.
The dead axle segment holds the second-largest market share. This segment is anticipated to show steady growth as there is an increasing demand for long-haul trailers. These parameters are expected to show prominent growth in terms of value and volume in the coming years, exhibiting a considerable CAGR.
Passenger Car Segment Dominated the Market in 2019
Based on vehicle type, the market has been segmented into passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, and heavy commercial vehicles. The passenger car segment is anticipated to have the largest market share over the coming years. This is mainly attributable to the increasing demand for all-wheel-drive drivetrain by consumers in the passenger car segment as well as rapid growth in the adoption of the passenger cars in developed and developing economies.
This segment is followed by a light commercial vehicle and heavy commercial vehicle segments. The commercial vehicle segment is anticipated to show considerable growth as there is increasing penetration of transportation trailers.
Asia Pacific Automotive Axle Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)
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The market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 14.23 billion in 2019. The dominance of this region in the automotive axle market share is due to the increasing urbanization and the growing adoption of commercial and passenger vehicles. The regional market is expected to grow at a substantial CAGR in the coming years. The market is also projected to exhibit healthy growth owing to the increasing demand for personal vehicles underpinned by the increasing disposable incomes and populations.
North America and Europe are anticipated to grow at a notable CAGR over the forecast period on account of the presence of prominent players in these regions. In addition to this, key market players in these regions are making huge investments in automotive technologies, which in turn will fuel the demand for automotive axle.
The rest of the world accounted for a comparatively lower share of the market owing to the presence of a huge underpenetrated market.
Key Players to Heavily Invest in the Advanced Automotive Technologies
The market is consolidated as a few key players, equipped with strong distribution networks, robust product portfolios, and an established footprint in developed as well as emerging economies. Various players in the global market are focusing on developing technologically advanced and lightweight axles. The global key players are also investing in research and development for improving the quality of axles to deliver more efficiency.
An Infographic Representation of Automotive Axle Market
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The automotive axle market research report provides a detailed study along with a detailed market analysis, besides focusing on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading types of applications of the product. Moreover, the report offers insights into market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over the years.
Value (USD billion) & Volume (Thousand Units)
By Application Type
By Axle Type
By Application Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 27.19 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 39.78 billion by 2027.
In 2019, the Asia Pacific market value stood at USD 14.23 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 5.1%, the market will exhibit decent growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).
The front axle segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
The launch of innovative and advanced automotive axles is the key factor boosting the growth of the market.
ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Dana Incorporated are the leading players in the global market.
Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2019.
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