The rising demand for convenience and comfort from the consumers and various government campaigns for promoting electric and hybrid vehicles are forcing automotive transmission manufacturers to bring technological advancements in transmissions for hybrid transmissions.
Opportunity: Increasing adoption of automatic transmissions and development of hybrid drives
The popularity of automatic cars is on the rise due to the wide adoption of AMT. Better fuel efficiency, worsening traffic conditions, and gradual dispelling of misconceptions about automatic cars have contributed to this trend. Automatic transmission delivers gentle and smooth gear changes, and reduced fuel consumption is delivering additional driving comfort. As drivers can concentrate more on the road and less on driving, the automatic transmission is a safer option than a manual transmission.
An increasing number of electric and hybrid vehicles is also expected to occupy a big share of the manual transmission market. Developments in hybrid automatic transmission technologies to achieve top performances may further erode market share. For instance, in 2019, ZF Friedrichshafen AG designed its new generation 8-speed automatic transmission for hybrid drives. This hybrid system enables mild, full, and plug-in hybrid drives to achieve top performances between 24 kW and 160 kW. ZF will begin manufacturing this 8-speed automatic transmission in Saarbrücken, Germany, by 2022, and launch it in China and the US thereafter.
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Some of the key market players include Asin Corporation (Japan), ZF Friedrichshafen (Germany), Magna International (Canada), Hyundai Transys (South Korea), JATCO (Japan), Aichi Machine Industry Co. Ltd. (Japan), Allison transmissions (US), Vitesco Technologies (Germany), Schaeffler AG (Germany), BorgWarner (US), and GKN Automotive (UK).
The 5-6 Number of gears is projected to be the largest automotive transmission market during the forecast period
Transmissions with 5 to 6-speed forward gears are expected to constitute the bulk of the automotive transmission market. Such gear types are mainly used in passenger cars and LCVs. Fuel efficiency concerns have compelled automotive OEMs to adopt transmissions to increase the number of forwarding gears in passenger cars. In developed regions, OEMs are adopting 7- and 8-speed gearboxes as they offer comfort and efficiency without compromising on performance. In Europe, transmissions with 9 to 10-speed forward gears are expected to be used in passenger cars.
The passenger car segment, by vehicle type, is estimated to be the largest segment during the forecast period.
With the increase in demand for comfort and ease to drive vehicles, OEMs are launching new and updated models with loaded features and advanced transmissions. The passenger cars segment is estimated to account for a share of 75% of the global automotive transmission market by volume in 2022. Passenger cars comprise sedans, hatchbacks, station wagons, SUVs, MUVs, and vans. The growing role of transmission in passenger cars, coupled with the growing influence of fuel-efficient systems, has been propelling the growth of the automotive transmission market in the passenger car segment. The technologies used in passenger vehicles are frequently changing due to the high demand from consumers for luxury and convenience features. Also, government regulations for emissions and safety for passenger vehicles are frequently changing. The manufacturers must reduce the weight of passenger vehicles and offer comfort and safety at a lower price. Due to the increasing demand for autonomous and electric vehicles, the demand for new transmissions is increasing in passenger vehicles.
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The Asia Pacific is estimated to be the fastest-growing market for automotive transmission in 2022
The Chinese market is the largest in the Asia-Pacific and is witnessing significant growth in the demand for and sales of premium vehicles. China is one of the major markets for premium vehicles, given the rising disposable income in the country. Nearly all major OEMs have invested in the Chinese market, which is inclined towards small and affordable passenger vehicles. A surge in demand for sophisticated automated transmission is expected, as the current market penetration of vehicles with automated transmission systems is low compared to that in developed countries. The growing automotive production levels in China have raised the demand for automotive transmission systems. This region is also expected to welcome the energy-saving green cars to their economy.