The global automotive drive shaft market size was valued at USD 31.19 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 48.22 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4.96% during the forecast period (2022-2030). A drive shaft, also known as a propeller or Cardan shaft, is a mechanical part used to deliver torque and power to a vehicle's powertrain, more especially to the vehicle's back wheels. Drive shafts' primary function is to transfer torque from one or more vehicle components to other parts of the vehicle. Driveshafts for automobiles are more reliable and rarely need maintenance. Automotive drive shafts also provide low maintenance costs, smooth operation, no oil leaks, reliability, and clean operation. Different drive shaft arrangements are used in vehicles with independent front-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, and front-engine rear-wheel drive.
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Increasing Demand for IC Engine Truck
Over the past three years, sales of electric vehicles have increased positively on a global scale. Foreign automakers are opening factories in China due to the government's commitments and the public's growing interest in electric vehicles. The driveshaft manufacturers are updating their product list to supply the best products to the OEMs to gain market share as the demand for electric vehicles increases, driving the vehicle manufacturers to focus all of their efforts on creating the most efficient electric vehicles. While worldwide truck sales have benefited from green car initiatives, several developing nations, like India, have yet to begin manufacturing electric trucks. There is an increasing reliance on IC engines in the emerging nations of the Asia-Pacific and African continents. The demand for IC engine vehicles has remained steady, even in markets for well-established electric trucks, such as those in North America and Europe.
High Cost and Complex Installation
The high replacement cost and the erratic prices of the raw materials used to make vehicle drive shafts in high-volume markets will act as market restraints and slow the industry's growth. The complex process of installing and reinstalling drive shafts is one of the main factors impeding the market's expansion. Additionally, the damaged system is beyond repair and requires a complete replacement.
Rising Demand for Eco-Friendly Drive Shafts
The manufacturer's interest in producing lightweight drive shafts has increased due to the rising demand for environmentally friendly products due to environmental concerns. This shaft satisfies the need for eco-friendly cars while meeting all the criteria set forth by authorities on global discharge management. The drive shaft market is anticipated to expand in the following years due to the increased demand for environmentally friendly drive shafts. Additionally, the emergence of new markets and increased strategic alliances will foster favorable conditions for the market's expansion.
The global automotive drive shaft market is segmented by design type, application type, and vehicle type.
Based on design type, the global automotive drive shaft market is bifurcated into hollow and solid shafts.
The solid shaft segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.49% during the forecast period. Solid shafts dominate the market since they are highly favored for more power transfer. More bending is also possible with solid shafts. Solid shafts like crankshafts and driveshafts are preferable for transmitting torque because they have higher torsional stiffness. However, as car manufacturers attempt to reduce the overall vehicle weight by lowering the weight of parts and components, the need for solid shafts in the OEM and the aftermarket is declining. As a result, the demand for solid shafts is growing more gradually than that for hollow shafts. Many nations worldwide are moving quickly to replace their fleet of gasoline-powered automobiles with electric vehicles. For instance, about 2.5% of the automobiles on Canadian roadways are electric vehicles. Additionally, nations are aiming to produce future models that weigh less. Due to the weight differential between solid and hollow shafts, the demand for solid shafts is anticipated to decrease over the projection period.
Worldwide demand for hollow shafts is rising as governments work diligently to enact strict emissions and fuel efficiency rules. Technology developments and the widespread use of flexible, high-performance drive shafts are mostly to blame for the rising demand for hollow shafts. One of the key reasons influencing the growth of hollow driveshafts in the market is the expanding need for lightweight and flexible vehicle components in the automotive sector. The driveshaft industry has undergone significant changes and advances due to the growing consumer demand for more fantastic vehicle performance, increased fuel efficiency, and a better driving experience, as well as the increasingly strict carbon emission legislation and standards. The primary drivers propelling the growth of the automotive driveshaft market include increased fuel efficiency, stricter carbon pollution regulations, rising investments in R&D activities by automakers and suppliers to improve vehicle performance, etc.
Based on application type, the global automotive drive shaft market is bifurcated into the rear axle and front axle.
The rear axle segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.12% during the forecast period. The rear axle is a prime component in the powertrain of an automotive vehicle, and it is used in rear-wheel drive vehicles. The vehicle's gross weight determines the location of the rear axle in a car. For instance, Large heavy-duty trucks that weigh more than 8,500 lb are usually deployed with two rear axles. For situations involving the hauling of heavy loads, an additional wheel can be added to an automobile using the rear axle. The automotive rear axle market is driven by several factors, including recovering new car sales across the globe and rising demand for maintaining high-capacity lifting applications because the equipment is generally used in heavy-duty vehicles. In the future, it is anticipated that the logistics of heavy equipment, such as electrical machines and new cars, will boost the adoption of rear axles. Due to the intense competition in the aftermarket, demand for the improved rear axle increases as the number of vehicles increases. Industry participants are providing improved parts and components.
In passenger cars, the front axle is crucial because it supports the weight of the front end and aids in absorbing shock from uneven surfaces. The market for lightweight axles has been driven by consumer desire for lighter cars and rising sales of electric cars. For Instance, Compa is upgrading and establishing new front axle specifications as the demand for increased vehicle load-carrying capability grows. In the case of the Paccar front axle, wide-track variants rated at 20,000 pounds and 22,800 pounds were introduced. The uniquely crafted, tapered kingpin roller bearing used in Paccar front axles simplifies the design, increases steering efficiency, and allows for steering angles of up to 50 degrees. A five-year/750,000-mile guarantee is provided for the axles. It is projected that demand for front axles will increase as demand for passenger and commercial vehicles rises as businesses return to normal, a trend that could continue over the forecast period.
Based on vehicle type, the global automotive drive shaft market is bifurcated into passenger cars and commercial vehicles.
The passenger car segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.92% during the forecast period. The secondhand car and auto repair market surged while new vehicle sales declined in many regions worldwide. Older automobiles have traditionally played a significant role in the aftermarket since they constantly need maintenance and replacement parts. The new market is losing buyers due to rising vehicle prices and expensive finance costs. Due to a record number of lease returns, customers have more options than ever in the used car market. The demand for driveshafts is expected to increase as the replacement/aftermarket sector is predicted to rise over the forecast period. As a result, players in the aftermarket driveshaft industry are introducing new products and growing their operations in the United States and Canada.
The average mileage of commercial vehicles, such as medium and heavy-duty trucks, is typically higher than passenger cars. Given that these vehicles cover more miles in a comparatively shorter time, even the maintenance and replacement cycles of their parts and components are more frequent. As a result, the top market participants regularly update their selection of aftermarket products. For Instance, Spicer ReadyPack preassembled kits for driveshafts, coupling shafts, and interaxle shafts for commercial vehicles were recently introduced by Dana Incorporated. This kit includes Spicer Life Series® (SPL®) u-joints with production lubrication and is sealed with a multi-lip seal, saving on inventory and labor expenses. Additionally, most e-commerce enterprises use light commercial vehicles for their last-mile deliveries. As the e-commerce industry expands globally and delivery services maintain a large fleet of cars, the demand for aftermarket products may increase in the years to come.
The global automotive drive shaft market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
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Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global automotive drive shaft market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.94% during the forecast period. Compared to the richer countries of the European Union and the United States, where the average age of cars is eight years and 11 years, the vehicle fleet in Indian cities is far younger. The average age of vehicles in the country is rising due to expanding modernization and safety regulations by worldwide standards, which will increase demand for driveshafts in the aftermarket sector. Automobile producers have increased their investments in the nation, particularly premium brand producers like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW. India is also a significant vehicle exporter and anticipates rapid export growth over the forecast period.
Additionally, several initiatives by the Indian government and major automakers, the population's rising income level, and the cost advantage of domestic manufacturing are all anticipated to support the country's automotive market's expansion. The demand for automobile driveshafts is anticipated to increase during the forecast period due to the country's increasing vehicle output. Due to China's low labor and raw material costs, many OEMs worldwide have production facilities, and most outsource their parts' production to Chinese manufacturers. As a result, China is now one of the world's top producers of car driveshaft systems and one of the world's top producers of automobiles. Japan's economy is heavily dependent on the automobile industry. Japan's automotive sector is the third-largest vehicle producer in the world, with 78 facilities. In addition to dominating the local market, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Suzuki, and Mitsubishi are well-known brands worldwide.
North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.93%, generating USD 7.11 billion during the forecast period. The most significant market for driveshafts is the United States because of the country's high demand for AWD vehicles and SUVs, as well as the presence of significant international players. The next-generation axle and driveshaft program for Ram's heavy-duty pickup vehicles has been secured by American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) through 2030. The company will provide axles and driveshafts for the 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickup trucks. One of Canada's most critical industrial sectors is the automotive industry, which accounts for 23% of manufacturing trade and 10% of manufacturing GDP. Among the advanced countries, Canada has the lowest cost structures and company tax burden, with an 8.2% cost advantage over the US overall. These factors are primarily responsible for expanding auto manufacturing facilities in Canada.
The Europe market is anticipated to grow steadily during the forecast period. The UK's automotive sector is currently transitioning significantly to electrified vehicles. The government's prohibition on gasoline and electric vehicles, intended to improve air quality by 2040, is mainly responsible for the transition. NSK Driveline, a significant player in the market with its headquarters in the country, is investing a sizable sum of money in the R&D of the most recent goods to enhance its market share. Despite a decline in passenger car sales in France, luxury manufacturers like BMW and Audi saw an increase in sales in this country. The French automotive driveshaft market is predicted to expand at a respectable rate during the forecast period due to rising vehicle demand and sales of electric vehicles.
Argentina and other Latin American nations receive significant Brazilian automobile exports. A rise in automotive demand in these nations would support market expansion in Brazil during the forecast period. Due to the growing sales of SUVs in the nation and the fact that most SUVs require high-power performance for off-road driving, the market for driveshafts is anticipated to grow. International automakers are investing in the nation, serving the domestic market, and exporting to foreign markets, which could propel the industry during the projection period. Manufacturers wishing to increase their footprint on the African continent increasingly turn to South Africa as a location. They can serve the entire continent by locating their manufacturing facilities in South Africa. Several businesses, like Volkswagen and others, announced plans to open factories in South Africa throughout the forecast period, which is anticipated to stimulate the expansion of the local market.