Home Automotive and Transportation Continuous variable transmission Market Scope, Size & Share Report by 2032

Continuous Variable Transmission Market

Global Continuous Variable Transmission Market: Information by Vehicle Type (Passenger Cars, Light Commercial Vehicles, Heavy Commercial Vehicles), Type (Hydrostatic, Toroidal, Cone, Variable Geometry, Variable Diameter), Fuel (Gasoline, Diesel, Hybrid), Capacity (Up to 1.5 L, 1.5 L to 3.0 L, Above 3.0 L), End-User (OEM, Aftermarket), and Region (North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) - Forecast Till 2032

Report Code: SRAT56320DR
Study Period 2020-2032 CAGR 6.5%
Historical Period 2020-2022 Forecast Period 2024-2032
Base Year 2023 Base Year Market Size USD 21.0 Billion
Forecast Year 2032 Forecast Year Market Size USD 37.1 Billion
Largest Market North America Fastest Growing Market Asia-Pacific
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Market Overview

The global continuous variable transmission market size was valued at USD 21.0 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 37.1 billion by 2032, registering a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period (2024-2032). The growing automotive industry significantly contributes to the market share.

A continuously variable transmission (CVT) system is an automatic transmission system that shifts through a continuous range of gear ratios. It has a two-pulley mechanism with variable diameters connected to the engine and wheels via a belt or chain. The CVT system, known as stepless transmission, pulley transmission, or single-speed transmission, replaces gears with two variable-diameter pulleys. As a result, it provides more useable power and driving convenience than automatic transmission systems. Furthermore, the CVT system is extremely Fuel efficient and achieves maximum speed at low engine speeds. They are also lightweight, compact, and have fewer moving parts, making them suitable for various automotive applications.

Various benefits, including a smooth driving experience and rapid user acceleration, drive the global CVT system market. It also generates more usable power and uses less fuel than traditional and manual transmission systems. As a result, the CVT system is used in tractors, snowmobiles, motor scooters, go-karts, and mix harvesters. Nowadays, consumers prefer eco-friendly vehicles that use CVT systems. It also includes enhanced hydraulic systems, microprocessors, high-strength steel metal belts, and high-speed sensors, all contributing to the engine's handling capacity. Furthermore, several manufacturers, including Toyota, are developing hybrid, electric mid-sized hatchbacks with power-split CVT technology. It has a fixed gear ratio and greater torque handling capability, which is expected to boost demand for CVT systems.

Top 5 Key Highlights

  • Passenger Cars generate the highest revenue share by vehicle type.
  • Hydrostatic dominates the market by Type.
  • Gasoline led the market by Fuel.
  • 1.5 L To 3.0 L topped the market by Capacity.
  • OEMs are the major end-users.

Market Dynamics

Market Drivers

Fuel Efficiency and Emission Reduction

CVTs increase fuel efficiency by allowing the engine to operate at its most efficient RPM (revolutions per minute) over a wide range of vehicle speeds. Unlike traditional automatic transmissions with a fixed number of gears, CVTs offer a continuous range of gear ratios, allowing the engine to operate at peak efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy conducted a study comparing the fuel efficiency of CVT-equipped vehicles to those with traditional automatic transmissions. The study discovered that cars with CVTs had 5-10% better fuel economy than those with conventional automatic transmissions.

Furthermore, governments worldwide enforce stricter fuel economy and emission standards, driving demand for CVTs. In April 2023, the European Union (EU) amended its regulation to tighten CO2 emission standards for new passenger cars and trucks. The latest targets are part of the EU's Green Deal, which seeks to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards in the United States require automobile manufacturers to achieve an average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) for cars and 40 mpg for light trucks by 2025. These standards are fleet-wide averages that every automaker must meet each year. CVTs play an essential role in helping manufacturers meet these stringent requirements.

As a result, the global CVT market is driven by the desire for increased fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. CVTs' ability to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions makes them a desirable choice for consumers and manufacturers. This trend is fueled by regulatory pressures and rising demand for environmentally friendly automotive technologies.

Market Restraints

High Initial Cost and Maintenance Expenses

CVT engineering and manufacturing require more advanced technology than traditional automatic transmissions. The core components of a CVT, such as the metal belt or chain and pulleys, must be precisely manufactured to ensure smooth operation and durability. Furthermore, the control systems, which include sophisticated software and sensors, increase the overall cost. CVT production costs can be 10-20% higher than traditional automatic transmissions. A new CVT transmission typically costs between USD 3,000 and USD 8,000, including parts and labor. This increased cost is frequently passed on to the consumer, making vehicles with CVTs more expensive.

Additionally, CVT maintenance and repair necessitate specialized components and expertise. A CVT's components, such as the metal belt or chain, wear out over time and can be expensive to replace. Furthermore, not all auto repair shops have the necessary tools and trained technicians to service CVTs, resulting in higher service fees at specialized facilities. Moreover, CVT technology has been adopted slowly in developing markets such as India, where the automotive market is highly price-sensitive. Consumers in these regions frequently prefer manual transmissions or traditional automatics, which are perceived to be more cost-effective for both initial purchase and long-term maintenance.

Market Opportunity

Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Market Growth

The growing adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles creates a significant opportunity for CVT technology. CVTs are ideal for these vehicles because they provide seamless acceleration while optimizing engine performance, critical for hybrid and electric drivetrain efficiency. The redesigned Toyota Prius remains the go-to vehicle for maximum fuel efficiency, but it now resembles a cool Star Wars prop rather than a rolling piece of stray Tupperware. The growing hybrid and EV market, expected to account for more than 30% of global vehicle sales by 2030, represents a significant growth opportunity for CVTs.

In 2023, nearly 14 million new electric cars were registered worldwide, bringing the total number of electric vehicles on the road to 40 million. This represented a 35% increase over 2022, when 3.5 million fewer electric vehicles were sold. Of the 13.6 million electric vehicles sold in 2023, 9.5 million were fully electric or battery electric vehicles (BEVs), with the remainder being plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs). CVTs provide smooth and continuous power delivery, especially useful in hybrid and electric vehicles requiring seamless transitions between power sources. This feature improves the driving experience by eliminating the noticeable shifts associated with traditional transmissions.

Consequently, governments worldwide are providing incentives to encourage the adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles, which benefits the CVT market. These incentives include tax breaks, rebates, and subsidies for consumers, as well as grants and loans for manufacturers. All-electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel-cell electric vehicles purchased new in 2023 or later may qualify for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. Such policies encourage consumers to choose more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles, which increases demand for CVTs.

Regional Analysis

The global continuously variable transmission market analysis is conducted in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.

North America's continuous variable transmission industry share is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.3% over the forecast period. North America's changing demographics have led to an increase in demand for automotive facilities. In 2023, the United States sold approximately 1.4 million new electric light-duty vehicles (EVs), up 40% from 2022. This was the first time EV sales in the United States exceeded one million units, with a market share of 7.5%. This has been an important factor in medical developments, contributing to the material's increased use in recent years.

Additionally, environmental regulations in North America, particularly in the United States and Canada, are becoming more stringent. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards in the United States require vehicles to be more Fuel efficient and emit fewer emissions. Manufacturers can comply with these regulations using CVTs, which optimize engine performance and improve fuel economy. 

Asia-Pacific is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.7% over the forecast period. The region includes major automotive markets such as China, Japan, India, and South Korea, where regulatory frameworks and consumer preferences drive CVT adoption. Governments in the Asia-Pacific region are enacting stricter emissions regulations and fuel economy standards to combat air pollution and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. For example, China's China VI and India's Bharat Stage VI (BS VI) standards encourage automakers to use more advanced and efficient technologies, such as CVTs.

Europe holds a significant market share. Cutting-edge automotive technology, strict environmental regulations, and a strong emphasis on fuel efficiency distinguish the European Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) market. Europe is home to several leading automotive manufacturers and research institutions that drive vehicle technology innovation. The region's strong emphasis on R&D has continuously improved CVT technology, increasing efficiency, reliability, and application range.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
Segmentations
By Vehicle Type
  1. Passenger cars
  2. Light commercial vehicles
  3. Heavy commercial vehicles
By Type
  1. Hydrostatic
  2. Toroidal
  3. Cone
  4. Variable geometry
  5. Variable diameter
By Fuel
  1. Gasoline
  2. Diesel
  3. Hybrid
By Capacity
  1. Up to 1.5 L
  2. 1.5 L to 3.0 L
  3. Above 3.0 L
By End User
  1. OEM
  2. Aftermarket
Company Profiles ZF Friedrichshafen AG (Germany) Robert Bosch GmbH (Germany) JATCO Ltd (Japan) IAV (Ireland) TEAM Industries (U.S.) Endurance Technologies Limited (India) NIDEC-SHIMPO CORPORATION (Japan) Magna International Inc, (Canada) Toyota Motor Corporation (Japan) Gaokin Industry Co., Ltd. (China) BorgWarner Inc. (U.S.) AISIN CORPORATION (Japan) Hyundai Motor Company (South Korea) Fallbrook Intellectual Property Company LLC (U.S.)
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Singapore Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global continuous variable transmission market is segmented based on vehicle type, Fuel, Capacity, and end-user.

The market is further segmented by vehicle type into Passenger Cars, Light Commercial Vehicles, and Heavy Commercial Vehicles. Passenger cars are the automotive industry's largest segment and include various vehicle types, such as sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs, and crossovers. These vehicles are primarily designed for passenger transportation and are distinguished by their comfort, convenience, and emphasis on safety. The demand for improved fuel efficiency, a smoother driving experience, and lower emissions drives the adoption of Continuous Variable Transmissions (CVTs) in passenger vehicles. CVTs are especially popular in compact and mid-sized vehicles, offering an ideal balance of performance and efficiency. The growing consumer preference for automatic transmissions and stringent fuel economy and emissions regulations drive CVT adoption in this segment.

Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) are vans, pickup trucks, and small trucks that transport goods and services over short to medium distances. These vehicles are essential for logistics, delivery services, and trade businesses. CVTs are becoming more popular in LCVs because they provide improved fuel efficiency and lower operational costs for commercial operations. Additionally, CVTs improve driving comfort and ease of use, especially in urban areas with frequent stop-and-go traffic. As businesses strive for greater operational efficiency and compliance with environmental regulations, the use of CVTs in LCVs is expected to increase.

Based on Type, the market is fragmented into Hydrostatic, Toroidal, Cone, Variable Geometry, and Variable Diameter. Hydrostatic systems are the most common type of CVT systems. Hydrostatic CVTs use hydraulic pumps and motors to transfer power via fluid pressure. This type of CVT is widely used in off-road vehicles, construction equipment, and agricultural machinery because of its ability to handle high torque while providing smooth, variable speed control. The hydrostatic CVT comprises a hydraulic pump powered by the engine and a hydraulic motor connected to the output shaft. The displacement of the pump or motor can be adjusted to control the speed and torque. Hydrostatic CVTs have strong performance under heavy loads and excellent control over speed and torque, making them ideal for applications requiring precision and durability.

Toroidal CVTs, or traction-drive CVTs, use discs and rollers to transmit power via friction. This design enables the seamless and continuous variation of gear ratios. The toroidal CVT works by adjusting the angle of the rollers, which alters the ratio between the input and output discs. These CVTs are well-known for their smooth operation and efficiency. They are ideal for automotive applications that require smooth acceleration and high fuel efficiency. 

The market is further segmented by Fuel into Gasoline, Diesel, and Hybrid. Gasoline accounts for the majority of the total global market. Gasoline vehicles remain Asia-Pacific's most common powertrain type, owing to widespread gasoline availability and well-established refueling infrastructure. Gasoline engines are used in various vehicle categories, from small city cars to large SUVs. Continuous Variable Transmissions (CVTs) are viral in gasoline vehicles because they improve fuel efficiency while providing a smooth driving experience, which appeals to many consumers in this region.

Diesel vehicles are also popular in Asia, particularly in India, where diesel engines are preferred for their higher torque and fuel efficiency, especially in commercial and heavy-duty vehicles. However, using CVTs in diesel vehicles is less common than in gasoline and hybrid vehicles, owing to the higher torque loads that diesel engines typically produce, which can be difficult for CVTs to handle effectively.

Based on Capacity, the market is divided into Up To 1.5 L, 1.5 L To 3.0 L, and Above 3.0 L. CVT systems with 1.5 L to 3.0 L capacity have the largest market share. The "1.5 L To 3.0 L" segment includes mid-sized vehicles like sedans, crossovers, and SUVs. This segment combines performance and fuel efficiency, including many popular family cars and versatile vehicles. CVTs are popular in this segment because of their ability to provide a smooth and efficient driving experience while handling the engines' higher power outputs. 

Large vehicles like full-size SUVs, trucks, and luxury cars fall into the "Above 3.0 L" segment. These vehicles require transmissions that can handle high torque and power. While traditional automatic transmissions and dual-clutch systems are more commonly used in this segment, CVTs are gaining popularity due to their ability to deliver consistent power and improve fuel efficiency. Advanced CVTs for high-capacity engines use durable materials and innovative designs to withstand the demands of larger vehicles. 

By end-user, the market is sub-segmented into OEM and aftermarket. OEM currently dominates the market. The OEM segment consists of automakers and vehicle manufacturers incorporating Continuous Variable Transmissions (CVTs) into new vehicles during manufacturing. This segment is the primary market for CVTs, including all new vehicles equipped with this technology. OEMs use CVTs to improve vehicle performance, fuel efficiency, and driver comfort. Incorporating CVTs into new models is motivated by rising consumer demand for fuel-efficient vehicles, stringent emission regulations, and the desire for a more comfortable driving experience. 

The aftermarket segment sells CVT components and replacement parts and provides maintenance and repair services. This segment is for vehicle owners who need to replace or upgrade their CVTs after the original warranty period has expired or due to wear and tear. The aftermarket for CVTs is expanding as more vehicles on the road are equipped with this technology. Furthermore, the need for specialized repair and maintenance services grows as CVTs become more common. Aftermarket companies offer CVT belts, chains, pulleys, fluids, and other repair and maintenance components.

Market Size By Vehicle Type

Market Size By Vehicle Type
  • Passenger cars
  • Light commercial vehicles
  • Heavy commercial vehicles
  • Recent Developments

    Key Players

    Continuous Variable Transmission Market Share of Key Players

    Continuous Variable Transmission Market Share of Key Players
    ZF Friedrichshafen AG (Germany) Robert Bosch GmbH (Germany) JATCO Ltd (Japan) IAV (Ireland) TEAM Industries (U.S.) Endurance Technologies Limited (India) NIDEC-SHIMPO CORPORATION (Japan) Magna International Inc, (Canada) Toyota Motor Corporation (Japan) Gaokin Industry Co., Ltd. (China) BorgWarner Inc. (U.S.) AISIN CORPORATION (Japan) Hyundai Motor Company (South Korea) Fallbrook Intellectual Property Company LLC (U.S.) Others

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    How big is the continuous variable transmission market?
    The global continuous variable transmission market size was valued at USD 21.0 billion in 2023, registering a CAGR of 6.5% (2024-2032).
    A continuously variable transmission (CVT) system is an automatic transmission system that shifts through a continuous range of gear ratios.
    High Initial Cost and Maintenance Expenses restraining the expansion of CVT.
    North America is the most significant global continuous variable transmission market shareholder and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.3% over the forecast period.
    The growing adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles creates a significant opportunity for CVT technology.


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