Automotive Multi Wheel Drive (AWD) Systems Market Size, Industry Outlook, Regional Analysis, Application Development, Competitive Landscape & Forecast, 2020 - 2026
Report ID: GMI1209
(AWD) Automotive Multi-Wheel Drive Systems Market size is expected to grow at 8% CAGR from 2016 to 2024. The need to alleviate the rising automobile accidents and reduce the impact of crashes on the driver and passengers has led to the development of Multi Wheel Drive (MWD) or All Wheel Drive (AWD) systems.
In a normal drive mode, the vehicle runs in 2-wheel drive, with its rear wheels receiving power and pushing the front wheels. In multi wheel or four-wheel drive, all wheels receive power where in the front and rear wheels rotate at the same speed, which improves traction and stability. Improved safety, stability, fuel efficiency and drive control are some of the factors which will accelerate the AWD systems market growth.
In unfavorable terrains or for off-road driving like sand, snow or climbing slippery hills where wheel slips may occur, the 4WD helps to evenly distribute the power to front and rear axles thus controlling power in all wheels and keeping a straight traction. Rise in demand for powerful commercial heavy duty vehicles such as trucks and lorries as well as for SUVs and vehicles with high torque driving experience will accelerate AWD systems market growth. Earlier, these systems were available only in high-end cars but the introduction in small passenger cars and hybrid electric vehicles has led to an increase in global demand. Increase in passenger safety concerns and stringent government motor vehicle safety regulations will act as an opportunity for this industry in the coming years.
AWD requires different components for the drive train which are expensive, thus making this technology costly and available in high end segments. High cost of ownership and lack of awareness may hamper the industry growth.
By technology, the AWD systems market can be segmented in to part time, full time and automatic all-wheel drive. The part time AWD is a temporary drive system in which normally the rear axle is driven, in unfavorable slippery conditions the front axle is activated by the driver using a button or lever. Full AWD is a permanently engaged alternative in which all the wheels of the vehicle are powered at all times. It consists of a center differential which lets each wheel travel different distances while turning. Automatic technology consists of a center differential which is engaged when wheel slipping occurs. Torque is transferred to the other axle and both rear and front axles run at same speeds until the speed difference between all wheels is eliminated and the vehicle runs back in 2WD mode. The differential is locked based on the information collected by the ECU through various sensors.
On basis of component, the manual MWD includes differentials which can be classified in to limited slip differentials and open differentials, transfer case and wheel hub. Automatic MWD includes a power transfer unit, propeller shaft used for transmitting torque and rotation, AWD couplings, Final Drive Unit (FDU) and Disconnect. The AWD Disconnect is used to disconnect the Multi-Wheel Drive System in the vehicle under normal driving conditions.
Passenger cars had the highest AWD systems market share owing to increase in demand, sales of these vehicles and rising trend of SUV’s from emerging economies. Passenger cars include sedan class, hatchback, SUV’s, MUV’s and Multi-purpose vehicles. Heavy commercial vehicles include trucks, buses, lorries and others.
Europe and U.S. AWD systems market have the highest share due to high penetration of SUV’s and mini sports vehicles. Emerging economies like India, China, Japan, are seeing an increase in purchasing power of consumers which has led to an increased demand for luxury and high end vehicles with multi-wheel drive systems in APAC.
Major players are Borg Warner Inc, Continental AG, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, JTKT Corporation, Magna International Inc. Other players include American Axle Manufacturing, Eaton Corporation, GKN Plc, Dana Holding Corporation, Oerlikon Inc, Mitsubishi Motors.
Some of the strategies used by players in the AWD systems market are mergers and acquisitions, new technological advancements and partnerships. For instance, Mitsubishi launched its electronically controlled 4WD which has 3 modes eco, auto, and lock. ZF Friedrichshafen launched the ZF technology for all wheel drive vehicles, which guarantees perfect traction suitable for difficult tasks in demanding terrains. ZF delivers the Automatic Drive Train Management to ensure safe, reliable and economical driving performance in difficult driving conditions for all wheel drive vehicles.
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