Automotive Multi-wheel Drive Systems Market - Global Industry Trend Analysis 2012 to 2017 and Forecast 2017 - 2025


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Multi-wheel drive systems comprise 4 x 4 drive systems and all wheel drive (AWD) systems. Unlike the traditional 4 x 2 drive systems, the drive train in the vehicle with 4 x 4 drive system supplies power from the engine to both front and rear axles. However, 4 x 4 drive systems fail to manage the power on individual wheels and causes issues during high speed turns. The all wheel drive (AWD) systems introduced the concept of differential power which enables the vehicle to control the torque received at each wheel. Thereby, AWD systems are able to achieve higher efficiency, performance and safety as compared to other drive systems. AWD systems can be installed in a vehicle in manual and automatic modes. The manual AWD systems require human intervention to choose between traditional 2 wheel drive and AWD options. Depending on the type of terrain and desired speed, the driver can choose between the two modes of the AWD system installed in the vehicle. However, in case of automatic AWD, the drive train constantly supplies power to each wheel while managing the differential power requirements to achieve optimum torque. AWD systems have been popular in heavy-duty commercial vehicles (HCVS) and are gaining immense popularity in other car segments including light-duty commercial vehicles and passenger cars. Moreover, increasing global demand for semi-utility vehicles (SUVs) has created huge opportunities for the growth of multi-wheel drive systems market.

One of the major factors driving the growth of multi-wheel drive systems market is the rising need for fuel efficiency, control and stability in heavy vehicles. Multi-wheel drive systems have provided a viable solution to car manufacturers to offer better throughput and higher control while driving at high speeds. In addition, increased safety awareness across the world and affordability of multi-wheel drive systems have led to the rise in demand for the same. Despite its numerous advantages, the multi-wheel drive systems market faces a few restraints owing to the lack of awareness regarding manual and automatic multi-wheel drive systems. General population fails to differ between the two systems creating an ambiguity while making a decision of choosing between automatic and manual AWD systems. Another factor, hindering the growth of multi-wheel drive systems market is the stringent fuel economy norms in some countries. Such norms restrict the usage of high-end vehicles which deploy AWD systems as these vehicles consume more fuel as compared to other low-end vehicles.

With its immense popularity in developed countries in North America and Europe, multi-wheel drive systems have found a robust market over a past decade. Moreover, increasing demand for SUVs in Asian countries including India, China and Japan is expected to drive the demand for AWD further. Numerous companies across the world have invested heavily to design and develop advanced drive systems to offer higher differential control and stability. Some of the key players in the multi-wheel drive systems market include Magna International, Inc., Continental AG, American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings, Inc., GKN Plc, Oerlikon, Inc., ZF Friedrichshafen AG, BorgWarner, Inc., Dana Holding Corporation, Eaton Corporation Plc and JTEKT Corporation.

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