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Automotive Bearing Market Overview
The global automotive bearing market size is estimated to reach $33.4 billion in 2018, and is projected to witness a CAGR of 6.9% in terms of value, during the forecast period. Increasing focus toward vehicle weight reduction, and rising emphasis on vehicular emission reduction are the major factors driving the growth of the global automotive bearing market. Additionally, the overall growth of the automotive industry is positively impacting the growth of the automotive bearing industry.
On the basis of type of bearing, the automotive bearing market is categorized into ball bearing, roller bearing, and plain bearing. Among these, the ball bearing category is estimated to hold the largest market share in 2018 in terms of volume, due to its high usage in two-wheelers and passenger cars. On the other hand, the market share of ball bearing is expected to decrease during the forecast period. The market share of roller bearing, especially tapered roller bearing, is expected to increase during the forecast period. Moreover, the latest improvements in reducing friction and heat generation by these bearings coupled with high demand for commercial vehicles and off-road vehicles are expected to benefit the automotive bearing industry.
Based on material, the automotive bearing market is classified into metal polymer, solid polymer, fiber-reinforced composite, and others. Metal polymer bearing contributed the largest revenue to the market during the historical period, due to its advantages such as cost-effectiveness, longer-lasting, negligible stick-slip, and dimensionally stable.
On the basis of sales channel, the automotive bearing market is classified into original equipment manufacturer (OEM), original equipment supplier (OES), and independent aftermarket (IAM). OEM contributed the largest revenue share to the market in 2017, owing to the pricing dynamics in automotive OEM segment. The market for automotive bearings in OEM is expected to register the fastest growth, in terms of volume, during the forecast period. Moreover, bearing manufacturers are quickly integrating their products, platforms, and allied services like mechatronics, lubrication, strong engineering skills, and product development capabilities to provide better solutions to their customers.
Geographically, the APAC automotive bearing market is estimated to hold the largest share, accounting for more than 45% sales volume in 2018. Country wise, China is expected to remain the largest market for automotive bearings, owing to its rising regional demand for automobiles. Exports of low-end and small-sized bearings significantly drive the automotive bearing industry in China.
Automotive Bearing Market Dynamics
Increasing focus toward vehicle weight reduction, rising emphasis on vehicular emission reduction, and growing automotive industry are the major factors driving the growth of the automotive bearing market. Whereas the major factors restraining the growth of the automotive bearing industry are vehicle electrification and threat of counterfeit bearings.
One of the major drivers of the automotive bearing market is the increasing focus toward reduction of vehicle weight. Bearings that are used in an automobile constitute a significant weight and, therefore, have an important role to play in vehicle weight reduction. Automakers across the world, are focusing on reducing the weight so as to improve the vehicle efficiency. For this purpose, manufacturers are majorly focusing on using advanced bearings in their offerings, especially in modern cars and SUVs. These advanced bearings have higher durability and stiffness; and also, they are light in weight because of the advanced lightweight materials used in their manufacturing. Beside this, manufacturers are also using low tolerance and enhanced forging techniques in their production. This growing focus on vehicle weight reduction is increasing the overall adoption rate of the bearings in the market.
The growth of the automotive bearing market is majorly restrained by the increasing vehicle electrification and ambitious plans of various governments to go fully electric, and ban conventional fuel-based vehicles in the coming years, across the world. Electric vehicles need less number of bearings as compared to conventional fuel-based vehicles. Besides, the advent of in-wheel or wheel hub motor technology, used in electric vehicles, is expected to hinder the market growth. The vehicles that come equipped with such technology do not require differential gears. The motor supplies torque directly to the wheels, thus making drive shafts and differential gears obsolete. This is expected to bring down the number of bearings used in an automobile, which in turn, will adversely affect the industry.
The most effective growth opportunities for the automotive bearing manufacturers is private labeling. In the automotive bearing market, private labeling primarily means production of bearings by one company, followed by their sales under the brand of another company. Some of the bearing manufacturers are involved in private labeling to meet the market demand for their product and optimize their bottom-line profits. A few OEMs also add private labeling to their operations in order to maximize their production capacity, which is carried out under the supervision of experts with extensive experience in manufacturing similar products. It further helps them to focus on better management of brand and reduces stress about issues related to manufacturing operations.
Automotive Bearing Market Competitive Landscape
Some of the major players operating in the global automotive bearing market are JTEKT Corporation, MINEBEA MITSUMI Inc, NSK Ltd., NTN Corporation, Schaeffler AG, The Timken Company, AB SKF, RBC Bearings Inc., C&U Group Ltd., SNL Bearings Ltd., RKB Bearing Industries, Ortadoğu Rulman Sanayi ve Tic. A.Ş. (ORS), Iljin Bearing Co. Ltd., Cixing Group Co. Ltd., and NACHI-FUJIKOSHI CORP.