China Automotive Electric Power Steering Market is anticipated to register a CAGR of about 12.95% during the forecast period (2020 – 2025).
Automotive EPS Motor is an integral component, due to its basic functionality of allowing the driver to steer the car by augmenting steering efforts needed to turn the steering wheel. Factors such as extensive ownership of personal vehicles and growing technological advancements will see the rise of the EPS market.
The Chinese economy is growing, and the disposable income of middle-class consumers is also increasing. This, in turn, reflects positively on the growing demand for vehicles. Over the past five years, vehicle production has gone up drastically due to the low production costs in the country. Due to the hike in vehicle production, the electric power steering component market is also gaining momentum. Moreover, the Chinese government has also cut down the taxes on cars, to increase cars' sales.
The rising popularity of self-driving vehicles has fueled demand for the electric power steering system. Vehicles that are equipped with EPS tend to have a reduced overall weight, which further increases fuel efficiency.
Key Market Trends
ECU is the fastest-growing component amongst all Electric Power Steering (EPS) components
The electric ECU provides a lower cogging torque for the better driving experience, improving the interaction between the permanent magnets of the rotor and the stator slots of the Permanent Magnet (PM) machine. Traditional steering systems required the driver to continually make minor steering corrections to compensate for irregularities, such as road camber or crosswinds. But modern Electric Power Steering automatically assists the driver in case they encounter such barriers. The ECU unit can register if the driver is continuously counter steering, and itself automatically compensate for the correction. This makes driving more comfortable and less stressful.
ECU consists of 3 significant components that are the control module, power module, and control software. The control module gives access to power the switches and performs diagnostics functions in the power module. While the power module consists of three half-bridges where each half-bridge powers one phase of the three-phase electric. Lastly, the control software is the algorithm that enables the control of the speed and torque of the electric of the EPS unit. However, designers face challenges such as meeting flexible but a cost-effective architecture that can be equipped in cars ranging from SUVs to compact vehicles by satisfying power requirements for different steering rack load.
However, there is a demand for higher steering power, to improve driver comfort and feedback without losing power assistance, especially at a slower pace. For instance, Nexteer uses three different sensor technologies. While each can be used with the same position sensor, torque sensor, and ECU. The company has introduced solutions that reduce the steering angle sensor, which provides active lighting, stability control, and ADAS. They will enable us to broadcast an absolute steering position based just on the EPS motor sensor.
Passenger Cars are dominating the China Electric Power Steering Market
China is an emerging economy where the Electric Power Steering (EPS) implementation in passenger cars is overgrowing. This is due to its advantages, such as no hoses or fluids required in the steering system, thereby reducing the repair and maintenance costs.
The sales of passenger cars have been growing continuously for the past few years. However, in 2019, China’s passenger car production reached 23,529,000 units, reflecting a 5.2% decline y-o-y; while sales reached 23,710,000 units, reflecting a 4.1% decline y-o-y. The prime reason being the trade tensions with the United States and shaky consumer confidence. Additionally, industry experts predict a further decline of 5% in vehicle sales in 2019.
It is anticipated that China will sell about 28,100,000 vehicles in 2019, out of which 23,700,000 likely to be passenger vehicle sales. After balancing imports and exports in 2019, the annual demand of China's automotive market will be 28,200,000 units. It is anticipated that the demand for passenger car production is likely to increase, which, in turn, is expected to fuel the country's demand for EPS.
Additionally, to increase the sales of cars, the Chinese government, in 2019, unveiled numerous measures. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced that the restrictions would be loosened on the second-hand auto market, and appropriate subsidies would be provided to boost rural sales of some vehicles and the purchase of new energy vehicles. This, in turn, is expected to drive the demand for and selling of cars in the country in 2019, but at a slow pace, which, in turn, is likely to propel the demand for EPS.
Currently, less than 40% of the passenger cars are running with EPS technology. However, stringent Chinese government regulations regarding fuel efficiency will drive the growth of the segment for the ECU segment.
The China Automotive Power Steering Market is consolidated with existing market players such as JTEKT, NSK Ltd., ZF TRW, Nexteer Automotive, Rane Group, and Sono Koyo Steering which hold the most significant shares. To have the edge over its competitors' companies are making joint-ventures, partnerships, launching new products with advanced technology.
For instance, Companies such as Infiniti Q50 incorporated adaptive steering in vehicles whose sensors continuously monitor the position of the steering wheel. Also, these torque ECU sensors are integrated into the EPS system. The torque sensors measure the effort applied by the driver to steer the vehicle.
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