The North America Automotive Bearing market is anticipated to register a CAGR of about 3.9% during the forecast period (2019 – 2025).
- Automotive bearing is an integral component of any vehicle due to its basic functionality of allowing the wheels to spin correctly. As a result, automotive bearings have always remained in demand, and with more extensive ownership of personal cars and growing technological advancements, the need for these bearing will only increase.
- Bearings provide linear or rotational movement, while they also handle high stress acting on the external and internal frictionless metal surface, which supports the smooth movement of the vehicles. However, bearings add significant weight to the car; as a result, OEMs are working continually toward reducing the overall vehicle weight, which lowers the energy required to operate the vehicle, thereby increasing fuel economy.
- In developed countries such as the United States, several programs and projects have been initiated, such as Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards by decreasing the bearing weight. The North American automotive industry is adopting materials like carbon fiber, plastic, FRP composites, ASS to lessen vehicle weight.
Key Market Trends
Amongst the bearing segment, automotive bearing holds the largest market share
Automotive bearing is on the rise amongst bearing manufacturers, owing to the expansion of the automobile industry. Although, there tremendous competition in the market, resulting in taking manufacturers to focus more on improving their rolling element bearing products.
Wheel bearings tend to wear out after performing thousands of miles. Both the perpetual revolution of the wheels and the vehicle’s weight result in wearing out of wheel bearings, making the wheels unable to roll effectively.
In 2019, the automotive industry saw numerous developments of new rolling element bearings. Newer car models offer sealed units to keep the bearings away from dust, dirt, debris, and prevent contamination and reduce premature wear are in rising. However, it also limits servicing, cleaning, and greasing of bearing, which was accessible in the older model.
Nevertheless, bearing manufactures primary goal is to improve strength and reduce unnecessary weight. To provide more durable bearings, companies like SKF are developing bearing cages made of titanium alloys. Titanium alloyed bearings have proven to offer higher tensile strength with temperature resistance properties. Such an alloy is useful for high acceleration applications.
United States Remains the Largest Market
United States government raised norms for CAFÉ fuel standards and EPA Tier-3 norms.
In the United States, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) implemented laws to improve fuel efficiency for automobiles categories by 2025. There is an increasing growth rate for miles per gallon (MPG) regulation, which is growing at 5% every year for all segments of automobiles. Lighter bearings can help overcome this shortcoming.
Also, materials are often not recycled and are sent to landfills. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed life cycle assessment (LCA) studies to detect higher emissions over the entire life cycle of the vehicle. LCA looks at resources, energy, emissions, extraction phase, and end-of-life phase along with disposal and recycling. Due to these stringent laws by the US, automotive bearing manufacturers are adapting themselves to new forms of reusable alloys.
However, aluminum prices are on the rise in the US, which may hinder the growth of the market in the country. As a result, the steel industry is focusing on developing different alloys for processing combinations, steel with high tensile strength and ductility, for bearings used in the automotive sector, indicating towards the growing demand for enhanced and lighter bearings.
The North American Automotive bearings market is fragmented. Although few of the existing players such as NSK Ltd, Myonic GmbH, JTEKT Corporation, NTN Bearing Corporation, SKF, and NTN Bearings 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, in April 2018, Schaeffler developed a new transmission bearing with low friction, known as an angular roller unit (ARU). In March 2018, NSK acquired a 2.5-generation high-performance taper-roller hub unit bearing with a hub shaft for vehicles, like pickup trucks, large SUVs, and commercial vehicles.
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