Automotive Differential Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2020 – 2030

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Automotive Differential Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2020 – 2030

Status : February, 2022 | Automotive

Report Digest


A differential is a gear train with three shafts having the property that the rotational speed of one shaft is the average of the speeds of the others, or a fixed multiple of that average. A differential, when talking about car or a truck is a mechanical piece which allows the wheels to rotate or turn at different speeds. The outer wheels cover a large circumference covering different distances otherwise the tires may get damaged and eventually other mechanical parts too.

The global automotive differential market is expected to witness a significant growth in 2021, over 2020. It is expected to grow with almost 5% CAGR from 2021 to 2030. Demand for better adhesion on roads and need for fuel efficiency are expected to boost the adoption. Manufacturers are working on research and development for innovating better customer friendly products. Increasing vehicle production and escalating demand for all wheel drive vehicles may act the prominent driver for the growth.

Evolution of 4WD and AWD

Improved living standards and lifestyle among people with rapid industrialization around the globe have escalated the demand for luxuries cars. AWD and 4WD system in these SUVs and luxurious cars offer fuel efficiency. The cars include latest features such as traction control, side-front airbags, anti-lock braking system etc.  Race cars and other best performing vehicle use limited slip differentials as it enables the vehicle to power through corners. The new SUVs are convenient and easy to drive in traffic regions and off-road terrain too. Prominent manufacturers are focussing on more customised and customer friendly luxurious cars which will eventually fuel the market growth.   

Automotive Differential Market

Growing Off-Roading Enthusiasm

Preference for off-road trips has been a significant driver for the market growth for four-wheeler vehicles. Four-wheelers require multiple differential gears and thus, eventually boost the market. Increase in production of vehicles containing different type of gears as per the stability of the car while turning. The differential gears help in preventing wear and tear of the tire, thus improving the life of tyres.

Innovation in Electric Vehicles

With Electronic vehicles, complex programming is required to ensure that both the wheels get equal torque conditions. Many companies are investing in electronic differentials to operate in electronic vehicles. The growing demand for electronic vehicles can somewhat inhibit the growth of automotive differentials. However, it will take years to replace prevalence of manual vehicles by electric vehicles on roads and thus, business of automotive differentials has a long way to go. 

Competitive landscape

Prominent players in the global automotive differential market are:

  • Eaton (Ireland)
  • JKEKT Corporation (Japan)
  • Neapco Inc (US)
  • GKN PLC (UK)
  • American Axle (US)
  • ZF Friedrichshafen (Germany)
  • Drexler Automotive GmbH (Germany)
  • DANA Limited (US)
  • Schaeffler (Germany)
  • BorgWarner (US)

Recent developments by such companies in differential market sector are:

  • In 2020, Eaton launched its new metal 3D printing program as a part of its industry 4.0 to reduce development time and improve efficiency. The global deployment of 3D polymer printing technology is expected to be completed by first quarter of 2021. Usage of 3D printers in creating high quality fixtures, safety devices, automation grippers for assembly and handling, and maintenance components requiring replacement is a driver for its demand.
  • In August 2020, again Eaton launched a scalable limited slip differential, controlled electronically to enhance performance of the vehicle and to provide driver safety.
  • In March 2020, Dana launched a new series of eight spicer Torque hub drives for expanding the company’s offering of drive and motion technologies for crawler cranes and large tracked vehicles. The new drives offer flexible packaging with torque ratings from 80,000N-m up to 450,000N-m and gear ratios to meet manufacturer preferences for tracked and wheeled applications.
  • In January 2020, GKN announced its merger with Delta Electronics to develop and integrate new technologies for next generation e-drive systems. With the collaboration, inverters from Delta Electronics employed in the e-motor and gear-box systems of GKN’s integrated 3-in-1 electric drive unit. The partnership will enable the escalation of e-drive systems power classes from 80kW to 155kW.

Regional outlook

Asia pacific is expected to be the dominant market in revenue and volume as the demand for four-wheelers continues to grow after the pandemic. Rise in economy in China and increased income level among middle class consumers can act as the driver for market growth in the region. “Make in India” policy by the Government of India is improving the automation sector in the country. Tesla’s plan of manufacturing a plant in India can be a boost for its economy.

Europe and North America pose for the second largest region for automotive differential market. However, the European market is expected to gain traction during the forecast period.

Automotive Differential Market-Segmentation

By Vehicle Type

  • Passenger Car
  • Heavy Commercial Vehicle
  • Light Commercial vehicle

By Drive Type

  • Locking Differential
  • Limited Slip Differential
  • Open Differential
  • Electronic Limited Slip Differential
  • Torque Vectoring Differential

By Off-Highway Vehicle

  • Construction & Mining Equipment
  • Agriculture Tractors
  • Forklift

By Hybrid Vehicle

  • PHEV

By Component

  • Differential Bearing
  • Differential Gear
  • Differential case

By Region

  • Asia Pacific
  • Europe
  • North America
  • Rest of the World

1) Which are the prominent players in the world for automotive differential market?
DANA Limited, GKN PLC, American Axle, Drexler Automotive GmbH, BorgWarner, Eaton, Neapco Inc, etc. are the Companies manufacturing the automotive differentials. 

2) What are the key marketing trends for automotive differentials?
Power transmission unit responsible for transmission and distribution of driving force by engine, increase in production of vehicles, etc. are the witness as the key marketing trends. 

3) Which region is the largest market for automotive differential market?
Asia-Pacific holds the dominating position in the market owing to increasing demand and supply in China due to economy boost. 

4) Which differential is used in luxurious cars?  
Limited slip differential and locking differential are used majors in SUVs and luxurious cars which are in high demand and is expected to remain during the forecast period. 

5) How much covid-19 impacted the automotive differentials market? 
Covid-19 pandemic caused the demand and supply chain come to halt in production across the world. However, with the relaxation in lockdown and vaccine being introduced the demand chain is expected to witness a steady growth in 2021, over 2020. 

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