Demand for Lightweight and Energy-efficient Vehicles to Augment Market Growth

The automotive industry has evolved at a rapid pace over the past four to five decades, owing to advancements in technology, developments in the regulatory landscape, and fluctuating consumer demands. The evolution in the automotive sector also been influenced by significant developments and advancements made in production and design aspects of different automotive components. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the automotive sector around the world was witnessing a steady growth, particularly from the Asia Pacific region. At present, the evolving regulatory landscape, which predominantly focuses on introducing environment-friendly automotive technologies, has played a vital role in the development of the global automotive drive shaft market.

Due to the cutthroat competition across the global automotive sector, market players are increasingly focusing on rolling out energy-efficient vehicles that are adhere to the guidelines laid down to increase their share in the current market landscape. Due to increasing emphasis on energy efficiency and environment protection over the past decade, automotive manufacturers are exploring the possibilities of using automotive drive shafts made from alternative materials than steel to attain these objectives. Several lightweight materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber are increasingly being used to manufacture automotive drive shafts and the trend is likely to continue during the forecast period.

The significant rise in the sales of utility vehicles around the world is another major factor that is likely to influence the overall growth of the automotive drive shaft market in the upcoming years. At the back of these factors coupled with improvements in design and advancements in material science, the global automotive drive shaft market is expected to reach a market value of ~US$ 21 Bn by the end of 2027.

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Market Players Incline toward Lightweight Carbon Fiber and Aluminum

Over the past few decades, automotive drive shafts were largely made from steel due to the exceptional durability and noise dampening properties of the material. In addition, as steel is also relatively cost-effective than other alternative materials, even in the automotive drive shaft market landscape, it continues to remain one of the most extensively used materials to produce automotive drive shafts. However, recent calls to enhance the performance and energy efficiency of automotive vehicles has compelled companies in the automotive drive shaft market to explore the possibilities of using other materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber to design and manufacture automotive drive shafts.

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Although steel is likely to remain the most popular material type, aluminum and carbon fiber are gaining immense popularity. Steel is tipped to remain the top choice to produce stock drive trains, as minimum maintenance is required. In recent years, the market share of aluminum automotive drive shafts has increased at a higher rate than that of steel drive shafts, and the trend is anticipated to continue in the upcoming decade. The growing popularity of aluminum automotive drive shafts can be largely attributed to the low weight of the material due to which, automotive manufacturers can optimize the efficiency and performance of their vehicles. Although the demand for aluminum automotive drive shafts is on the rise and projected to witness steady year-on-year growth, carbon fiber is likely to come out as a winner in terms of the most adopted material to produce drive shafts. Carbon fiber has emerged as one of the ideal weight-saving materials that is increasingly being used to develop automotive drive shafts. Moreover, carbon fiber is also high in durability and effective in vibration control. At present, the high cost of carbon fiber automotive drive shafts is a leading factor that is likely to hinder the demand, particularly in developing regions. However, as the cost of carbon fiber is likely to reduce as the technology matures, carbon fiber is projected to gain considerable popularity during the forecast period.

COVID-19 Pandemic Exposes Several Market Challenges, Growth Likely to Remain Sluggish in 2020

The onset of the novel COVID-19 pandemic has played a huge role in hampering the growth of the global automotive sector in 2020. As governments across the world are compelled to enforce lockdowns and an array of restrictions on trade and transportation, its effects are being felt across the global automotive drive shaft market. China is one of the most essential nations in the automotive industry and is directly or indirectly linked to ~80% of the supply chain. In the first quarter of 2020, as the core industries in China, including the automotive sector were compelled to shut down, the car sales witnessed a staggering decline.

In addition, the production of automotive vehicles has taken a major hit across the world due to lack of raw materials and large holes in the supply chain caused by the COVID-19 event. The lockdown in Hubei, which nests more than 100 automotive suppliers and other automotive hubs in the country, is another factor that is expected to play a key role in creating bottlenecks across the supply chain in the global automotive drive shaft market. While the market in China is showing signs of recovery as the majority of the automotive industry is now up and running, the global market is expected to tread through a period of uncertainty at least until the last quarter of 2020.

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

The global automotive drive shaft market is expected to grow at a moderate CAGR of ~2% during the forecast period. The market growth can be primarily attributed to the growing automotive sector, particularly in developing regions, advancements in new production technologies, and research & development due to which the adoption of new lightweight materials to develop automotive drive shafts is on the rise. In addition, as regulatory guidelines insist on the development of energy-efficient vehicles, automotive companies are increasingly relying on carbon fiber automotive drive shafts to attain these objectives. Despite treading through a sluggish period in 2020, the global automotive drive shaft market is expected to witness steady growth in the post-COVID-19 era.  

Automotive Drive Shaft Market: Overview

  • The global automotive drive shaft market is expected to expand at a CAGR of ~2% between 2019 and 2027
  • Decline in demand for vehicles across globe due to the coronavirus pandemic has led to a decline in sales of vehicles, which hindered the demand for drive shaft in the 2nd quarter of year 2020, as demand directly depends on vehicle production
  • Economic downturn in the first of half of 2020 is anticipated to witness a significant slowdown in the demand for vehicles. On the other hand, the demand for light commercial vehicles is increasing significantly across all the regions due to the expansion of home delivery services and last-mile delivery services, which is likely to drive the automotive drive shaft market.

Drivers of Automotive Drive Shaft Market

  • Europe is aiming to adopt new emission regulations under, which all automakers should meet 95 gram/Km target by the end of 2020. It is essential for automakers and suppliers to adopt fuel-saving and emission-reduction technologies such as drive shaft. The lightweight drive shaft helps automakers comply with stringent emission norms, thereby driving the demand from automakers. This, in turn, is estimated to propel the automotive drive shaft market.
  • Developing countries such as India, China, Brazil, and Mexico have also planned to enact emission stage equivalent to Euro 6 in the near future. Adoption of such reforms by developing countries, which are also witnessing high vehicle production, is anticipated to drive the demand for emission control devices globally.
  • Automakers have registered increased penetration of sports utility vehicles and multi-utility vehicles globally. Furthermore, with the advent of the vehicle drive technology, automakers have developed vehicles with all-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD).
  • AWD and 4WD vehicles use two drive shafts, instead of one, to transmit power to both rear and front wheels in vehicles

Challenges for Automotive Drive Shaft Market

  • Automakers, such as General Motor Company, BMW AG, and Audi AG are among the leading players developing electric vehicles (EVs). Electric vehicles are independent of traditional internal combustion engines to power vehicles.
  • EVs can power vehicles without depending on traditional transmissions, drive shafts, power dividers, and differentials, as electric motors in EVs replace the traditional diesel powertrains in some applications. This, in turn, is anticipated to reduce the use of drive shafts in vehicles by automakers.

Automotive Drive Shaft: Market Segmentation

  • Based on drive shaft type, the single piece drive shaft segment held a leading share of the market in 2018. Single piece drive shaft is a conventional drive shaft and is highly popular among entry and mid-range vehicles, which can be attributed to the high market share held by the segment in the automotive drive shaft market.
  • Multi-piece drive shafts are continuously gaining popularity due to the rising popularity of pick-up trucks, which witness high penetration of multi-piece drive shafts, thus propelling the multi-piece drive shaft segment. Additionally, the penetration of multi-piece drive shaft is expanding due to an increase in the demand for SUVs and four-wheel drive vehicles. Moreover, a surge in focus toward the development of high performance vehicles and automotive components is likely to drive the multi-piece drive shaft segment of the market during the forecast period.
  •  Based on drive type, the front-wheel drive vehicles were highly popular among all vehicles in 2018. The front-wheel drive segment is likely to remain the dominant segment during the forecast period, as most passenger vehicles are front-wheel drive vehicles, owing to their high efficiency and superior maneuverability.
  • Rear wheel drive vehicles are highly popular in Europe and are gaining popularity across other regions due to an increase in the demand for performance and luxury vehicles. Increase in purchase power parity and finance schemes are anticipated to drive the demand for such vehicles.
  • Others is a prominent segment of the market, as the demand for four-wheel drive vehicles has been increasing since 2016. Rising popularity of vehicles with off-road capabilities fuels the demand for such vehicles, which in turn is driving the demand for four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles.
  • In terms of drive system, the two-wheel drive segment accounted for a notable share of the market in 2018. It is likely to maintain its dominance during the forecast period. Most developing and developed economies witness high demand for fuel-efficient vehicles; hence, the market share held by the two wheel drive segment is significantly higher than that held by the four wheel drive segment.
  • Four wheel drive vehicles are equipped with multiple drive shafts, which can be attributed to the significant market share held by the segment. Furthermore, trend for off-roading and increased focus of consumers on SUVs over sedan and hatchbacks is anticipated to propel the four wheel drive vehicles segment and consequently boost the automotive drive shaft market.
  • In terms of material, steel was a key segment of the automotive drive shaft market in 2018. It is anticipated to maintain its leading position in the market. Steel has been a conventional material to manufacture automotive shafts, owing to its adequate strength, machinability, and cost effectiveness.
  • Aluminum drive shafts came later in the picture due to their lightweight and high strength; however, high cost of aluminum is hampering the adoption of aluminum drive shafts. Moreover, aluminum shafts are utilized in sports or performance cars to enhance their performance.
  • Carbon fiber is a highly advanced material used to manufacture drive shafts; however, the demand for carbon fiber drive shafts is increasing significantly due to their considerably higher strength and lightweight
  •  Based on vehicle, the passenger vehicle segment dominated the global automotive drive shaft market in 2018. It is likely to maintain its dominance during the forecast period due to significantly high production of passenger vehicles.
  • Passenger vehicles are majorly utilized for transportation, while commercial vehicles are utilized in different industrial verticals, including healthcare, mining, logistics, and construction. Passenger vehicles dominated global vehicle sales in 2018; additionally, passenger vehicles have higher penetration of drive shafts due to more number of four-wheel drive vehicles.
  • Electric vehicles are gaining prominence in the automotive industry, and rise in demand for electric vehicles is boosting the drive shaft market; however, the development of hub motor may hinder the automotive drive shaft market

Automotive Drive Shaft Market: Regional Analysis

  • In terms of region, Asia Pacific held a significant share of the global automotive drive shaft market in 2018, owing to high production of vehicles and a rise in the demand for premium and luxury vehicles among developing countries of the region. The global automotive drive shaft market is directly influenced by vehicle production and sales.
  • Availability of major component manufacturers and presence of major automotive manufacturers in the region are key factors attributed to the notable share held by Asia Pacific of the global automotive drive shaft market
  • Consistent demand for passenger as well as commercial vehicles globally is a prominent factor propelling the global automotive drive shaft market

Automotive Drive Shaft Market: Competition Landscape

  • Key players operating in the global automotive drive shaft market include 
    • Advanced Composite Products & Technology Inc.
    • American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
    • Bailey Morris Limited
    • Dana Limited
    • GKN Plc.
    • IFA Group
    • JTEKT Corporation
    • Neapco
    • Nexteer Automotive Group Ltd.
    • Wilson Drive Shaft

Automotive Drive Shaft Market – Scope of the Report

Transparency Market Research’s recent report on the automotive drive shaft market, with the help of a comprehensive outlook, provides readers with an assessment of the global market landscape. This study on the automotive drive shaft market analyzes the scenario for the period of 2019 to 2027, wherein, 2018 is the base year and 2017 and before is historical data. This report enables readers to make important decisions with regard to their business, with the help of a wealth of information enclosed in the study.

This TMR study on the automotive drive shaft market also provides data on the developments made by important players and stakeholders in the market, along with a competitive analysis. The report also provides an understanding of strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities, along with the trends and restraints in the landscape. Presented in a clear sanctioned manner, this report on the automotive drive shaft market gives readers an individual understanding of the market.

This study also discusses the underlying trends and impact of various factors that are driving the automotive drive shaft market, along with their influence on the evolution of the market.

This study also offers Porter’s Five Point Analysis, value chain analysis, regulatory scenario, and a SWOT analysis of the automotive drive shaft market, in order to elaborate the crucial growth tactics and opportunities for market players contributing to the market.

Key Questions Answered in This Report on Automotive Drive Shaft Market

  • How much value will the automotive drive shaft market generate by the end of the forecast period?
  • Which segment of the market is likely to have the maximum market share by 2027?
  • What are the impact factors and there effects on the market for drive shaft?
  • What regions currently contribute the maximum share to the overall automotive drive shaft market?
  • What are the indicators expected to drive the automotive drive shaft market?
  • What region is likely to be a lucrative market during the forecast period?
  • What are the essential strategies by key stakeholders in the automotive drive shaft market to expand their geographic presence?
  • What are the major advancements witnessed in the automotive drive shaft market?
  • How regulatory norms affected the market for automotive drive shaft market?

This report answers these questions and more about the automotive drive shaft market, aiding major stakeholders and key players in making the right decisions and strategizing for the advancement of their business.

Automotive Drive Shaft Market: Research Methodology

This TMR report on the automotive drive shaft market is based on a complete and comprehensive evaluation of the market, backed by secondary and primary sources. Market volume is determined by country wise model mapping of vehicle through internal & external proprietary databases, and relevant patent and regulatory databases. The competitive scenario of the automotive drive shaft market is supported by an assessment of the different factors that influence the market on a minute and granular level. By thoroughly analyzing the historical data, current trends and announcement by the key players, researchers of the automotive drive shaft market arrive at predictions and estimations, and calculate the forecast for the market.

This report uses an analytical triangulation method to estimate the numbers and figures of the automotive drive shaft market, with both a bottom-up and top-down approach.

This detailed assessment of the automotive drive shaft market, along with an overview of the landscape, is provided based on a careful examination of the avenues related to this industry. Analysts’ conclusions on how the automotive drive shaft market is estimated to expand are based on carefully vetted primary and secondary sources.

Automotive Drive Shaft Market – Segmentation

This report on the automotive drive shaft market provides information on the basis of drive shaft type, drive type, drive system, material, vehicle, and region.

Drive Shaft Type

Single Piece


Drive Type

Front Wheel Drive

Rear Wheel Drive


Drive System

Two Wheel Drive

Four Wheel Drive




Carbon Fiber


Passenger Vehicle

Commercial Vehicle

Electric Vehicle


North America



Asia Pacific

Middle East & Africa

Latin America

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Automotive Drive Shafts Market

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