The mechanical differential lock is integrated within the differential of the vehicle, which enables the driver to lock both half shafts making them function as a single shaft. In muddy terrain, the differential lock is very useful, as the same amount of torque can be generated in both wheels with greater traction.

The global market for mechanical differential lock is likely to expand significantly during the forecast period due to the increasing preference among consumers toward off-road touring and competition among the powertrain and power differential manufacturers. Higher road traction of vehicles with lock differentials is significantly boosting the mechanical lock differential market. Other alternatives of the mechanical differential lock include the electronic lock differential; however, the higher cost and lower lifespan of the electronic differential lock are likely to drive the mechanical differential lock market for automotive during the forecast period. Development of wheel hub motors is expected to be a major threat to the mechanical differential lock market for automotive, as the application of wheel hub motors completely eliminates the conventional powertrain from the vehicle along with power differential of the vehicle. Moreover, mechanical differential locks are utilized in sports utility vehicles and light commercial vehicles, thus a rise in popularity of SUVs and LCVs in the Americas is anticipated to drive the mechanical differential lock market for automotive in these regions during the forecast period.

The global mechanical differential lock market for automotive can be segmented based on lock type, operation, sales channel, vehicle type, and region. In terms of lock type, the pneumatic differential lock segment is projected to dominate the mechanical lock differential market owing to its high reliability and ability to perform under highly arduous conditions. The pneumatic differential lock is driven by an air compressor which activates the differential lock, while the cable operated mechanical differential lock is considered less efficient and reliable than the pneumatic differential lock.

In terms of operation, the manually operated mechanical differential lock segment is likely to expand significantly during the forecast period. Manually operated mechanical differential locks are cost-effective as compared to automatically operated mechanical differential locks. Moreover, automatically operated mechanical differential locks are integrated in luxury or premium vehicles.

Based on sales channel, the OEM segment is expected to hold a major share of the mechanical differential lock market for automotive, owing to lesser usage of differential locks, thus resulting in less wear and tear. Mechanically operated differential lock possess higher life span thus its consumption is lesser in aftermarket sales channel, while the OEM segment is expanding consistently, thus boosting the mechanical differential market.

In terms of vehicle type, the passenger vehicle segment is likely to hold a prominent share of the mechanical differential lock market for automotive. Furthermore, a rise in demand for vehicles to be utilized in the defense sector is a key factor driving the differential lock market, as most defense vehicles are four-wheel drive vehicles integrated with differential locks. In the passenger vehicle segment, the SUVs sub-segment is expected to hold a prominent share. In the commercial vehicle segment, the light commercial vehicles sub-segment is likely to hold a significant share, owing to the rise in penetration of four-wheel drivetrain in light commercial vehicles.

In terms of region, Asia Pacific is expected to hold a major share of the global mechanical differential lock market for automotive. North America is expected to be another major market for mechanical differentials locks, owing to high production of four-wheel drive light commercial vehicles and rise in demand for sports utility vehicles in the region.

Key players operating in the global mechanical differential lock market for automotive include Eaton, Powertrax, Marlin Crawler, Inc., SHOWA Corporation, Lamda Components Pvt. Ltd., and Schaeffler. 

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Automotive Mechanical Differential Lock Market

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