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The automotive transmission market is set to become more fragmented according to analysts at just-auto’s QUBE service, reflecting growing variation in the adoption of different technologies by region.

Although the three leading types of light vehicle transmission – manual (MT), automatic (AT) and continuously variable (CVT) – account for nearly 92% of global light vehicle production in 2015, by 2030 just-auto’s analysts believe this will have declined to 79%.

According to just-auto’s forecasters, of the three most popular transmission types in 2015, only the CVT will succeed in growing its penetration, increasing share greatly in both North America and in China, where penetration will more than double from nearly 6% in 2015 to 13% in 2030. This rapid growth in China is due, say just-auto analysts, to the market exhibiting the same congested traffic conditions and driver wish for comfort that helped develop the CVT market in Japan.

Regional preferences and driving conditions are one of many key determinates of the forecast increased fragmentation of the light vehicle transmission market. Other key factors include: differing regional fuel efficiency requirements; driver preference towards sport or comfort (e.g. the European market has historically been more inclined toward sporty characteristics); cost issues, and existing capacity.

The last two factors will contribute to the forecast strong performance of two technologies that up to this point have not been mentioned. The needs of the traffic-congested yet cost-sensitive Indian market has also resulted in further fragmentation, with a renaissance of automated manual transmissions, which up until recently was a technology very much on the wane. In light of the technology’s adoption by companies including Maruti and Tata et al, just-auto forecasts that automated manual transmission’s global CAGR between 2015 and 2030 will be a healthy 9.7%, reaching some 3.2 million units per annum in 2030.

Lastly, the large amount of manual transmission manufacturing capacity already installed in West Europe has meant that the dual clutch transmission (DCT) has proved popular in the region – as the DCT is a development of the manual transmission, thus preserving installed manual capacity – with West Europe accounting for 35% of the DCT’s expected global volume of over 6 million in 2015. However, the technology is expected to grow rapidly in China, according to just-auto, with China accounting for some 45% of the total DCT market of 18 million forecast for 2030.

Nevertheless, while globally all signs point to increased transmission automation, the sheer size of the manual transmission market and its continuing growth mean it cannot be ignored. The manual transmission market, while declining in share from 48% in 2015 to 44% by 2030, will account for nearly 54 million units, some 12 million units more than in 2015 because of increased motorisation globally.

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Global light vehicle transmissions and clutches market- forecasts to 2030

About just-auto and Qube exists to provide news, analysis, and market intelligence to support the automotive industry. We are driven by a passion for an industry with a global turnover of EUR3 trillion that directly and indirectly supports 60 million jobs. We offer an independent voice with a global remit, championing automotive best practice wherever we find it.

In 2011, just-auto launched QUBE, the automotive database for the auto industry. Supported by a team of experienced automotive analysts, QUBE serves the automotive supply chain, providing them with OEM and supplier automotive competitive analysis, component sector forecasts, and automotive technology intelligence.