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Global gear demand will hit $169.5bn by 2013

16 April, 2010

Global demand for gears and gear assemblies will climb at an average annual rate of 4.7% in the period to 2013, when it will be worth $169.5bn, according to a new forecast from the Freedonia Group.

The growth will be driven by, the economic upturn, increased manufacturing output, and rising motor vehicle production, and a shift in the automotive market toward more expensive, energy-efficient systems such as seven- and eight-speed automatic transmissions.  Strong demand in relatively small, but fast-growing, markets such as wind and solar energy, will also help to boost sales. Demand in developing parts of Asia, Eastern Europe, the Africa/Mideast region, and Central and South America will outpace product sales in the US, Western Europe and Japan.

China and India will produce some of the strongest market growth, according to Freedonia. It predicts that China will account for one-third of all additional gear demand in the period to 2013 and will surpass Japan to become the second-largest national market behind the US. By 2018, gear sales in China will exceed those in the US. Market growth is also expected to be healthy in Indonesia, Thailand, Iran and Russia.

Although advances will be less robust than in developing countries, demand for gear products in the US and Western Europe will increase as well, spurred by renewed strength in motor vehicle output following a period of decline. Gear sales in Japan, on the other hand, will slow noticeably, as a result of a drop in automotive industry production and continued sluggishness in capital equipment markets. However, a more favourable outlook for machinery manufacturing will provide some impetus to growth, and the large numbers of gear-containing equipment in use will help support aftermarket gear demand.

In 2008, about 70% of all gear product sales were automotive-related, with vehicle transmissions alone accounting for 45% of the entire market.

Machinery, the second-largest gear market, will post slower gains than the automotive sector, according to Freedonia. Suppliers will benefit from industrialisation activity in China and other developing areas, fuelling demand for gears used in construction and manufacturing machinery.

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