Shift in Vehicle Transmissions Steering Developments in US Market

Shift in Vehicle Transmissions Steering Developments in US Market

MV transmissions and powertrain parts compose the largest product segment of the US power transmission component market. Rising fuel economy standards have spurred the development of advanced transmissions, such as continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) and dual-clutch transmissions (DCTs), that improve fuel efficiency and boost product value. As standards continue to rise, demand for these transmissions will expand further.

The development of transmissions with more gear ratios enables MVs to achieve improved fuel economy. For example, an eight-speed automatic transmission offers better fuel economy compared to a six-speed version. General Motors and Ford Motors began jointly developing a 10-speed automatic transmission, and production of 10-speed transmissions started in 2016. Medium- and heavy-duty truck maker PAACAR unveiled a 12-speed automated transmission in 2016.

There are also developments in CVTs, which consist of two pulleys connected by a belt and do not feature gear changes. These transmissions are automatic, eliminating mechanical shifting and improving fuel economy by keeping the engine in an optimal power range. CVTs have become particularly popular among the Asian carmakers, with Honda, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota all offering them as either standard or as an option in many of their vehicles.

DCTs employ two clutches to change gears and can utilize computerized controls to effect gear changes smoothly and quickly. A DCT improves fuel economy by not interrupting power flow from the engine to the transmission. However, DCTs are more expensive compared to traditional MV transmissions and are typically employed in high-performance vehicles, such as sports cars. Even so, DCTs are available in some sedans and even compact vehicles, such as the Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf.

Learn More

For more insights into the US power transmission component market, see Power Transmission Components: United States, a report recently released by the Freedonia Focus Reports division of The Freedonia Group. This report forecasts US power transmission component demand and shipments in US dollars at the manufacturers’ level to 2021. Total demand and shipments are segmented by product in terms of:

  • motor vehicle transmissions and powertrain parts
  • ball and roller bearings
  • gears and gearboxes
  • mechanical power transmission products.

Related Freedonia Focus Reports include Fabricated Metal Products: United States, Manufacturing: United States, and Motor Vehicles: United States.

About the Author

Luke Hickman is a Market Research Analyst for Freedonia Focus Reports. He holds a degree in economics, and his experience as an analyst covers multiple industries.