Global Heavy-duty Commercial Vehicle Transmission Sector: Potential Growth Opportunities Revealed
Automated manual transmission to gain top share by 2030 and rise in refuse applications drives the adoption of fully automatic transmission
The global transmission market for heavy-duty (HD) commercial vehicles has changed drastically in the past few years. Manual transmission (MT) was the go-to option for all drivers in the North American market due to its robust gears, the expertise required, and low initial cost. However, drivers—especially those new to the industry—have embraced automated manual transmission (AMT), which offers driving ease with no clutch pedal and no gear shifts. Today, AMT holds the major share of the on-highway segment in North American Class 8 trucks. Industry experts even commented that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in North America and Europe would not offer MT by the decade's end (2030).
The transition toward AMT has yet to happen in China and India, mainly due to initial cost setbacks and a lack of technological awareness. However, Frost & Sullivan expects this to change by mid-decade, with over 60% of Chinese and Indian HD trucks offering AMT by 2030. We project fully automatic transmission (AT) to continue to hold the major market share in the refuse/waste management segment. The waste management segment is forecast to boom—especially in India, where there is a projected exponential growth in metropolitan cities—resulting in the high sale of fully AT for these applications.
Electric powertrains are likely to drive nearly 27% of the global heavy-duty truck (HDT) segment in 2030, leading to a focus on e-transmissions. Unlike conventional transmissions, which are engine-driven and require multiple gears for optimal driving, e-transmissions are motor-driven. They need only 1–2 gears to provide the necessary torque/vehicle cruising requirements. Notably, only Eaton and Volvo have ventured into 6 and 12 gear transmissions, respectively. All other manufacturers use either one shift or two shift transmissions for electric trucks. Several suppliers do not even have a gearbox and have a direct drive technology instead.
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