Automotive thermal system is concern with the management of liquid, temperature and air. It increases the comfort of the passengers by taking care of the temperature inside the vehicle. The main components of automotive thermal system are powertrain cooling, ventilation & AC, battery thermal management, power device cooling and waste heat recovery.
Implementation of new technologies such as HVAC systems for thermal heating is driving the market globally. The primary advantage of this advanced system is that it reduces the harmful gases emitted by the cooling system compressors without compromising on the cooling capacity. The manufacturers of HVAC systems have replaced the existing HFO-1234yf cooling technology used in automotive HVAC systems with the R-134a technology due to the harmful effects of some refrigerants. Implementation of new technologies and upgrade of existing ones is among the key drivers for the growth of this market globally.
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The rise in cost of the automotive thermal system is a major challenge restraining the growth of the market. Advanced and improved technology comes at a higher cost. Huge investment is required for research and development which in turn increases the cost of thermal systems, hence leading to increase in the price of automobiles. Increasing demand for thermal systems that run on alternative fuels such as bio-alcohols, liquid hydrogen, propane, P-Series fuels, and ethanol is a key opportunity for the growth of the market in the near future.
Manufacturers of automotive transmission systems are investing significantly in research and development for innovation of latest technology in automotive transmission. ZF Technologies introduced the world’s first nine-speed automatic transmission system. This is likely to enhance fuel efficiency of vehicles considerably. There is a growing demand for vehicles with continuous variable transmission system. Driving a continuously variable transmission system is the same as driving a vehicle with automatic transmission, just that the engine revs up and down automatically. There is a growing demand for vehicles with continuously variable transmission due to its simplicity and enhanced performance. Therefore, this technology is likely to dominate the market in the coming years.
HVAC dominated the automotive thermal system market segmented by component. The HVAC system provides heat, ventilation and air conditioning in a vehicle. The HVAC market can be segmented into two types, automotive HVAC system and manual HVAC system. The rise in demand for HVAC is one of the key factors behind the growth of the automotive thermal system market as a whole.
Geographically, the global automotive thermal system market has been segmented into four major regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). Asia Pacific dominated the automotive thermal system market in 2013 followed by Europe. Developments in the infrastructure sector led to the rise in demand for construction vehicles. In addition, the rise in disposable income fuelled the demand for automobiles in Asia-Pacific and this is expected to drive the demand for thermal system. Asia-Pacific has been the largest contributor to the growth of the automotive thermal system market. The luxury car segment is dominated by Japan in this region. In addition, the emerging business class in India and China along with the green revolution in the automotive industry is also driving the automotive thermal system market in Asia-Pacific. Increase in GDP levels, government norms and regulations, change in attitude of society towards the environment, and technological advancement are the key factors driving the automotive thermal system market. The growing business class in China and India, coupled with the green revolution in the automobile sector is further driving the global automotive thermal system market.
The degree of competition in the automotive thermal system industry is high. This is a consolidated market and thus there is very little price-based competition. Established players invest a huge sum of money in research and development activities in order to innovative new technologies which would help them increase their competitiveness in the market.
Some of the major players in the automotive thermal system market are General Motors Company (GM) (U.S.), Denso Corporation (Japan), Magma International Inc. (Canada), Valeo (France), Ford Motor Company (U.S.), Delphi Automotive PLC (U.S.), BorgWarener Automotive Powertrain Systems Corp (U.S.), ZF Friedrichshafen AG (Germany), Hyundai Motor Company (South Korea), Continental AG (Germany).