The soaring popularity of crossover utility vehicles and technologies that offer superior driving dynamics is spawning a large market for all wheel drive (AWD) systems in Europe. Among original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the VW Group, propelled by its 4Motion and Quattro models, is expected to outpace competition from BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the premium segment.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Analysis of OEM Strategies for All Wheel Drive Systems in Europe, finds that the market was worth €3.83 billion in 2014 and expects this to touch € 5.91 billion in 2021. In Europe, Russians have the highest affinity towards AWD technologies, with 8.9 percent of customers willing to spend more than €3000 on full time 4WD systems, which is much higher than what German, British and French drivers are willing to spend.
The number of vehicles with AWD technology in the ‘B’ and ‘C’ segments is expected to double to more than 2 million units by 2021, as customers prefer vehicles that aid better handling, especially in adverse weather conditions. However, being price-sensitive segments, they also demand that the vehicle be fuel efficient.
“The majority of AWD vehicles have electronically controlled systems such as automatic AWD that provides the optimum balance between fuel consumption and performance,” saidFrost & Sullivan Automotive & Transportation Senior Research Analyst, Viroop Narla. “The considerable progress made by OEMs in the fully electronic AWD segment is expected to further reduce fuel consumption.”
Driveline downsizing and disconnect driveline systems offer better fuel efficiency than conventional AWD systems will give a filip to AWD technology. Electric AWD (eAWD) is another technology that will gain traction due to its potential to improve fuel economy by 30 percent and support OEMs in complying with increasingly stringent emission regulations. eAWDs help OEMs incorporate AWD technology without reducing engine efficiency, while simultaneously achieving optimum lightweight requirements.
“Advancements in disconnect AWD systems and the future development of eAWD technologies will prompt increased cooperation between OEMs and suppliers,” observed Frost & Sullivan Automotive & Transportation Senior Research Analyst, Kamalesh Mohanarangam. “The consolidation trend among suppliers is likely to limit innovation and ultimately, compel OEMs to develop systems in-house; the Peugeot 3008 eAWD system being a case in point.”
Strategic Analysis of OEM Strategies for All Wheel Drive Systems in Europe (MAF7-18) is part of the Automotive & Transportation (ow.ly/UpMJ4) Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related studies include: LIDAR-based Strategies for Active Safety and Automated Driving from Major OEMs in Europe and North America, Opportunity Analysis of eRetailing for Automotive Tyres in Europe, The Future of the Luxury Electric Vehicle Market, and Smart Parking to Enable Intelligent Mobility in Global Mega Cities. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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The terms ‘B’ and ‘C’ segments are part of a car classification system developed by the European Commission classifying cars as follows:
A: mini cars
B: small cars
C: medium cars
D: large cars
E: executive cars
F: luxury cars
S: sport coupés
M: multi purpose cars
J: sport utility cars (including off-road vehicle.