Automotive multi-wheel drive, also known as all wheel drive (AWD), refers to a specific class of vehicle in which all the wheels of the vehicle receive torque directly from the internal combustion engine (IC engine). The multi wheel drive automobile is based on an electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch (or Haldex) technology. Multi wheel drive automobile are controlled through an electronic control system that react immediately to adjust wheel traction by changing the locking arrangement of the Haldex clutch. Haldex clutch can allocate up to 50 percent of the drive torque to any of the wheels present in a multi wheel drive automobile.
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On the basis of vehicle class, the global automotive multi wheel drive market can be segmented into three broad categories namely passenger car, light commercial vehicles (LMVs), and heavy commercial vehicles (HMVs). Further on the basis of system type the global automotive multi wheel market can be further categorized in two broad categories namely, automatic automotive multi-wheels drive market and manual automotive multi-wheels drive market.
Rising demand of powerful commercial vehicles such as heavy duty Lories from emerging market, increasing consumers concern towards safety, government regulations, increase in vehicle sales and safety installations per vehicle, growing demand of fuel efficient vehicle, and better stability and control associated with multi-wheel drive automobile are some of the predominant driver of multi-wheel drive automotive market.
The increasing demand of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and mini sports utility vehicle in developing countries has led to new market opportunity for the automotive multi wheel drive market in recent years. Whereas lacks of aftermarket for multi wheel drive automobiles is one of the major challenges for the industry.
Europe is the largest market of automotive multi wheel drive market closely followed by North America and Asia Pacific. The emerging markets of Asia Pacific are showing lucrative growth for automotive multi wheel drive market. With many up and coming passenger safety related regulation, it is expected that the market will exhibit healthy growth in coming years. Moreover increased purchasing power of the consumers in this region has helped the market of luxury and high-end premium segment cars in this region. Stiff safety related regulation by European Union (EU) is one of the major drivers of multi wheel automotive in this region.
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Major companies operating in Global automotive multi-wheel drive market include, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, BorgWarner Inc, Jtekt Corporation, Eaton Corporation Plc, Dana Holding Corporation, Magna International Inc., Continental AG, American Axle Manufacturing, GKN Plc, and Oerlikon Inc