The Global Lubricants Market is Segmented by geography into – North America, South America, Europe, Asia-Pacific (APAC), Middle East, and Africa.
The automotive and transportation industry is expected to grow due to increasing sales of vehicles, owing to the rising per capita income across the world. For instance, as per the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, in 2014, 88.3 million new vehicles were sold, while in 2019, the number reached 91.3 million. Increasing demand for transportation is driving the sales of light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles globally driving the growth in the lubricants market. Further, the growing mobility services sector across the globe has also propelled the sales of new vehicles. Thus, resulting in an increasing demand for lubricants.
The global vehicle fleet is expected to double by 2030, of which the Asia Pacific region is expected to lead the growth. The Chinese car market is expected to grow 35 times by 2020, compared to 2000. The rise in economic conditions in emerging economies such as China, India, and Brazil has facilitated the development of superior infrastructure and enhanced public transportation systems. Additionally, consumers prefer spending on personal vehicles, which is expected to propel the demand for high-performance lubricants in various automotive applications.
The optimized technologies for engine and transmission systems that tend to deliver more power and efficiency will drive the growth of specialized lubricants. The demand for increased efficiency will lead to an increase in the number of gears and also automatic transmission systems which also requires special additives and lubricants. The major demand for decreasing vehicle weight will lead to choosing further composite materials in engines.
Increasing demand for high-performance lubricants with light viscosity, and high fuel economy which increases durability. With the development of new engine and combustion strategies, the lubricant industry will grow owing to the demand for higher-performing lubricants. Moreover, governments of various nations are encouraging OEMs to use it. The objective behind this is to develop more environment-friendly products and to create energy-saving engines.
The engine parts that lack lubrication are more prone to friction and thus, they utilize more fuel, leading to emission and pollution. To support the government initiatives, many OEMs have entered into agreements with the lubricant manufacturers, which in turn is driving the market globally. Hence, an increase in industrialization and innovations and technologies are expected to have a positive impact on the growth of the market. Many industries have great demand as they increase the efficiency of their equipment and machinery.
The power industry is a large consumer of industrial lubricants, ranging from turbine oil to transformer oil. Lubricants are used in various operations. The renewable energy industry is a prospective sub-segment of the power generation industry. Currently, wind power generation accounts for a very small share of the overall energy mix, but the sector is growing at a rate of 10% and has reached a capacity of 596,556 megawatts in 2018, as per the world wind energy association. Wind turbines require lubricants for optimum operability. Hence, demand for renewable energy is expected to act as an opportunity for the global lubricants market.
The global lubricant market is witnessing increasing expenditure by vendors on R&D activities. Investments are being made to improve the performance of products. The general characteristics focused on lubricants are temperature range, viscosity index, thermal stability, hydraulic stability, demulsibility, corrosion prevention, and high oxidation resistance. These characteristics are enhanced by additives to suit various applications. Companies such as Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell have been investing in R&D involving the formulation, testing, and research of new additives to alter the properties of lubricants. Lubricants are tested on gas engines, gearboxes, hydraulic equipment, gas, and solar turbines before mass manufacture. This improves energy efficiency and minimizes downtime and emission. ExxonMobil has state-of-the-art research facilities worldwide with 2,500 specialists contributing to the research. The company has also developed a sophisticated online program for monitoring in-use conditions of lubricants. The R&D investment of ExxonMobil was US$1.21 billion in 2019 out of which a significant amount was contributed to the lubricants segment.
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