The global automobile connecting rod market valued is estimated to reach at a high CAGR during this forecast 2022 - 2029
A connecting rod is the part of a piston engine that helps in connecting the piston to the crankshaft. The connecting rod, along with the crank, converts the reciprocating motion of the piston into the rotation of the crankshaft. The connecting rod is required to transmit the compressive and tensile forces from the piston. In its most common form, in an internal combustion engine, it allows pivoting on the piston end and rotation on the shaft end. The most common usage of connecting rods is in internal combustion engines or on steam engines. Connecting rods are very crucial and highly stressed parts of the automotive engine which are subjected to alternating compressive and tensile stresses. Conventionally, the connecting rods are made of ferrous alloys and are made by either casting or drop forging. The final dimensions and finish is obtained by machining. With the aim to reduce automobile weight, the engine needs to be lighter, more power-intensive, and well-balanced. Lighter and well-balanced oscillating engine components like the connecting rods and pistons enable higher engine RPMs with lesser noise and vibrations. The use of lighter metals like aluminum, magnesium, titanium, and plastics, is under evaluation to achieve weight reduction. Aluminum and magnesium matrix connecting rods using ceramic particulate and fiber reinforcement and using P/M techniques are under evaluation. Titanium connecting rods, so far used in racing engines, are moving to the passenger vehicles.
Source: DataM Intelligence Analysis (2021)
Growing demand for high-performance I.C. Engine vehicles is driving the market growth
With the increasing population rate, the demand for vehicles is rising exponentially. For the last century, the culture of cars has spread completely over the entire globe. The car has shaped the global economy and how billions of people live. In Europe, the automotive industry accounts for nearly 10 million jobs; in the US, more than 7 million; and in Japan, more than 5 million. China's auto sales surged by 11 per cent yearly in June 2020 to 2.5 million units, driven by rising demand for trucks as well as other vehicles, improved consumption market and simulative policy. In June, the country produced 2.4 million autos, an increase of 23 per cent year on year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). Auto sales and productions both hit a record high. It is estimated approximately 2 billion internal combustion engines are being used worldwide. Most importantly, these engines are used to run cars, trucks, trains, ships and more. The amount of research that has gone into the ICEs has made it more efficient and has also developed techniques to reduce harmful emissions. It is significant to note that there are currently no alternatives that can take over the IC engine for the entire range of applications they offer. IC engines are undergoing continuous further improvement. These developments make it more challenging for competing technologies to gain an advantage over the IC engine. Focusing on transport, the energy demand is enormous. There are around 1.6 billion light-duty vehicles (LDVs) and around 390 million heavy-duty vehicles globally, and these numbers are growing, thus driving the market growth.
However, increasing demand for electric cars is likely to hinder market growth. As regulations regarding traditional automobiles and emissions become tighter worldwide, the future of the internal combustion engine becomes more uncertain. EV vehicles are starting to become a natural alternative to the internal combustion engine. After years of sluggish adoption, electric vehicles are poised for a sharp increase in sales, new products and investments that could make the gasoline engine a thing of the past. The electric vehicle market grew 19% in 2018, with almost 60,000 new plug-in electric cars registered in the UK. Cities saw the most significant rise in pure electric-only car registrations, which is good news for urban air quality. The global sales of electric vehicles increased by 39 per cent in 2020.
The use of steel for connecting rods is likely to grow at a rapid rate
In mass-produced automotive engines, the connecting rods are usually made of steel. Steel is an alloy comprised of iron with a small percentage of carbon to improve its strength and fracture resistance. Many other elements are also added. The commonly used steel type for high-performance connecting rods is 4340 Chromoly steel. 4340 has a tensile strength of 145,000 psi. Its hardness, flexibility and other properties will vary based on the heat treatment applied to it. As the global economy is expanding, the steel demand is increasing, thus creating higher supply needs. Over the past 20 years, the global stainless-steel production has been doubled, up from 26 million metric tons in 2005 to over 50 million metric tons in 2019. In 2020, the estimated world crude steel demand was over 1.5 billion tons, and this number is expected to increase rapidly in 2021 in response to international industrialization. By 2021, the demand for steel in emerging markets is estimated to exceed 1.5 million metric tons, with most of this demand from China and India.
China, India and Japan led the Asia Pacific to the top of the global market
The Asia Pacific dominates the automobile connecting rod market due to the increased activities in the automobile industry across the region. The increasing population is the critical factor for the growth of the automotive industry. Moreover, increased vehicle production and sales in the automobile industry are expected to facilitate the automobile connecting rod market growth across the region. Developing countries like China, India and Japan dominate the market in this region due to the increasing vehicle production rate across the region. China's passenger car production sector was very large across the Asia Pacific region, producing 20 million passenger cars in 2020, with Japan also producing 7 million passenger cars in the same year. China produced the most passenger cars in the Asia Pacific region in 2020. It is also anticipated that Chinese companies such as BYD Auto co. Ltd will overtake America-based manufacturer Tesla in the electric car segment. China has implemented joint venture culture in the automotive industry. The leading car manufacturers including General Motors, Nissan, Peugeot, and Volkswagen have joint ventures with Chinese carmakers, including the Big Four Chinese auto manufacturers. SAIC Motor Corporation Limited, Chang'an Automobile, FAW Group Corporation, and Dongfeng Motor Corporation are among China's leading motor vehicle manufacturers. Its joint venture policy has helped China become Asia's primary automobile producer, ahead of Japan and South Korea. Unlike China, these two countries have had domestic solid automotive sectors of their own for many decades. They are home to some of the most valuable automobile manufacturers worldwide, such as Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai.
Source: DataM Intelligence Analysis (2021)
The automobile connecting rod market is fragmented with the presence of regional and global players. BOOSTLINE RODS, HESS Motorentechnik, STAR TECHNO ENGINEERS, American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc., Linamar, MAHLE, Aichi Steel, ThyssenKrupp AG, KMP Corporation and Changzhou Yuandong Connecting Rods Co., Ltd., are the major player in this market. The major players are adopting several growth strategies such as product launches, acquisitions, and collaborations, contributing positively towards growing the automobile connecting rod market globally.
COVID-19 Impact: Pandemic had a negative impact on global automobile connecting rod market
The pandemic had a negative impact on the global automobile connecting rod market as the various manufacturing facilities remained closed. Moreover, fluctuating raw material prices and supply chain disruptions negatively impacted the market. Iron ore futures hold near all-time highs, while steel scrap prices in the U.S. remain elevated after about a 60% gain last year in 2020. After two years of decline, steel prices have risen sharply in recent months. In January 2021 the steel price index is 45% higher than that of January 2020. The main reasons for this movement are restricted regional production growth and increased Chinese demand. The increase in the iron ore price also supports this rise in steel prices, although it makes a dent in companies' margins that could not pass on the cost increase to their clients. A drop in steel prices negatively impacted the revenues from global leaders in the steel market, such as Nucor Corporation and ArcelorMittal. Monthly crude steel production in 2020 fluctuated due to the health crisis, with dips recorded between February and June of that year in the major producing countries.
The global automobile connecting rod market report would provide access to approximately 45 market data tables, 45 figures and 180 pages