The global dual clutch transmission market is expected to witness a strong CAGR over the forecast period. Better engine performance coupled with enhanced driving experience due to Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) employment in the vehicle is expected to drive the market growth. Transmission systems are going through a transition phase from manual to automatic thus, increasing the overall performance of the automobile. This development in automotive technology has led to a hassle-free driving experience. A dual clutch transmission has distinctive characteristic as it helps keep the engine in engaged mode all the time.
This type of transmission is consists of two manual transmissions; one for even numbered gears and other for odd numbered gears. The presence of such communication system keeps helps avoid power loss leading to better efficiency. In addition, it offers better fuel economy, as power flow from the engine to transmission is not interrupted in these systems. A six-speed DCT is considered to provide a better fuel efficiency as compared to an automatic transmission due to reduced loss of power transfer to transmission, resulting in smoother gear shifts. Dynamic acceleration is another important factor anticipated to drive the market.
In a DCT, up shifts probably take approximately around 8-12 milliseconds, thus facilitating better acceleration. Rising competition in the automobile industry is driving companies to introduce new technologies to attract customers. Moreover, changing consumer preferences are also considered to propel the market demand over the forecast period. Automotive companies are expected to integrate DCT to create a product differentiation in the market and thus expand their customer base.
Integrating DCT in vehicles helps incur additional cost for automakers as it requires changes in the assembly lines. These changes further increase the overall cost of the vehicle deterring the cost-conscious customers, which may hinder market growth. Moreover, technological issues such as turbo lag and noticeable jerks at slow speeds are also likely to restrain the market demand. Dry and wet clutches are the two major types of DCT. A wet clutch is bathed in oil and is usually used in high-power cars. On the other hand, a dry clutch is devoid of oil and engages using friction.
The segment is predicted be the dominant product type growing at a healthy CAGR over the forecast period. These DCTs cause less engine drag and provide better power. Dual clutch gearbox technology is widely used in passenger, as well as commercial vehicles. Commercial and passenger vehicle segments are estimated to increase at decent CAGRs over next few years. Europe is anticipated to be the dominant regional market for DCT as consumers in this region prefer easy-to-use gearboxes in heavy traffic conditions.
Hassle-free driving experiences offered by these products along with changing customer preferences are the key factors driving the market in this region. Some of the automobile companies that use twin clutch transmission in Europe market include Volkswagen (Beetle, Jetta, and Golf), Audi (TT and A3), and Seat (Altea, Toledo, and Leon). Asia Pacific market is considered to be lucrative as major companies like Mercedes Benz and BMW have shifted their manufacturing bases in this region. Increasing income level coupled with the need for better fuel efficiency in vehicles is expected to drive the regional market.
North America region, which was once considered to be a fastest-growing market for DCT is now expected to become an unfavorable region due to increasing customer complaints regarding DCT performance. Companies such as Ford, Honda, etc. had to launch customer satisfaction programs to address customer complaints. The Middle East and Africa is expected to grow steadily during the forecast period as the demand for automobiles in the market is likely to be dependent upon the progress of infrastructure and oil and gas industry.
Some of the major companies in dual clutch transmission market include IAV Automotive Engineering; Aisin Seiki Co.; Getrag Corporate Group; Magna International, Inc.; Allison Transmission; Jatco Limited; ZF Friedrichshafen AG; Continental AG; BorgWarner, Inc.; and Eaton Corp. PLC. Majority of car manufacturers also market DCT under their trademark. These car makers include DSG by Volkswagen Group, Powershift by Ford and Volvo, Ecoshift by Hyundai, S-Tronic by Audi, TC-SST by Mitsubishi, PDK by Porsche and Speedshift by Mercedes. Companies such as Nissan and Mitsubishi have restricted DCT only in high-performance vehicles.
Research Support Specialist, USA