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Thriving Automotive Sector Drives Demand for Plain Bearings

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The soaring demand for motor vehicles has lent a considerable impetus to the demand for plain bearings across the globe. The development of durable bearings, thanks to technological innovations, has resulted in their widespread adoption across not just the automotive industry but the defense and aerospace sectors as well. 

The global plain bearing market is slated to rise from a value of US$9.5 bn in 2015 to US$16.2 bn by 2024, according to a report by Transparency Market Research. If these values hold true, the opportunity in the market will increase at a 5.8% CAGR during the forecast period. In terms of demand, the market is expected to register a 6.5% CAGR from 2016 to 2024. 

Rapid Industrialization and Urbanization Lending Power to APAC Plain Bearing Market 

From a geographical perspective, the global plain bearing market is segmented into Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, and Rest of the World. Asia Pacific accounts for the largest share in the worldwide market and is anticipated to hold on to its leading position through 2024. This regional market is primarily driven by a massive automotive sector and rapid urbanization in emerging APAC countries such as China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and India. Another factor driving the Asia Pacific plain bearing market is the declining prices of bearings. Rapid infrastructural development and rising number of manufacturing facilities have also encouraged the demand for plain bearings in the region. 

The Rest of the World market for plain bearings is also a significant contributor to the global plain bearings market. This segment, comprising the regions of South America, the Middle East, and Africa, offers lucrative opportunities for players thanks to its booming automotive and construction sectors. An increasing level of industrialization is also responsible for the growth of the RoW market. 

Journal Bearings Take the Lead in Global Market by Design Type 

On the basis of end use, the plain bearing market comprises industrial and automotive. The industrial segment includes energy, farm and garden machinery, oilfield machinery, aerospace, and construction machinery. The automotive segment holds the major share in the global plain bearing market, accounting for more than half the demand in 2015. By way of design type, the market is divided into linear, journal, and thrust. The journal bearings market dominates the scene, holding on to its lead position throughout the forecast period. This can be attributed to its extensive usage in the automotive and construction industries. 

Companies Rely on Product Development to Expand Global Footprint 

By nature, the vendor landscape of the plain bearing market is characterized by moderate consolidation. In 2015, the top six players, namely The Timken Company, JTEKT Corp., Schaeffler Group, SKF Group, NTN Corp., and NSK Ltd. together accounted for a share of 40.0% in the global market. Of these, SKF held the dominant position, thanks to its ongoing focus on new product development. In April 2014, the company launched new spherical roller bearings that are known to reduce maintenance costs and improve performance. SKF has been dedicated on product innovation so as to cater to the rising needs of its customers. 

Browse the full Plain Bearing Market report

Other key players operating in the global plain bearing market include RBC Bearings, Inc., GGB Bearing Technology, Brammer Plc., and AST Bearing LLC. These companies have been focused on growth strategies such as value-based pricing, strengthening global presence, acquiring other businesses, and mass production.