Demand from the rapidly-growing renewable energy sector spurs the European bearings market. Investments in the research and development of cost-effective products crucial in this price-sensitive market.
The European bearings market is expected to grow marginally over the forecast period with demand from the expanding oil and gas sector in the region, particularly in Eastern European countries such as Poland and Ukraine, likely to increase. While political uncertainty and financial instability in Europe have restricted the growth of the bearings market previously, their impact is expected to reduce towards the end of 2017.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, European Bearings Market, finds that the market earned revenues of more than $12.32 billion in 2012 and estimates this to reach $13.64 billion in 2017. The research covers ball bearings as well as tapered, needle, cylindrical and spherical roller bearings.
«Europe’s plan to raise the share of renewable energy in its energy consumption mix is expected to boost the solar, bio-fuel, wind, tidal and hydro-electric energy sectors,» said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Control Research Analyst Guru Mahesh. «Consequently, the use of bearings for wind, tidal and hydro-electric turbines is likely to go up, fuelling market revenues.»
Bearings suppliers must invest in R&D
Although the downturn has forced consumers to adopt lower-priced alternatives from Asian countries such as India, the trend is yet to have a major impact on domestic sales. However, demand for low-cost bearings from Asian countries is likely to swell in the near future, posing a threat to domestic manufacturers in the region. This threat will further intensify as several Asian manufacturers invest in research and development (R&D) to develop quality solutions that will be on par with the products of their European counterparts.
«With quality is no longer a differentiating factor, European manufacturers will need to adopt an efficient and effective pricing strategy that will encourage consumers to opt for locally manufactured bearings over imports,» suggested Mahesh. «Bearings suppliers must invest in R&D to overcome the effect of friction on the life of bearings and develop cost-effective solutions that cater to the needs of consumers in this highly price-sensitive market.»
As competition heightens, leading bearings manufacturers will look for strategic mergers and acquisitions to expand their footprint.
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