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Transfer Case Market Trends

ID: MRFR//3652-CR | 150 Pages | Author: Swapnil Palwe| March 2024

Transfer Case Market Overview

Transfer Case Market Size was valued at USD 15373.4 Million in 2023. The Global  Transfer Case market industry is projected to grow from USD 16833.87 Million in 2024 to USD 34778.33 Million by 2032, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.49% during the forecast period (2024 – 2032).

A transfer case is a part of the drivetrain found in vehicles with multiple driven axles, four-wheel drive (4WD), and all-wheel drive (AWD). Depending on the situation, the transfer case sends engine power from the transmission unit to the front or back axle. Power transmission procedures using a chain or gear drive are handled by the transfer case. Depending on the vehicle's performance requirements, it can be installed directly into the transmission or fastened independently from the vehicle's transmission system.

Figure1: Transfer Case Market, 2019 - 2032 (USD Million)

Transfer Case Market

Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database, and Analyst Review

An automotive transfer case is a part of the drivetrain found in vehicles with multiple driven axles, including four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Drive shafts are used by the transfer case component to transfer power from the transmission to the front and rear axles. It may also have one or more sets of low range gears for off-road use, and it synchronizes with the difference in rotation between the front and back wheels. Global automotive manufacturing and sales activity are major drivers of the demand for transfer cases. This is because improved traction, safety, and operational efficiency are the main objectives of end users in SUVs and off-road vehicles, where transfer cases are frequently utilized. The Auto Industry Research Group estimates that 50.8% of cars in the USA had an AWD system fitted as of April 2022.

Transfer Case Market Driver

  • Increasing Sales Of Suvs And Premium Sedans

The improving global economic conditions have spurred a notable shift in consumer preferences, particularly evident in the automotive industry. Rising disposable incomes worldwide have empowered consumers to seek vehicles that epitomize luxury while offering enhanced comfort, convenience, and advanced features. This trend has led to a surge in sales of ultra-luxurious cars, including SUVs and premium sedans, globally. Consumers are drawn to these vehicles for their sophisticated connectivity elements, autonomous-driving options, and state-of-the-art safety features, reflecting evolving demands in modern driving.

Moreover, the demand for SUVs and premium sedans continues to rise, due to the driving factors such as prioritizing luxury, performance, and technological innovation in the automotive market. This increasing demand for SUVs and premium sedans directly correlates with the growing popularity of transfer cases in these vehicles. The demand for transfer cases is fueled by their ability to enhance vehicle performance, safety, and market appeal. Advanced transfer case systems provide superior traction, stability, and control, especially in challenging road conditions, ensuring a safer and more reliable driving experience. The seamless integration of computer-controlled systems within vehicles equipped with transfer cases further enhances driving dynamics and adaptability.

Moreover, the popularity of vehicles equipped with transfer case systems translates into higher resale values and increased market demand, reflecting consumer preferences for enhanced performance and reliability. With stringent vehicle safety norms shaping automotive technology, the inclusion of transfer case systems in modern vehicles aligns with evolving safety regulations, reinforcing their importance in improving vehicle stability, control, and overall driving experience.

Transfer Case Market Shift Type Segment Insights:

Transfer Case Shift Type Insights

By Shift Type the transfer case market has been segmented into Manual shift on-the-fly (MT-OF) and Electronic shift on-the-fly (EST-OF). The Electronic shift on-the-fly (EST-OF) segment dominated the market in 2022 whereas the Manual shift on-the-fly (MT-OF) segment is expected to exhibit the highest CAGR during the assessment period.

Manual Shift On-the-Fly transfer cases have a selector lever on the driver's side floor transmission hump and may also have either two sealed automatic front axle locking hubs or two manual front wheel hub selectors of "LOCK" and "UNLOCK" or "FREE". To engage the four-wheel-drive system the vehicle must be moving at a low speed. The speed at which 4x4 can be engaged depends on the vehicle. This is only for the four-wheel-drive high setting. To engage the four-wheel-drive low setting, the vehicle must be stopped, and the transmission must be shifted to neutral, then the four-wheel-drive low can be selected.

The Electric-Shift-on-the-fly (EST-OF) is typically installed in part-time four-wheel-drive off-road vehicles such as pickup trucks and rock-crawling automobiles. However, with a 16-bit/ 32-bit CAN -enabled Electronic Control Unit (ECU) that provides mechanism to select between 2WD and 4WD as well as between high and low gear ranges with an electrical switch, the EST-OF provides a much more enhanced traction and stability over the Mechanical Shift Transfer Case. The EST-OF is available in several variants.

Transfer Case Market Drive Type Segment Insights:

Transfer Case Drive Type Insights.

The Transfer Case Market, in this report, has been segmented on the basis of Drive Type into Gear Driven and Chain Driven. Based on Drive Type, the Transfer case market has been divided into Gear Driven and Chain Driven. The Chain Driven segment dominated the market in 2022 whereas Gear Driven are expected to exhibit the highest CAGR during the assessment period.

Gear-driven transfer cases utilize a system of gears to transmit power from the rear output shaft to the front output shaft. These transfer cases boast higher strength compared to their chain-driven counterparts, making them suitable for heavy-duty vehicles like trucks. However, it's important to note that gear-driven transfer cases are typically heavier and generate more noise during operation.

The gear that is rotated by the driving gear amongst a pair of gears that engage each other is called the driven gear. In the case of a pair of external gears, the direction of rotation of the driving gear and the driven gear is opposite. When the external gear meshes with the internal gear, the direction of rotation is the same. If the number of teeth on the driving gear is less than the number of teeth on the driven gear, the output torque will be greater, while if the number of teeth on the driving gear is greater than the number of teeth on the driven gear, the output torque will be less.

Chain-driven transfer cases employ a chain drive mechanism to transfer power from the rear output shaft to the front output shaft. This type of transfer case is known for its quieter operation and is commonly found in most light-duty vehicles, including passenger cars, pickups, and SUVs.

Chain driven in combustion engines must transmit the rotation of the crankshaft to the camshafts, thus ensuring that the valves open and close reliably and at exactly the right time. The chain drive in combustion engines must transmit the rotation of the crankshaft to the camshafts, thus ensuring that the valves open and close reliably and at exactly the right time. A chain is used as the transmission medium. It is also known as a timing chain

Figure2: Transfer Case Market, by Drive Type, 2024 & 2032 (USD Million)

Transfer Case Market, by Drive Type, 2024 & 2032

Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database, and Analyst Review

Transfer Case Regional Insights

Based on Region, the Market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World. Among Region, the Aisa Pacific region is anticipated to have market share of 48.6% in 2022 followed by Europe and North America 27.2% and 14.4% respectively. The Asia Pacific market for Transfer case accounted for USD 18,603.29 Million in 2022.

The demand for transfer cases in the North America has experienced significant growth, fueled by the expanding off-road vehicle market, the popularity of all-wheel-drive (AWD) and four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles, and the continuous advancements in automotive technology. Transfer cases, a critical component in AWD and 4WD systems, enable the distribution of power between the front and rear axles, enhancing vehicle traction and performance in various driving conditions. One key driver behind the rising demand is the increasing consumer preference for SUVs, trucks, and other off-road vehicles, which often come equipped with AWD or 4WD systems that rely on efficient transfer cases. The off-road and recreational vehicle market in the North America region. has witnessed robust growth, with consumers seeking vehicles capable of handling diverse terrains and challenging weather conditions. Transfer cases play a pivotal role in meeting these demands by providing the necessary torque distribution to all wheels, ensuring optimal performance during off-road adventures. As the popularity of outdoor and recreational activities continues to rise, the demand for transfer cases that can withstand rugged conditions and deliver reliable performance is expected to persist. Moreover, the automotive industry's broader trend toward enhanced safety and improved driving experiences has contributed to the demand for AWD and 4WD systems, subsequently boosting the market for transfer cases. Consumers are increasingly prioritizing vehicles that offer better stability, traction, and control, especially in adverse weather conditions. Transfer cases play a crucial role in achieving these features, making them integral components in the design and functionality of modern vehicles. The continuous advancements in automotive technology and the push towards electric and hybrid vehicles have further influenced the demand for transfer cases.

Europe is expected to grow the fastest, followed by the Middle East and South America, as the popularity of AWD and chain type gear drives grows among manufacturers in Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, among others. Germany accounts for highest of transfer case sales in the region, owing to the region's well-established automotive sector and world-class manufacturing facilities to meet the region's ever-increasing demand. Electric and hybrid vehicles often incorporate electric drivetrains for improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. Transfer cases are adapted to work in conjunction with these drivetrains, distributing power efficiently between electric motors on different axles. As the automotive industry undergoes a transformative shift towards cleaner and more sustainable technologies, transfer cases are adapting to play a key role in hybrid and electric vehicle architectures. Additionally, the aftermarket segment contributes significantly to the demand for transfer cases as vehicle owners seek upgrades or replacements to enhance their vehicle's off-road capabilities. Enthusiasts and off-road adventurers often invest in aftermarket transfer cases with features such as gear ratio adjustments, improved durability, and enhanced torque distribution capabilities. This aftermarket demand is driven by a combination of recreational vehicle customization and the need for replacement parts in the aging vehicle fleet.

Europe's developing economies include Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and other European countries. The region has the highest mobile penetration rates in the entire world, and the consumer in Europe is transitioning from voice-centric to data-centric and app-centric; there is widespread desire for apps and services that dramatically alter daily life in Europe. As smartphone adoption continues to rise, consumers in countries such as Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands are experiencing significant changes in how they use internet services. Smartphones are now a routine in these countries, with the device’s penetration levels among internet users being above 60% as per the Ericsson report. With 80–90% smartphone penetration, carrier billing in the Nordic countries is gaining substantial market share from digital content payments. In Norway, direct carrier billing is one of the popular payment methods for digital gaming.

The Asia-Pacific market is fueled by a high proportion of passenger vehicles in total vehicle production as well as rising demand for Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV). The market's expansion can be attributed to the significant increase in demand for high-performance SUVs with 4WD or AWD that provide superior safety and comfort. The competitive landscape of the Asia pacific. transfer case market is characterized by key players competing through product innovations, strategic partnerships, and a focus on meeting the evolving needs of the automotive industry. Manufacturers are investing in research and development to introduce transfer cases that offer improved efficiency, durability, and adaptability to emerging automotive trends. The integration of electronic controls and smart technologies in transfer cases allows for more precise and dynamic power distribution, contributing to better vehicle performance. On the other hand, The Asia Pacific market is being driven by a high proportion of passenger vehicles in total vehicle production and rising demand for Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV). The significant rise in demand for high-performance SUVs with 4WD or AWD that offer superior safety and comfort can be ascribed to the market's growth.

Figure3: Transfer Case Market Size By Region 2024 & 2032


Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database, and Analyst Review

Transfer Case Key Market Players & Competitive Insights

The Transfer Case Market is marked by intense competition among key players, each contributing distinct strengths and strategies to solidify their positions in this critical automotive component segment. BorgWarner Inc., a notable player, stands out for its expertise in advanced drivetrain technologies. The company focuses on delivering innovative transfer case solutions that align with industry trends, particularly the increasing emphasis on sustainability and fuel efficiency. With a global presence, BorgWarner has successfully positioned itself as a trusted supplier of cutting-edge drivetrain solutions. Magna International Inc. is another significant contender, renowned as a leading automotive supplier with a diverse product portfolio, including transfer cases. Magna's global footprint, extensive manufacturing capabilities, and commitment to technological advancements make it a formidable player in the market. The company's ability to provide comprehensive solutions for various automotive needs enhances its competitiveness in the transfer case segment. American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. (AAM) specializes in driveline and drivetrain systems, offering a range of transfer cases that contribute to the overall performance and functionality of vehicles. AAM's strength lies in its manufacturing and engineering prowess, allowing the company to deliver high-quality transfer case solutions tailored to the specifications of its diverse customer base.

Among these, Magna, Schaeffler, ZF, JTEKT, and GKN are among the top 5 players in Transfer case market. These players focus on expanding and enhancing their product portfolio and services to remain competitive and increase their customer base. Additionally, these players are focusing on partnerships & collaborations to expand their business and customer base to enhance their market position.

JTEKT Corporation, a Japanese giant, brings a strategic focus on technological innovation and global collaborations to the competitive landscape. With a strong presence in the automotive industry, JTEKT's commitment to advancing drivetrain technologies, including transfer cases, positions it as a key player shaping the future of mobility solutions. Schaeffler AG, recognized for precision engineering, has established itself as a significant player in the transfer case market. The company's transfer case solutions contribute to enhanced vehicle performance, aligning with the evolving demands of the automotive industry. Schaeffler's emphasis on sustainability and mobility solutions further reinforces its competitive edge.

Following the acquisition of GKN Ltd, Melrose Industries PLC has emerged as a notable player in the transfer case market. The incorporation of GKN's expertise in driveline systems into Melrose's diversified portfolio strengthens its competitive position. Melrose Industries PLC is now equipped to offer a comprehensive range of drivetrain solutions, including transfer cases, to cater to a wide spectrum of customer requirements. ZF Friedrichshafen AG, a global leader in driveline and chassis technology, brings advanced transfer case solutions to the competitive landscape. The company's commitment to innovation is evident in its focus on electric and autonomous vehicle technologies. ZF's comprehensive product offerings and global reach solidify its position as a key player influencing the trajectory of the transfer case market. Aisin Corporation, with its comprehensive range of automotive components, including transfer cases, is a key player with a global footprint. The company's commitment to innovation and sustainability enhances its competitive position in the market. Aisin's transfer cases play a crucial role in optimizing power distribution within vehicles, contributing to their overall efficiency and performance. Dana Incorporated, a prominent supplier of drivetrain solutions, offers a diverse range of transfer cases. Dana's competitive advantage lies in its focus on innovation, sustainability, and adaptability to industry trends. The company's commitment to delivering high-quality solutions has established it as a trusted partner in the Transfer Case Market.

Divgi Torq Transfer Systems Limited, while regional in its influence, is a notable player, particularly in the Indian market. The company specializes in providing transfer case solutions with a strong emphasis on customer-centricity and technological innovation. Divgi Torq Transfer Systems has carved a niche for itself by addressing the specific needs of its regional customer base, contributing to its competitiveness in the broader transfer case market.

Key Companies in the Transfer Case market include

  • BorgWarner Inc.

  • Magna International Inc.

  • American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.

  • JTEKT Corporation

  • Schaeffler AG

  • ZF Friedrichshafen AG

  • Melrose Industries PLC (GKN Ltd)

  • Aisin Corporation

  • Dana Incorporated

  • Divgi TorqTransfer Systems Limited

Transfer Case Industry Developments

Jan 2024, BorgWarner revealed a comprehensive electric propulsion system, integrating motor, power electronics, and battery components to optimize efficiency in electric vehicles. This development reflects BorgWarner's collaborative approach, leveraging extensive research and strategic partnerships to deliver cutting-edge solutions tailored to the evolving demands of electric mobility.

February 2024: With Mahindra & Mahindra having been granted permission to use the trademark "Scorpio X," it is quite probable that the company will soon introduce its pickup truck to the Indian market. It seems that a production model that is based on the Scorpio N model will soon be released, as indicated by this action.

The 'Global Pik Up' design was publicly presented by Mahindra in August of 2023; however, information on the manufacturing version is still being kept under wraps.

Both gasoline and diesel engines are anticipated to be available for the new pickup truck, and it will be combined with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission. Additionally, it will be equipped with four-wheel drive (AWD) that is capable of shifting on the fly, providing adaptability across a wide range of terrains. As a result, it will have four different driving modes: Normal, Grass-Gravel-Snow, Mud-Rut, and Sand.

A sunroof will be one of the many new features that will be included in the forthcoming model. Other new features include Level-2 ADAS, Trailer Sway Mitigation, Drowsy Driver Detection, and 5G Connectivity.

Upon its debut, which is anticipated to take place in 2025, the 'Scorpio X' may compete with vehicles such as the Isuzu V-Cross and the Toyota Hilux. In spite of the fact that formal communication and launch information are still pending, the trademark has unquestionably caused a stir among aficionados of pickup trucks in India.

The vehicle, which was designed by Mahindra India Design Studio (MIDS), has a strong similarity to its stablemate, the ScorpioN. This is most noticeable in the front design of the ScorpioN, which has similarities with the ScorpioN in terms of its headlamp, bonnet, fenders, and front doors. A snorkel, freshly designed alloy wheels, higher suspension, roof rails, an LED light bar, and side steps are some of the features that differentiate the vehicle's side profile from that of other vehicles.  

Transfer Case Market Segmentation:

Transfer Case Shift Type Outlook

  • Manual shift on-the-fly (MT-OF)

  • Electronic shift on-the-fly (EST-OF)

Transfer Drive Type Outlook

  • Gear Driven

  • Chain Driven

Transfer Case 4 Wheel Drive Type Outlook

Transfer Case Vehicle Type Outlook

  • ICE Passenger Car

  • ICE Commercial Vehicle

  • Hybrid Vehicle

  • Off Highway Vehicle

Transfer Case Regional Outlook

  • North America

    • US

    • Canada

  • Europe

    • Germany

    • France

    • UK

    • Italy

    • Spain

    • Belgium

    • Netherlands

    • Russia

    • Rest of Europe

  • Asia-Pacific

    • China

    • Japan

    • India

    • Australia

    • South Korea

    • Rest of Asia Pacific

  • Rest of The world

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