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Global Appliance Growth Helps Drive Electric Motors Shipments
Dec 9, 2013
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Rising home sales are credited with driving demand for home appliances/home HVAC equipment, which in turn is driving demand for electric motors, according to market research firm IHS.

The firm estimated that more than 450 million electric motors are used each year by the global appliance manufacturing industry. IHS noted that the global housing market has been growing despite--this despite continued economic weakness in Europe and slowdowns in the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

The firm foresees the global market for home heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems driving even faster growth for electric motor shipments--a 5.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2012 to 2018 in unit shipments--than home appliances.

"Electric motors are such an essential part of everyday life that consumption of these devices has continued to rise in recent years, even when consumer buying power decreased in 2011 and 2012," said Bryan Turnbough, motors and mechanical power transmission analyst with IHS. "The growing expanse of the middle class, coupled with increases in household automation and the number of electric motor-driven products around the home, are major drivers of growth."

Consumer electronics are also driving small motors consumption. While mobile phones and tablet computers do use small motors for their vibration capability, they do not use as many motors as the desktop and laptop computers that they are often replacing.

"There can be anywhere from three to six motors used in every computer sold for disk drives and ventilation fans," said Bryan Turnbough, motors and mechanical power transmission analyst with IHS. "But the replacement of personal computers with devices such as smartphones, which require a single motor that costs less than one dollar, is creating downward pressure on sales for motor manufacturers such as Nidec, Johnson Electric, and Mabuchi."

IHS expects electric motors for consumer products will continue to show strong shipments in the next five years, and the firm expects the market for motors in non-industrial applications to rise 23% from 2012 to 2018--from 9.8 billion units in 2012 to 12 billion units in 2018.

"The demand for higher-efficiency products from both governments and consumers is changing the landscape of the small-motor market," Turnbough said. "Although there will always be a market for small inexpensive motors in non-industrial applications, high-efficiency AC and DC brushless motor manufacturers are likely to benefit the most from future growth."

The other major category of consumer products using electric motors is automotive--IHS said that about 30 motors are used per vehicle.

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