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IMS Research expects LV ac motor revenues to double by 2014

19 January 2011

By 2014, IMS Research forecasts that the market for low voltage integral horsepower ac motors will more than double in revenues to $19.4 billion compared with 2009, when the global market was estimated to have contracted by over 20%. Unit shipments are expected to grow steadily at double-digit rates, reaching 51.6 million units at that time. The revenue growth will be driven by regional legislation mandating sales of higher efficiency (and thus) more expensive motors.

A marked shift has occurred in the low voltage ac motor industry over the past ten years. Analyst Mark Meza comments: “We are starting to see how government directives for improved motor efficiencies have resulted in leveling the playing field for motor manufacturers. A supplier’s proprietary technical innovation for efficiency improvements has been supplanted by government directives requiring all motor manufacturers to meet the same efficiency requirements. While this might seem like it diminishes a manufacturer’s competitive advantage in the motor marketplace, all industries will benefit greatly from improved motor efficiency leading to a significant reduction in energy costs, which is the prime objective of the legislation”

With a major transition to IE3 Premium Efficiency having already occurred at the end of 2010, the US and Canada lead the world in motor efficiency standards. As a result, motors sold in North America will be more expensive than in the past. IE3 efficiency class motors have average selling prices (ASPs) that are more than double those of IE1 Standard Efficiency motors. IMS Research estimates that market revenues for IE3 motors will skyrocket 914% in 2011 and the market is expected to be dominated by American motor manufacturers until at least 2015. At this time, the states of the European Union will begin their respective transitions to IE3, with manufacturers such as ABB and Siemens leading the charge in this region.

However, the IE2 High Efficiency market segment is still expected to command the lion’s share of revenues through 2017 and beyond.  China is required to transition to sales of IE2 motors in July of this year, while concurrently global production of IE1 motors is expected to shift heavily in favour of Asian manufacturers. Meza again:

“By 2014, the IE2 market is expected to account for 57% of global low voltage ac motor revenues, with the large majority of that sum being accounted for by China.”

In addition, China is expected to become the leading producer and consumer of squirrel-cage permanent magnet motors. The country has significant short and medium term advantages in the rare earth mineral market, and has been the first to legislate rebates for using these types of low voltage ac motors.


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