CLEVELAND — Aftermarket demand for brake shoes, pads and linings in North America is projected to grow 2.6 percent annually through 2021 to $1.8 billion, according to a new report by Freedonia Group.
The industry research firm noted that there is a trend away from the installation of drum brakes toward disc brakes on rear wheels, which will lead to a change in the product mix in this category.
The U.S. dominates the North American aftermarket for brake shoes, pads, and linings, accounting for 86 percent of the regional total in 2016. Sales were buoyed by the rising number of light vehicles in use and the significant number of miles driven annually, Freedonia said.
"A consumer preference for larger vehicles, such as light trucks and SUVs, which require greater stopping power and wear out brake pads and shoes more quickly, boosts overall market value," Analyst Reta Sober said.
Overall aftermarket demand for automotive brake parts in North America is forecast to increase 2.6 percent per year through 2021 to $4.3 billion.
Shoes, pads, and linings account for the largest single share of regional automotive aftermarket brake part demand and will account for the largest gains through 2021 in value terms, according to Freedonia.
These parts wear more quickly and must be replaced regularly, boosting aftermarket product requirements. Rising raw materials costs have been offset somewhat by increased use of lower-priced imports from countries such as China and India.
A trend away from the installation of brake drums by OEMs will lead to a shift in the product mix, dampening replacement demand for brake shoes and drums but boosting sales of disc brake pads, linings, and rotors, the company said.
In the next few years, according to Freedonia, North American brake parts sales will be impacted by:
- increases in the size and age of the region's light vehicle parc;
- lightweighting trends in automotive manufacturing, leading to OEM installation of thinner, lighter brake parts that need to be replaced more frequently;
- the ready availability of less expensive imports that makes it more affordable to replace rather than resurface rotors and drums, but reduces replacement intervals due to their lower quality and durability;
- increases in raw materials and product prices; and
- legislation restricting hazardous materials content, particularly in Canada and the U.S., that will promote sales of higher-value brake parts.
While average annual market advances in the U.S. will lag those of Mexico and Canada, the U.S. still will account for 78 percent of all North American brake part sales gains through 2021 in value terms, due to its large and aging light vehicle parc, as well as the higher average number of miles traveled per light vehicle, according to Freedonia.
While the U.S. will experience the largest net gains through 2021, Mexico will have the fastest growth through 2021, boosted by increases in the light vehicle parc, Freedonia said.
Mexico's sales gains will be supported by a high volume of low-cost imports due to lax regulation of hazardous brake part materials and the lesser durability of these imported products, leading to more frequent replacement, the research firm said.
The 110-page report is available for $4,900 from Freedonia. This study includes a competitive analysis on industry competitors including Akebono Brake Industry, Brake Parts, Brembo, CARDONE Industries, Continental, CWD, Centric Parts, Federal-Mogul, MAT Holdings and Power Stop.