The global diesel engine industry is constantly changing, and the future holds much in store. In recent years, diesel engines and their emissions have been a popular point of contention amongst environmental activists and health enthusiasts. And for a significant percentage of the public, diesel engines are seen as crude, outdated, and toxic, with this point of view compounded by the diesel emission scandal of 2015. Throughout the world, consumers effectively voiced their disapproval by buying fewer diesel passenger cars, precipitating a sharp sales drop in this category.
What is lost on most of the consumers, however, is just how critical diesel engines are to global transport and industrial infrastructure, and how these versatile machines affect our daily lives. Consumers in developed nations want faster package delivery, smoother roads, larger buildings, and cheaper groceries – but they give little thought to how these objectives are accomplished.
Regardless of how you might feel about diesel engines, they’re here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. According to a new report from The Freedonia Group, global sales of diesel engines reached almost $200 billion in 2018, with demand expected to average just over 4% through 2023.
Here are a few trends expected to impact the diesel engine market going forward.
1. Medium and Heavy Vehicles Drive Solid Gains
While it may be true that diesel automobiles are on their way out, engines in this sector made up only 23% of the industry in 2018. Conversely, almost 41% of all diesel engines worldwide are used in medium and heavy vehicles, and product sales for the segment have been extremely resilient over the last decade.
Countries in Asia are producing more heavy trucks and buses every year, which are critical for transporting the growing number of manufacturing shipments throughout the region. Furthermore, the US, Canada, and most West European nations are adding to their fleets of heavy trucks seemingly by the day, supporting outsized demand in the bustling e-commerce sector.
These new vehicles will be on the road for years to come, creating a constant need for regular maintenance and replacement parts. A significant share of medium-duty trucks and essentially all heavy-duty vehicles in the world use diesel engines due to their high displacement and torque. Viable electric alternatives for heavy trucks and buses are slow to develop, and are not expected to displace diesel models at a grand-scale for many years.
2. Off-Highway Equipment Powers Additional Growth in Diesel Engine Market
It isn’t just heavy vehicles that keep diesel engines relevant. Nearly $47.0 billion worth of diesel engines are consumed annually in construction, agriculture, mining, and forestry equipment, and that figure is expected to grow much larger. Related industrial activity and output is expected to expand globally through 2023, creating large sources of demand for new off-highway equipment, and diesel engines used therein.
Diesel engines for ships and trains will further contribute to industry growth, as well as stationary diesel engines used for electricity generation. Regionally speaking, industry prospects are extremely strong in Asia, modest in North America, and weak in Western Europe.
3. Stricter Emissions Standards
Government agencies have done much to regulate the harmful emissions of diesel engines, and new emission standards – the strictest ever – are expected in almost every country by 2023. Manufacturers will continue to implement new clean technologies into their engines, increasing production costs that will ultimately get passed off to consumers.
Interested in Learning More About the Global Diesel Engine Market?
Diesel engines will be more expensive, and will be used in larger scales, than ever before. For industry players with a foothold in the global market, prospects are promising.
For more information, check out Global Diesel Engines, a recent study from The Freedonia Group.