Chinese Low-Voltage AC Motor Revenues to Triple by 2016


Aug 18, 2011

China’s market for low-voltage integral horsepower ac motors will nearly triple in revenues to $7.9 billion in 2016 from 2010, according to a new forecast from IMS Research. Unit shipments are expected to grow annually at double-digit rates, reaching 22.6 million units in 2016. The robust revenue growth will be driven by local power-saving legislation mandating sales of higher-efficiency, and thus more expensive motors, according to IMS’s report.

The U.S. and Canada lead the world in motor efficiency standards, a major transition to IE3 premium-efficiency motors having already occurred by the end of 2010. “China is far behind North America,” said analyst Wilmer Zhou, who noted that Chinese motor manufacturers were required to begin selling IE2 motors last month. “We are starting to see how government directives for improved motor efficiencies will result in leveling the playing field for motor manufacturers in China. While this might seem to make it harder to enter the motor market and to eliminate many low-end motor suppliers, 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 the shift from IE1 to IE2, motors sold in China will be more expensive than in the past, since IE2 high-efficiency motors are priced more than 30% higher than IE1 standard-efficiency motors. IMS Research predicts that market revenues for IE2 motors will double in 2011. International companies and leading local suppliers such as ABB, Siemens, Teco, Huali, Nanyang-Explosion, Jiamusi, Hebei and Jinlong will lead the charge in China, IMS said.

The IE1 market segment will still dominate China’s low-voltage ac motor market, IMS said, with more than 60% share of revenues until 2013. But a big shift will take place in 2014 and 2015, and the IE2 high-efficiency market segment will take the lion’s share of revenues in 2016. “By 2016, the IE2 market is expected to account for 75% of Chinese low-voltage ac motor revenues,” Zhou said.

In addition, with the advantages it holds in the rare-earth mineral market, China is expected to become the leading producer and consumer of permanent-magnet motors.  That motor segment is expected to be the fastest growing of the low-voltage ac motor types in China, with nearly 80% CAGR from 2010 to 2016.