According to the latest statistics from IMS Research, the worldwide market for low voltage AC & DC motor drives experienced robust growth in 2008, with revenues increasing by approximately 14.6% over 2007 levels. Data reported by leading motor drive suppliers indicates positive growth through the third quarter of 2008 was fuelled by key industry sectors such as oil & gas, mining, and commercial HVAC. IMS Research estimates that total worldwide revenues for the motor drives market were nearly $11 billion in 2008 with more than 15 million drive units shipped during the year.
Starting in the fourth quarter of 2008 and continuing through 2009, many segments of the market slowed significantly due to the global recession. As a result, the worldwide market for motor drives is forecast to contract by nearly 15.9% in 2009 in terms of revenues, before returning to positive growth in 2010. There are several reasons behind the contraction in 2009, including declines in regional GDP and significant contractions in machinery production levels. Ongoing problems with capital lending are also expected to contribute to the decline of the market in 2009.
The bright spot of the market remains Asia Pacific, where the drives market is expected to harbor positive growth throughout the downturn. Continued demand from the booming Chinese market elicited by sustained positive GDP growth is predicted to result in a 2.9% revenue growth during 2009 for the entire Asia Pacific drives market.