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Emerging economies boost medium-voltage motor sales

As with many other component areas, the global market for medium-voltage (MV) motors experienced a steep downturn in 2010, dipping by more than 20% in revenue compared to pre-recession levels. This year, developing economies are leading the recovery in this $4.1 billion market. According to the 2011 Medium Voltage Motors study from IMS Research, Austin, emerging economies are expected to outperform the global market through 2015, when the market is forecast to surpass $5.7 billion.

The new report presents research about the world market for medium-voltage motors, defined as having a voltage rating of at least 1 kV, and details the total market by geographic region, industry sector, and technical segmentations, such as power rating, voltage, and enclosure. The study uses 2010 as the base year, with forecasts through 2015 in terms of revenues and unit shipments.

Developing economies, including China, India, and Brazil, feature low-cost labor forces, local sourcing of raw materials, and rapid growth in industry sectors that use MV motors, such as metals, mining, and oil and gas. These factors are expected to generate double-digit revenue growth during the forecast period. That said, the established economies of North America and Western Europe, where MV motor revenues contracted by 30% in 2010, face a longer recovery period, with low single-digit growth forecast to 2015.

According to Mark Meza, senior research analyst, “Developing countries with favorable conditions were able to continue growing their domestic MV motor markets during the recession, while developed economies struggled. In addition, MV motor suppliers in these regions have been gaining share in Western countries due to growing exports as a result of a notable quality increase in their products.”

The result is a significant drop in average selling prices in the OEM space, which has experienced an influx of lower-priced MV motors that the established manufacturers have not been able to match. Replacing MV motors made by American and European powerhouses with low-cost motors produced in other parts of the world has forced these traditional companies to notice.

“Entrenched suppliers have certainly taken notice of an estimated $480 million worth of MV motors sold by suppliers from developing nations in 2010,” says Meza. “This is especially true in markets where off-the-shelf, non-specialized MV motors can be sold in large volumes at low cost.”

According to the report, it is expected that once the global economy begins to improve, leading European and American manufacturers will be able to leverage their value propositions of durability, reliability, support, and service that have traditionally driven sales. For more information, visit

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