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Strategic Analysis of Key Chassis Structure Technologies in Light Trucks

Strategic Analysis of Key Chassis Structure Technologies in Light Trucks

Of the global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), at least 6 produce body-on-frame sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickups globally as of 2015. Overall, ride, durability, and safety improvements are targeted as being the primary reasons for the adoption of advanced chassis structure technology among mass market and luxury vehicle automakers beyond 2022. While these vehicles are sold globally, the solutions are developed by automakers in partnership with suppliers that are based mostly in the United States (US). The implementation of this technology has begun with SUVs. The US market, followed by the German market, is the key to advanced developments in chassis structure technologies. One such technology, for instance, involves the use of body mounts (such as hydro mounts, urethane mounts, and hybrid mounts) that are targeted to achieve increased towing performance combined with ride performance.

Technologically advanced solutions such as new pivoting movements, energy absorption structures, energy isolation apparatus, advanced crumple zones, engine disconnect/drop, and even advanced crash structures target crash pulse reduction for the highest New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) ratings. Beyond 2022, these advanced solutions will also aim to achieve zero intrusion into the occupant area and will also try to ensure that there is no risk of fire/fatalities in the event of a crash. In the process, component suppliers are also expected to support OEMs in achieving enhanced stiffness without compromising flex under impact loads.

Also, efforts by automakers are targeted to improve vehicle durability associated with thin gauge ferrous/non-ferrous materials from corrosion. Thereby reducing warranty costs in both salt/snow belt regions.

  • Introduction
  • Chassis Structure Technology Development and Adoption Drivers
  • Technology 1: Mass Reduction Strategies
  • Technology 2: Body Mount Strategies
  • Technology 3: Crash Pulse Reduction Strategies
  • Technology 4: Corrosion Protection Strategies
  • Conclusion and Next Steps

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