Global Automotive Suspension System Market - Analysis of Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2018 - 2023)
Automotive suspension systems have a systematic arrangement of springs, shock absorbers, control arms, and ball joints that link the chassis to the wheels, which promotes relative motion. Additionally, the systems help in isolating the vehicle from high-frequency excitations in tires.
Moreover, bad highway designs and ill-constructed roads in most emerging and developing countries contribute to increased consciousness for safety, and hence, greater consumer and government concerns about efficient suspension systems. Another prominent market driver for the automotive suspension system market is the rise in the production of vehicles and consequent increasing number of passenger and commercial vehicles. The global light vehicle production volume grew by over 5% in 2017 from 2016, and is projected to reach 111.7 million units by 2023. Additionally, Asia has become one of the most active markets, in terms of passenger vehicle production. The Chinese province of Quinghai is expected to become a major producer of passenger cars.
Newer Technologies to Drive the Market
Since suspension systems are indispensable to any vehicle, there is a global shift toward the R&D segment, which is aimed at designing and developing the right kind of suspension technology as per the specific requirements of vehicles. For instance, the new limousine presented by Rolls-Royce has a new front suspension, which employs a camera to scan the road ahead and proactively adjusts its damping. In addition, multi-link suspension systems, which were specifically designed for sport and luxury vehicles, are also finding in-roads in passenger vehicles. Magneti Marelli, a global suspension systems supplier, introduced technologies like F.L.E.C.S (Flexible link elevated compliance system), which consist of a lower control arm with flexible longitudinal blades. As the links are flexible, like bushings, they distribute the load acting on the control arms, and thus, reduce frequent replacement resulting in direct cost savings. The only limitation is the non-usability of the lower control arm as a mount for the springs, but this system can be used in combination with Mcpherson strut, an automotive suspension system.
The automakers are anticipating to developing composite vehicle suspension systems across passenger and light commercial vehicles. Composite suspension systems are essentially those which are made of materials other than steel, like, glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP), among many others. This is due to composite leaf springs weighing much less than steel springs, and also being resistant to corrosion. Additionally, advanced suspension systems like electronic suspension systems, hydraulic leveling technology, magnetic dampers, active curve tilting, and hydraulic roll control are limited to premium vehicles only. These can be considered opportunities, which can be utilized by manufacturers, and through competitive pricing they can augment their adoption in passenger cars, thus, gaining market capital.
One of the upcoming features is the installation of flexible suspension systems, such that the floor of the car bends while being heavily loaded, which makes the process easier. For instance, Toyota recently unveiled its Tj Cruiser at the Tokyo Motor Show 2017, which had a kneeling suspension built just for the aforementioned purpose.
Key Developments in the Market: