Automotive suspension plays an important part in the effective and smooth functioning of the vehicle. Different architectures that are being used by OMEs in their products include MacPherson, Torsion Beam, Double Wishbone, MultiLink, Leaf Spring, and Air Suspension. The adoption of the mentioned architectures depends on multiple factors such as ride control requirement, space availability, vehicle segment, and the suspension system cost.
The global Automotive Suspension Market is expected to grow from USD 45.3 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 51.6 billion in 2027, at a CAGR of 2.6% in the forecast period.
Opportunities: Growth in ATV sales due to increased off-road recreational activities globally to drive ATV suspension market
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are four or more than four-wheeled motorized vehicles that are primarily used for off-road activities but can also be used for on-road activities. Almost all ATVs employ a suspension system as it is one of the very crucial functional components of the vehicles, which encounter all sorts of rugged and difficult terrains. Rising GDP and growing disposable incomes globally have led to increased spending on leisure activities. The overall increase in the tourism industry revenue was owed to the fact that there was a 4% increase in tourist arrivals across the world in tourist locations in 2019. This created a lot of demand for these ATVs pre-pandemic and, as tourism resumes post-pandemic, the demand is expected to continue. Recreational activities offered by tourist spots globally have increased alongside off-road competitions involving ATVs. ATV championships, like the World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) held in the US, with off-terrain vehicles in challenging conditions are organized by sports authorities at national levels. These factors have resulted in high demand for ATVs and driven the sales figures. Some of the major ATV players and their top-selling models are Polaris (RZR, Ranger, Sportsman), Textron (Alterra TRV, Wildcat, Prowler), Yamaha (Grizzly, Kodiak, YXZ, Wolverine, Viking), Honda (Fourtrax, Talon, Pioneer), and Kawasaki (Brute Force, KFX, Mule, Teryx).
The key players in the automotive suspension market are ZF Friedrichshafen AG (Germany), Tenneco Inc. (US), Continental AG (Germany), ThyssenKrupp AG (Germany), and KYB Corporation (Japan).
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Active suspension – the fastest growing suspension system type
The growing demand to improve ride quality and occupant comfort is a significant factor driving the market for active suspension systems. The high-end luxury & sports cars and some medium-range cars with few commercial vehicles mainly use active suspension systems. The active system incurs a high cost but is the most advanced and comfortable suspension system. The active systems are available under various brand names, such as Magic Body Control by Mercedes-Benz, MagneRide by Delphi, and PASM Porsche Active Suspension Management by Porsche. The SUV demand is estimated to increase year on year by 3.3 % from 2020 to 2022. The Asia-Pacific market has shown a larger growth in SUVs, where the region has 58.5% of SUVs in 2021. Considering the increase in demand for SUVs, the demand for active suspension is expected to grow globally, and Asia would be the leading market.
Asia Pacific region to dominate the global automotive suspension market
The Asia Pacific has emerged as a hub for automotive production in recent years, owing to changing consumer preferences, increasing per capita income of the middle-class population, and cost advantages for OEMs. The Asia Pacific is estimated to account for the largest share of the automotive suspension market, by value, in 2022, due to the presence of automotive OEMs with large vehicle production capacity, higher vehicle sales, and a large customer base. Increasing demand for better comfort in passenger cars has led to the adoption of multilink and air suspension systems in western countries. However, due to their high cost, these systems are still in their introductory phase in the Asia Pacific region.
China is estimated to remain the largest market within the region, owing to its large population and increased demand for passenger vehicles post-pandemic. The country has resumed production close to pre-pandemic levels. By value, India is expected to be the fasted-growing market due to the increased demand for passenger vehicles as the country’s economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic.
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1. In October 2021, Continental AG now offers the automotive aftermarket the same air suspension vibration dampers and compressors that it supplies to vehicle manufacturers. This means that workshops can now use new parts that are installed as standard when repairing such systems.
2. In March 2021, ThyssenKrupp planned to expand its presence in China. The new damper production line in China is being built at an existing ThyssenKrupp automotive site in Changzhou. The plant will produce electronically adjustable damping systems. These semi-active dampers use sensors to measure vibrations throughout the journey and recognize the driving situation and condition of the vehicle
3. In August 2020, the ZF Commercial Vehicle Control Systems division in India designed air suspension with Electronically Controlled Air Suspension (ECAS) technology to address issues including higher fuel consumption, decreased rider comfort, passenger safety, and vehicular instability.
4. In September 2020, Continental AG developed sensors for vehicles with air suspension, which use ultrasound to measure the height and pressure of air springs in order to determine the axle’s load condition. A height sensor also has been developed for shock absorbers for vehicles without air suspension. The suspension travel of the shock absorber provides information on the load condition of the respective axle.
5. In January 2019, Tenneco Inc. completed its acquisition of Öhlins Racing A.B, a Swedish technology company that develops premium suspension systems and components for the automotive and motorsport industries.
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