Automotive Suspension Market and its key opportunities and challenges

Automotive Suspension Market and its key opportunities and challenges

Automotive Suspension Market
Automotive Suspension Market By Architecture (MacPherson Strut, Double Wishbone, Multi-link, Twist Beam, Leaf Spring, Air Suspension), System Type, Actuation, Component OE & Aftermarket, Vehicle (ICE, BEV, HEV, PHEV), and Region-Global Forecast To 2025

The global Automotive Suspension Marketis projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.88% during the forecast period, from an estimated USD 49.17 billion in 2016 to USD 68.84 billion by 2025  as per a report by MarketsandMarkets. 

How the use of lightweight material in suspension systemswill be an opportunity?

Manufacturers are consequently experimenting with a variety of material combinations to reduce the weight of the suspension and chassis components. A lightweight design can be made by downsizing and reducing the length of the suspension system without impacting its performance.

Aluminum is generally preferred by manufacturers for weight reduction, and further refinement in the design of multilink systems aids handling and improves ride comfort. However, owing to its high strength and ductility, recycling of aluminum continues to be a matter of concern. According to the European Aluminum Association, “A European car’s chassis and suspension system contain, on an average, 30% of total aluminum content (40–45kg) of the vehicle.” On the other hand, in North America and South-East Asia, the percentage of aluminum content is around 25%. The aluminum content varies significantly in different vehicle models. The application of aluminum in chassis and suspension will continue to grow, owing to the increasing demand for light weighting.

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The other option is to use composite leaf springs. Ford has used these springs in its Fusion model and has reduced the total vehicle weight by 25%. This has helped to reduce the mass of suspension and unsprung parts by 30%. Audi has also introduced a lightweight suspension spring composed of GFRP. This polymer achieves weight savings of 40%. Tier- 1 manufacturers are also focusing on the use of ultralight steel for automotive suspension systems. Designs made of this steel help in reducing cost as well as the overall weight of suspension system of the vehicle.

Why counterfeit suspension products in the aftermarket are a major challenge? 

The presence of counterfeit suspension components in the independent aftermarket is a growing concern for the organized suppliers. The products in the counterfeit market are cheap and made of low-quality materials, resulting in frequent failures and lower life of suspension. Owing to the low cost, customers are attracted to these products and purchase the same without checking their quality.

As these parts do not adhere to the OEM specifications, they lead to severe mechanical problems and system breakdown. The Asian region is known as the largest supplier of counterfeit products (2/3rd products are manufactured in China only). Along with China, the leading producers of counterfeit auto parts are Russia, India, Pakistan, and Uruguay. The OES, which supply the genuine suspension aftermarket parts, are seriously concerned about the counterfeit market, as they generate a key portion of their profits from the aftermarket, and a large chunk of their profits is lost to the players involved in the counterfeit market. While cheaper products affect the OEM’s profit margin, they also harm the performance of the suspension system and its products and lead to safety concerns. Suspension parts, such as shock absorbers, bushings, sway bars, and springs, are available in the counterfeit market at cheaper prices. Hence, the presence of counterfeit products poses a challenge for the OES operating in the aftermarket.

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Key Players:

The ecosystem of the automotive suspension market consists of manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers such as ZF (Germany), Tenneco (US), KYB (Japan), Continental (Germany), Magneti Marelli (Italy), Mando (South Korea), NHK Spring (Japan), ThyssenKrupp (Germany), Sogefi (Italy), and Benteler (Austria).

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