Focus on Minimizing Carbon Footprint and Maximizing Energy Efficiency to Accelerate Innovations
The automotive sector is no stranger to continual innovations and technological advancements. While trends and key areas of interest continue to evolve at a rapid pace within the automotive sector, at present, the scenario is relatively different from a couple of decades ago. Over the past few decades, automotive suspension technologies have taken giant strides in tune with ongoing trends, stringent regulatory norms, and consumer demands. Automotive suspension systems play an imperative role in enhancing the driving experience and maintaining the safety of passengers, offers exceptional handling capabilities, and optimum control of vehicles. Some of the most extensively used automotive suspension components include kinetic parts, shock absorbers, auxiliary devices, and springs.
Over the past decade, a great number of resources have been invested in research activities to improve design capabilities of suspension technologies. In addition, a great amount of research has been carried out on automotive suspension components to ensure improved stability and controllability. Several new patents have been registered by players operating in the automotive suspension parts market over the past couple of decades, and the trend is likely to continue during the forecast period. At present, one of the current trends within the automotive sector that has gained considerable momentum is minimizing the weight of vehicles to augment efficiency and minimizing carbon emission. The impact of this trend on the automotive suspension parts market can be observed, as market players continue to seek new materials to produce lightweight automotive suspension parts. At the back of these factors, the global automotive suspension parts market is expected to attain a market value of ~US$ 13 Bn by the end of 2030.
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New Patents and Entry of Innovative Concepts to Fuel Market Growth
Suspension technologies have taken giant strides over the past few decades, and have evolved from mechanical springs to cutting-edge modern air suspensions integrated with hydraulic shocks. At present, manufacturers operating in the current automotive suspension parts market are increasingly focusing on enhancing suspension systems by introducing new technologies and innovations, including continuous damping control, automatic auxiliary suspensions, body roll control monitors, and air spring ride height sensors. As consumers continue to opt for vehicles that require minimum maintenance and improved lifecycle, next-generation of automotive suspension parts are primarily developed to improve vehicle handling and safety.
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Over the past couple of decades, new patents and innovative concepts have hit the automotive suspension parts market. Market players are increasingly focusing on optimizing designs of their automotive systems to improve performance. The recent patent in the current market landscape primarily focuses on design and applications pertaining to roll stabilization mechanisms in vehicle suspension systems in modern vehicles. Another patent was filed that focuses on the air ride suspension system, particularly for light-duty trailers. While current trends are expected to focus on improving the performance of vehicles, shock absorbers that make use of electrorheological (ER) fluid and magnetorheological (MR) fluid are expected to gain considerable traction during the forecast period.
Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic, Automotive Sector Marred by Supply Chain Challenges
The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to deeply impact the growth of the automotive suspension parts market particularly in 2020 and the initial months of 2021. While the production lines across the world are largely hit due to the containment measures taken government and regulatory authorities, the sales of automotive vehicles are projected to decline in 2020 due to which, the automotive suspension parts market is likely to witness a sluggish growth until the pandemic subsides. Market players should focus on their business continuity plans and trigger the contingency strategies to minimize losses. While innovations and research are anticipated to remain the focal point for leading players in the automotive suspension parts market, mergers & acquisitions are likely to gain momentum once normalcy is restored worldwide.
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Automotive Suspension Parts Market: Overview
- The global automotive suspension parts market is expected to expand at a CAGR of ~3% between 2020 and 2030
- Decline in demand for vehicles across globe due to coronavirus pandemic has led to a decline in sales of automotive suspension parts in the 2nd quarter of year 2020, as demand directly depends on vehicle production
- Economic growth witnessed across East Asia, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa is increasing the per capita income of the population, which in turn is anticipated to boost vehicle sales across countries in the regions mentioned above. This, in turn, is anticipated to propel the global automotive suspension parts market.
Drivers of Automotive Suspension Parts Market
- Rapid rise in the middle class population in Asia Pacific is estimated to drive the automotive industry and subsequently boost the demand for suspension parts. Asia Pacific is a dynamic region given the large domestic consumer base and low manufacturing cost, making it a lucrative region for export supplies. China, India, Japan, and South Korea have attracted auto manufacturing that was earlier concentrated in Western countries. High rate of vehicle production in East Asia is the primary driver of the global suspension parts market.
- Increased penetration of advanced shock absorbers, such as active shock absorbers and shock absorbers with electric motor and pump and continuous damping control valves, is further boosting the automotive suspension parts market
- Total vehicle miles traveled (VMT) is increasing at a steady pace, globally. Per capita VMT is rising as well. A vehicle is prone to wear & tear, especially shock absorbers, which leads to the replacement of automotive suspension parts at regular intervals and fuels the VMT and boosts the kilometers covered by the vehicle. This, in turn, is anticipated to increase the replacement of automotive suspension parts around the globe.
Challenges for Automotive Suspension Parts Market
- Manufacturers recommend replacing key suspension parts, i.e. shock absorbers, after every 50,000 miles; however, several customers prolong suspension parts replacement, which hampers the aftermarket segment
- In price sensitive markets, such as those in Latin America, Middle East & Africa, and some countries in Asia Pacific such as India and those in ASEAN, periodic maintenance of a vehicle is highly compromised. Automotive suspension parts are utilized beyond their shelf-life and are not replaced diligently on their ineffective operation. Consumer negligence on replacement of shock absorbers is a major restraint of the market. However, consumers generally replace only shock absorber due to the high cost associated in replacing two, which hampers the sale of aftermarket suspension parts.
Segmentation of Automotive Suspension Parts Market
- Based on technology, the hydraulic segment is anticipated to be a key segment of the market. Hydraulic technology is a conventional technology and is highly popular among entry and mid-range vehicles, which can be attributed to the high market share held by the segment in the automotive suspension parts market.
- Gas charged shock absorbers are continuously gaining popularity, which in turn is propelling the penetration of gas charged shock absorbers among vehicles. Moreover, rising focus toward the development of high performance vehicles and automotive components is likely to drive the gas charged shock absorbers segment during the forecast period.
- Based on product type, the strut segment has been a prominent segment for the automotive suspension parts market, in terms of value; while in terms of volume, the shock absorber segment accounted for a higher share of the market in 2019, owing to higher cost of struts. Moreover, modern vehicles are moving toward the adoption of struts instead of conventional shock absorbers, thus driving the automotive suspension parts market
- Penetration of struts among vehicles is likely to increase during the forecast period, owing to their high strength and high suitability for integration in front suspension system of the vehicle. Furthermore, integration of strut helps reduce the weight of the vehicle and improves the handling of the vehicle; consequently, its integration is likely to increase in front wheel drive vehicles.
- In terms of sales channel, the OEM segment accounted for a notable share of the market in 2019. It likely to maintain its dominance during the forecast period. In developing countries, the demand for automotive suspension parts in the aftermarket is lower as compared to that witnessed in developed countries owing to low awareness among people about distorted suspension parts.
- Rising production of vehicles and penetration of shock absorbers and struts that are more complex suspension systems for vehicles, as compared to other suspension system such as parabolic and leaf spring suspension system, is driving the OEM segment of the market. Furthermore, research and development in shock absorber & struts technology to improve vehicle comfort and luxury is fueling the OEM segment of the global automotive suspension parts market.
- Based on vehicle, increase in preference for utility vehicles and luxury vehicles, in conjunction with a rise in the demand for comfort and luxury vehicles among consumers globally, is anticipated to propel the global automotive suspension parts market
- Passenger vehicles are majorly utilized for transportation, while commercial vehicles are utilized in different industrial verticals, including healthcare, mining, logistics, and construction. Passenger vehicles dominated global vehicle sales in 2019; additionally, the penetration of shock absorbers and struts is significantly high in passenger vehicles as compared to that in commercial vehicles.
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