The Automotive Suspension Market is projected to grow from USD 42.9 billion in 2021 to USD 50.7 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 3.4% during the forecast period. Automotive OEMs are investing in R&D activities to introduce innovative suspension systems to enhance ride comfort. For example, in August 2020, ZF Friedrichshafen designed air suspension with ECAS technology to address issues such as higher fuel consumption, decreased rider comfort, and compromised passenger safety and vehicular instability. The market for suspension systems is mainly driven by the increasing demand for luxury vehicles, especially passenger cars, and the increasing preference of buyers for a comfortable ride and smooth operation of the vehicle. Automotive OEMs are focusing on lightweight materials to enhance fuel efficiency and reduce vehicle emissions. The increasing sales of electric and hybrid vehicles is expected to increase the adoption of active and semi-active suspension and thereby drive the market for automotive suspension in the near future.
The air suspension is expected to have a significant demand in the considered architectures. Automotive air suspension system manufacturers are focusing on developing lightweight electronically controlled suspension systems due to the rising demand for fuel efficiency and decreased emissions. The increased demand for enhanced comfort has led to the introduction of air suspension systems in passenger cars as well. For example, the AIRMATIC suspension system is incorporated in the new Mercedes C-Class. However, the adoption of air suspension is expected to be faster in heavy commercial vehicles than passenger cars.
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Sales of electric vehicles are increasing amid the COVID-19 pandemic globally. According to IEA (International Energy Agency), the car market in Europe as well as sales of electric cars (France, Germany, Italy, and the UK), in the first four months of 2020, reached more than 145,000 electric cars, about 90% higher than in the same period in 2019. According to MarketsandMarkets analysis, the impact of the pandemic on the electric vehicle sale is expected to be minimal compared to traditional ICE vehicles in 2020-2021.
Suspension in electric vehicles plays a significant role, as the weight and the center-of-gravity of the EVs are influenced, as the engine is substituted by electric motors and batteries. EVs have technologically advanced architecture, and thus, the penetration of active and semi-active suspension is higher in these vehicles. Thus, the demand for advanced suspension like the active and semi-active suspension is expected to increase with growing EV sales, especially in the US and Europe.
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. Consumers in the region are inclined toward compact and cost-effective cars. The region has witnessed higher growth than the matured markets of Europe and North America due to the easy availability of labor, safety norms, and government initiatives for FDIs. China, the world’s largest automotive market, remained the main driver of regional sales in Asia Pacific in 2020. The basic demand for new vehicles in China remains strong, given the country’s vehicle penetration rates (compared to that of developed markets) and its rapidly expanding replacement market. According to MarketsandMarkets Analysis, China is estimated to be the largest market for vehicles equipped with suspension systems, in terms of both, value and volume in Asia Pacific.
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The automotive suspension market is dominated by global players and comprises several regional players as well. The key players in the automotive suspension market are ZF Friedrichshafen AG (Germany), Tenneco Inc. (US), Continental AG (Germany), thyssenkrupp AG (Germany), and BENTELER (Austria).
The outbreak of COVID-19 has severely impacted the overall supply chain of the automotive industry. The halt in production and logistics created due to the pandemic has affected raw material suppliers of the automotive industry. The pandemic has affected the overall growth of the sector in 2020, as major automotive players such as Fiat, Volkswagen, PSA Group, General Motors, and BMW had to suspend their production due to COVID-19 during the initial second quarters of 2020. This scenario impacted the automotive suspension market, especially in European & North American countries, as the growth of this market is directly related to the production of vehicles. However, the demand for suspension systems is expected to rise considering 2021 as the recovery period, where the automotive industry is expected to showcase growth, according to industry experts.
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