Suspension systems in automotives minimize shocks to the body of the vehicle while moving on a surface. They also keep the tires in constant contact with the surface regardless of the contours. The global automotive suspension market is growing mainly due to increase in demand for automobiles. Rise in disposable income in developing countries is a key factor driving the market for passenger cars. Also, increasing commercialization is fueling the demand for commercial vehicles globally. Consequently, the demand for automotive suspension is also increasing.
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A basic suspension system includes springs, shock absorbers, control arm, struts, and ball joints. Springs are a key component of automotive suspension systems. The main types of springs include leaf springs, coil springs, and torsion bars. Most passenger vehicles use light coil springs, while light commercial vehicles use coil and leaf springs in their automotive suspension systems. Heavy commercial vehicles mostly use leaf springs or air suspension.
There are three types of automotive suspension systems: passive, semi-active, and active. In passive suspension systems, vertical movement of the wheel mainly depends on the surface, while semi-active and active suspension systems actively control vertical movement. Major drawbacks of active suspension systems include high costs and frequent maintenance requirements.
There are two types of automotive suspension systems based on type: hydraulic and electromagnetic. Electromagnetic suspension systems are growing at a fast pace due to increasing number of high-end vehicles that offer better ride quality and superior control. These suspension systems minimize rolling of the vehicle while cornering, accelerating, and braking. Despite its benefits, high prices remain the key restraint for the growth of electromagnetic suspension systems. However, during the forecast period, the companies are expected to slash the prices of these systems.
Technological advancements in automotive suspension systems have led to the evolution of electrical generator suspensions. These suspensions serve their usual purpose and also act as a source of power for certain energy needs of the vehicle. This technology is in its nascent phase and is expected to grow at a significant pace during the forecast period. For example, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, a car parts manufacturer based in Germany, uses the GenShock energy-recovery suspension, an electrical generator suspensions system. Although the automotive suspension market is growing exponentially, certain restraints such as lack of standardization and high prices of independent suspension systems are hindering its growth.
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Asia Pacific dominated the global automotive suspension systems market in 2013, followed by Europe. China, Japan, South Korea, and India are the major automotive suspension systems markets in Asia Pacific, while Germany, France, and the U.K. dominated sales in Europe. Major companies in automotive suspension systems market include the Benteler Group, Continental AG, KYB Co., Ltd., Magneti Marelli S.p.A., Mando Corporation, Schaeffler AG, Tenneco Inc., TRW Automotive Holdings Corporation, WABCO Holdings Inc., and ZF Friedrichshafen AG.