In recent years, the global automotive industry has been undergoing a transformation like never before. As we stand on the cusp of a new era in transportation, the automotive chassis system plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of vehicles. This article will delve into the intricacies of the global automotive chassis system market, exploring its current state, future prospects, and the factors driving its evolution.
Introduction: The Backbone of Vehicles
What is a Chassis?
The term “chassis” refers to the frame on which a vehicle body is mounted, forming the underpart of an automobile. It is a robust metal structure designed to support the entire weight of the vehicle, both in static and dynamic conditions. Often referred to as the ‘backbone of the vehicle,’ the chassis provides a foundation for various components, such as the engine, transmission, brakes, axles, and tires, to be securely fitted.
The Driving Forces Behind Automotive Chassis System Market Growth
Surge in Vehicle Sales
One of the primary drivers of the automotive chassis system market is the increase in sales of both passenger and commercial vehicles. The rising demand for automobiles across the globe is propelling the need for advanced chassis systems that can meet the demands of modern vehicles.
The automotive industry is experiencing a notable trend towards electrification. Governments worldwide are encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) to reduce carbon emissions. Tax exemptions and government assistance programs are making EVs more accessible to the masses, driving their popularity.
Lightweight Material Solutions
Efforts to reduce CO2 emissions have led to a growing need for lightweight vehicle solutions. In Europe, modern vehicles are already 13% lighter than their predecessors, and this trend is expected to continue. The use of lightweight materials in chassis construction is crucial to achieving this goal.
Rise in Electric Vehicle Sales
The demand for electric vehicles is on the rise, which necessitates the development of lightweight and robust chassis systems capable of accommodating electric motors and batteries. Key electric vehicle markets like China, Japan, and Germany are witnessing a surge in demand for lightweight aluminum chassis systems.
The Role of Aluminum Alloy Chassis
Aluminum alloy is emerging as a significant player in the quest for vehicle weight reduction. Aluminum, being one of the lightest metals, substantially decreases the overall weight of the chassis. This reduction in weight translates to improved fuel efficiency and extended battery life, particularly in electric vehicles.
The SUV Phenomenon
Global SUV Sales
The sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment has shown remarkable resilience, with sales increasing by more than 10% between 2020 and 2021, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. SUVs now account for over 45% of all new car sales worldwide. This trend is particularly evident in the U.S., India, and various European countries.
SUVs and the Chinese Market
While SUVs continue to rise in popularity globally, China has seen a shift towards smaller battery-powered electric cars. The expansion of SUVs in China has slowed down as electric vehicles gain traction in the market.
Asia Pacific Dominance
Asia Pacific has emerged as a dominant player in the automotive chassis system market. Enormous populations and increasing purchasing power, especially in China and India, make these regions a hub for automotive manufacturing. As a result, Asia Pacific leads in revenue share for vehicle chassis systems.
Key Players in the Market
Prominent players in the automotive chassis system market include Continental AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, American Axle and Manufacturing, Benteler International AG, ZF Friedrichafen, and more. These companies are expanding their product portfolios and embracing mergers and acquisitions to maintain their competitive edge.
MAHLE Powertrain’s Investment
In September 2022, MAHLE Powertrain announced a $4 million investment in a new powertrain dynamometer facility in Plymouth, Michigan. This facility aims to expedite vehicle development, particularly for hybrid and electric vehicles, supporting testing, development, and calibration.
ZF Friedrichafen and Baidu Collaboration
In February 2022, ZF Friedrichafen AG revealed plans to develop chassis for Baidu’s smart EV brand, Jidu. This collaboration will involve supplying chassis components and related digital interfaces, contributing to vehicle control, electric drive, and passive safety.
Understanding the market’s segmentation provides insights into the diverse aspects of the automotive chassis system market:
- Continental AG
- Robert Bosch GmbH
- American Axle and Manufacturing
- Benteler International AG
- ZF Friedrichafen
- ALF ENGINEERING Pvt Ltd
- Magna International Inc.
- MAHLE GmbH
- Tower International
- Meritor, INC.
- Dana Limited
- Detroit Diesel Corporation
- Other Key Players
- Suspension Ball Joints
- Cross Axis Joints
- Tie Rods
- Stabilizer Links
- Control Arms
- Knuckles and Hubs
- Backbone Chassis
- Ladder Chassis
- Monocoque Chassis
- Modular Chassis
- Aluminum Alloy
- Mild Steel
- High-Speed Steel
- Others (Carbon Fiber Composite, Etc.)
- Passenger Cars
- Utility Vehicles
- Light Commercial Vehicles
- Heavy-Duty Trucks
- Buses and Coaches