Air suspension in a vehicle is powered by an electric or engine driven air pump or compressor. Air is filled into the flexible bellows, usually made up of textile-reinforced rubber through the compressor pump. For smooth and improved ride comfort and quality, air suspension is used in the automotive vehicles. In comparison to the conventional suspension, air suspension in automotive vehicle provides better ride quality and comfort. Moreover, air suspension uses rubber bellows over normal struts used in conventional suspension systems, making the ride more comfortable. Therefore, the demand for air suspension systems in motor vehicles is increasing significantly.
GLOBAL AUTOMOTIVE AIR SUSPENSION SYSTEM MARKET SPLIT BY REGION BASED ON VOLUME (2015)
The changing consumer preferences, increasing disposable income driving people towards premium cars, and increasing demand for luxury busses are expected to drive the demand for automotive air suspension over the forecast period. The increasing purchasing power parity of the consumer, especially in developing economies such as India, China and Brazil is impelling the automotive manufacturers to come up with more number of premium cars. The increase in demand for cabin comfort, maneuverability, stability and better control of the vehicle together have led to an increase in the demand for air suspension systems in recent times. In 2012, the sale of premium cars in China reached 1.3 million vehicles and is expected to reach 3 million by 2020. China’s premium car market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 12% through 2020 and is expected to overtake the U.S. as the largest premium car market. In 2012, sale of premium cars in U.S. reached 1.7 million vehicles and is expected to reach 2.3 million by 2020.
Automotive air suspension system offers benefits like customization, wide tenability and increased load carrying capacity. Hence in 2015, the largest consumption of air suspension systems was in the buses.
Stringent vehicular emission regulations and surging consumer demand for fuel efficient vehicles is creating opportunity for the automotive air suspension system market. Stringent regulatory framework is encouraging the automotive manufacturing giants to develop lightweight electronically controlled suspension systems. For instance, WABCO Holdings Corporation (Belgium) introduced an efficient electronic air suspension for heavy duty trucks. The increasing demand for luxury and comfort has led to air suspension systems being introduced in passenger cars too. The AIRMATIC suspension system incorporated in the new Mercedes C-Class is one such example.
Among the two technologies of automotive air suspension system, the manual air suspension held the larger share in the global automotive air suspension system market in 2015. However, the electronic air suspension systems segment is growing at a faster rate. The consumption of automotive air suspension system was the largest in bus segment in 2015, compared to other vehicle types. At a global level, shock absorber constituted the largest segment in 2015, based on components of automotive air suspension system.
The global automotive air suspension system market was valued at $4,963.6 million in 2015, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.6% during 2016 - 2022. In 2015, Europe accounted for the largest share in the global automotive air suspension system market; whereas the market in Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at the fastest rate, during the forecast period. The growth of the market in the Asia-Pacific is driven by increasing disposable incomes of people and growing demand for fuel efficient vehicles. North America was the second largest market for automotive air suspension system in 2015, owing to its increasing customer base and high disposable income of people in the region. This has resulted in increased manufacturing activities by local automotive OEMs in the region, and supporting the growth of the automotive air suspension system market.
Some of the major players operating in the global automotive air suspension system market include Thyssenkrupp AG, Hendrickson International Corporation, Continental AG, WABCO Holdings Inc., Hitachi Ltd., BWI Group, Firestone Industrial Products, Mando Corporation, Accuair Suspension, and Dunlop Systems and Components.