Global Automotive Chassis Market Grows in Response to Innovative Manufacturing Solutions
Automotive chassis is an internal skeleton that supports payloads and additional car components to keep it functional. Chassis systems are developed to ensure reliability and safety of passengers. Three types of systems currently exist, namely, monocoque/unibody, ladder/body-on-frame, and backbone chassis. Monocoque systems are preferred in performance-oriented vehicles, while heavy vehicles are fitted with ladder systems. Research and development by automobile manufacturers to produce lightweight and durable systems is expected to bolster global demand for automotive chassis.
Materials used to reduce the weight of chassis are metal matrix, ceramic matrix, and polymer matrix composites. Divergent 3D, a North American manufacturer of automotive parts, recently won recognition for its breakthrough 3D printing process, Direct Metal Laser Sintering. This process can be used to manufacture chassis systems for any vehicle while reducing emissions and enhancing performance. Nissan Corporation also introduced the New Chassis Control in its cars a system to better control brakes and engines to prevent collisions.
Recent developments include introduction of microcontroller units (MCUs) to control all functional components. Renesas Electronics’ latest offering uses a 40 nm process to control the safety and functionality of brakes, engines, and other chassis systems. U.K.-based Far-UK has launched three new chassis sizes for automotive manufacturers with low volume growth. This can encourage their growth in the forthcoming years due to the use of carbon fiber composite chassis.
The worldwide automotive chassis market is expected to display a CAGR above 3% during the forecast period (2017 – 2021), according to a report available on Radiant Insights, Inc. It is driven by demand for fuel-efficient and lightweight vehicles in light of stringent emission standards. Developments in chassis manufacturing and introduction of novel systems to reduce the probability of collisions are expected to positively impact market growth.
Passenger cars were the biggest end-users in 2014, followed by off-road vehicles and light commercial vehicles. Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the most lucrative region in the market due to high production of automobiles in China, Japan, and India. Notable market players include ZF Friedrishafen, Benteler International AG, American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM), and Robert Bosch GmbH.
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