Shock absorbers or shock dampers are hydraulic or mechanical devices that are designed to absorb or damp shock impulses generated by a vehicle. This is done by transforming one form of energy to the other (typically kinetic energy of the shock into heat energy) which is then dissipated. A majority of shock absorbers are in the form of a dashpot. Struts are structural components, which are designed to resist the longitudinal compression by vehicles. Struts generally offer outwards-facing sustenance in their lengthways direction, which may be used to keep other components separate, executing the opposite job of a tie.
The main difference between struts and shocks is that a strut is predominantly a structural part of a vehicle suspension system whereas a shock is not. A strut is a vital part of the steering system and affects the alignment angles greatly. Caster and camber angles are generally adjusted on the strut itself. A strut also acts as a pivot point for the steering system of vehicles and comprises a coil spring. Owing to this, an alignment is needed when replacing a strut, at all times. This is the reason why struts are more expensive than shocks.
The global automotive shocks and struts market is likely to grow substantially during the forecast period. The growing sales of SUVs and passenger cars are one of the key growth factors for the growth of this market. Owing to factors such as fuel efficiency, comfort, and usability, the demand for crossovers and SUVs have witnessed an increase in demand in recent years.
Moreover, reduction in interest rates on car loans have led to increased demand for SUVs and passenger cars. Due to low-cost financing, the availability of new models with variants, comfortable repayment options, and sales incentives, the passenger car market is likely to observe significant growth across various regions in the world, which in turn is expected to boost demand for automotive shocks and struts.
Rising demand for carbon fiber struts is another factor that is likely to fuel the growth of the overall automotive shocks and struts market as one of the key trends responsible for the growth of this market. A key player ZF, introduced the MacPherson, a carbon fiber suspension strut. This reduces the vehicle weight effectively, lowers emission levels, and improves fuel economy. These struts use carbon fiber, high-strength steel, glass-reinforced plastic, and aluminum and are capable of reducing the vehicle weight by nearly 40%.
Growing focus of automotive shocks and struts market manufacturers toward using carbon fiber components as well as other composites in the manufacturing process of supercars have led the market players to make substantial investments in R&D for fiber-reinforced plastics and for suspension parts such as struts, springs, links, and joints. The global automotive shocks and struts market can be segmented by application and geography. In terms of application, the market can be segregated into shock absorbers, and struts. The struts segment held dominant market share in 2016. As the rising demand for passenger cars directly boosts the demand for struts (since struts are mostly used in passenger cars), the predictable rise in sales of passenger cars is likely to propel the growth of the struts segment, thereby driving the growth of the overall automotive shocks and struts market during the forecast period.
By geography, the global automotive shocks and struts market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The Asia Pacific region accounted for maximum share of the global automotive shocks and struts market.
This is primarily due to the rising demand for passenger cars in the region. The present macroeconomic conditions, growing real estate development, and rising market capital coupled with factors such as sales incentives, rising per capita income, and comfortable repayment options are fuelling the demand for passenger cars throughout the Asia Pacific, subsequently fueling the market growth.
Key players operating in the global automotive shocks and struts market are GKN, Tenneco, ZF, KYB Americas Corporation, and MANDO Magneti Marelli.
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