Frost & Sullivan Research Service   Published: 10 Jun 2005
North American Class 6-8 Truck OE Chassis Systems and Components Markets
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   Research Overview
 

Cyclical Nature of the Market Poses a Key Challenge

The cyclical nature of the North American class 6-8 truck OE chassis systems and components market is closely linked to the build rate of new trucks, which is itself cyclic and governed by prevalent economic conditions. The primary challenge for market participants, therefore, is to insulate themselves against the resulting demand swings by adding compelling value to products through incorporating advanced technologies. This is particularly critical to keep pace with truck makers that constantly upgrade and equip their vehicles with new features. Operational efficiencies can be sustained only if market participants introduce technologically innovative chassis systems and solutions that offer, for instance, improved vehicle stability and safety features. Such systems can not only command better prices but can also offer an enhanced value proposition.

This Frost & Sullivan research service presents an exhaustive analysis of the North American class 6-8 truck OE chassis systems and components market, including driveline components, and axle, suspension, brake, and steering systems. It offers a comprehensive analysis of the market and technology trends as well as the potential of each of these systems and presents in-depth unit shipment and revenue forecasts. It also identifies the major challenges facing the market and discusses strategies to convert these into growth opportunities.

Truck Makers’ Demand for Modular Chassis Systems Creates Strong Growth Opportunities

Truck manufacturers are increasingly demanding modular systems and sub-assemblies in an attempt to cope with the cyclical nature of the market by reducing production costs and inventories and streamlining operations. "This growing trend spells good news for companies leveraging their technical competencies to develop modular systems and sub-assemblies that can be easily integrated with truck platforms," notes the analyst of this research service.

Companies that stand the best chance of developing fruitful and long-lasting relationships with truck makers are those that undertake modularization of their products in accordance with overall truck specifications. Suppliers are now developing advanced systems that can be seamlessly integrated with chassis module platforms, ensuring their installation in new trucks, as chassis systems are modularized in the coming years.

Improved Manufacturing Processes Required to Cope with Volume Swings

To maintain competitiveness in the cyclical market for class 6-8 truck OE chassis systems and components, it is essential to improve the manufacturing processes. This would allow suppliers to reduce prices by keeping manufacturing costs low and therefore, attract greater demand from truck makers. This would also help to maintain healthy operating profits under strong pricing pressures from the truck makers.

Superior manufacturing processes also enhance product quality and reliability, adding value to the product and ensuring greater acceptance from truck makers. "Most importantly, efficient procurement and distribution methods that accommodate the cyclical market dynamics help suppliers grow in the intensely competitive market as well as perform effectively during demand surges and downturns," states the analyst.

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   Benefits of this Service
 

In-depth Analysis of the North American Class 6-8 Truck OE Chassis Systems and Components OE Market

This research service provides a detailed analysis of the North American class 6-8 truck OE chassis systems and components market. It offers a comprehensive analysis of the markets for driveline components, and axle, suspension, brake, and steering systems. It also presents forecasts of market dynamics and performance for 2005-2011 based on the trends and attributes demonstrated by each system.

Exhaustive Analysis of the Different Chassis Systems and Components for Class 6-8 Trucks

The cyclical factors that shape the demand for new trucks greatly influence the market for the constituent chassis systems and components. This research service analyzes the performance, characteristics, potential, unique features, and unit shipment and revenue forecasts for each chassis system studied. It also includes responses from truck makers, industry organizations, and market participants to understand the opportunities present therein.

Technologies and Their Roadmap

The class 6-8 truck OE chassis systems and components market is experiencing a high degree of technological innovations and upgradations. The increasing emphasis on vehicle stability systems and their integration with chassis systems and components presents significant growth opportunities for participants. This research service discusses the associated technologies pertinent to each chassis system and gauges major trends to chart a roadmap for the development of these technologies.

Challenges and Opportunities for Growth

The research service outlines the major challenges facing participants in the class 6-8 truck OE chassis systems and components market. It also discusses the strategies required to convert these challenges into opportunities. The study focuses on determining the strategies that are likely to aid in understanding and addressing the market’s unmet needs and opportunities to gain market share.

Market Size and Forecasts for the Future

The research service presents the market sizing, profiling of major participants, market trends, and extensive primary and secondary research for the North American class 6-8 truck OE chassis systems and components market. It captures and interprets the market dynamics to identify key drivers and restraints and also delivers the growth opportunities aimed at ensuring sustainable development in this rapidly developing market.

Recognition of Market Participants for Best Practices

Based on detailed analysis, the study identifies those participants that have exhibited exceptional performances and best practices. It presents detailed insights into the characteristics, performance, values, and strategies of the market leaders that have resulted in organic growth of these participants. It highlights the best practices exhibited by them to identify winning strategies that have resulted in their market leadership.

   Market Sectors
 

Expert Frost & Sullivan analysts thoroughly examine the following market sectors in this research service:

  • Driveline Components
  • Axle Systems
  • Suspension Systems
  • Brake Systems
  • Steering Systems
   Technologies
 

The following technologies are covered in this research:

  • Chassis Systems: These are systems and components that act as the foundation for trucks and enable their payload carrying capability, ride comfort, and vehicle dynamics performances. These include systems such as axles, drivelines, brakes, suspensions, and steering.
  • Driveline Components: Driveline components make up the system connecting the transmission or the output shaft to the differential, thereby transmitting the rotary motion of the transmission output shaft to the rear wheels.
  • Axle Systems: Axles are one of the most crucial chassis systems in a truck that affect a truck's performance significantly. Axles bear the weight of a truck and pass it on to the wheels. They also pass the power of the engine, coming through the drivetrain, to the driving wheels. Trucks have at least two axles: the front axle or the steer axle and the rear axle or the drive axle.
  • Suspension Systems: Suspension systems are very important chassis systems in a truck as they ensure ride comfort in addition to performing other functions. These functions include: supporting the weight of the truck, body, and payload; isolating the chassis from the vibrational impulses and shocks, thereby improving ride quality and cargo protection; transferring longitudinal and lateral forces between the axles and the frame; maintaining wheel alignment and riding height; and enhancing the rollover stability of the vehicle.
  • Brake Systems: The brake system stops the truck from its state of motion by converting the vehicle’s kinetic energy into heat energy using braking devices. Most automotive braking systems for light vehicles operate hydraulically, while pneumatic braking systems are common in heavy trucks.
  • Steering Systems: The steering system allows the driver to control the wheels’ direction and guide the vehicle along the desired path. Steering systems commonly control the front or steer axle of the vehicle, thereby controlling the front-wheel direction. Most trucks in North America feature power-assisted steering systems. The steering system also transmits handling and road surface feel to the driver to ensure proper steering response.
  Table Of Contents

1. Executive Summary
   1. Executive Summary
      1. Executive Summary

2. Total North American Class 6-8 Truck OE Chassis Systems and Components Market
   1. Market Overview
      1. Market Overview and Definitions
      2. Market Engineering Measurements
      3. Lifecycle Analysis
   2. Drivers and Restraints
      1. Market Drivers
        a. 2007 EPA Regulations Are Inciting Pre-Buying of Trucks, Driving Unit Shipments
        b. Fleet Managers Are Reducing the Average Age of Trucks through New Purchases
        c. Increasing Congestion in Ports Necessitates More Trucks for Movement of Cargo
        d. Driver Fatigue Issues Are Creating a Need for More Trucks
        e. Trucking's Share of Freight Transportation Is on the Rise
        f.  Chassis Systems Are Getting More Complex, Requiring Additional Ancillary Components
        g. Greater Emphasis on Safety Is Opening Markets for Chassis Systems
        h. Increasing Demand for Modular Systems Prods Price Hikes
        i.  Supplier Consolidations Enhance Price Negotiation Capabilities
        j.  High Entry Barriers Are Creating Greater Resistance to Price Declines
        k. The Cyclical Nature of the Market Imposes Costs on Suppliers
      2. Market Restraints
        a. Increasing Truck Prices Are Expected to Significantly Impact Unit Shipments
        b. High Truck Longevity Hurts the Market's Growth Potential
        c. Over-Supply of Quality Used Trucks Limits New Truck Production
        d. Cyclical Market Forces Are Expected to Trigger a Downtrend in the Medium to Long Term
        e. Market Share of Imported Trucks Is Rising, Curbing Demand for North American Systems and Components
        f.  Shortage of Skilled Truck Drivers Curbs Growth
        g. Truck Makers Are Imparting High Pricing Pressures on System Suppliers
        h. Improving Manufacturing Practices and Processes Decrease Production Costs
        i. Increasing Competition Causes Prices to Decline Faster
        j. Alternative Designs and Materials Present Price Reduction Possibilities
   3. Quantitative Analysis
      1. Demand Analysis
      2. Total Market: Revenue Forecasts
      3. Pricing Analysis and Trends
      4. Trends by Product Types
   4. Competitive Analysis
      1. Industry Structure
      2. Competitive Barriers
   5. Market and Technology Trends
      1. Market Trends
      2. Technology Trends
   6. Industry Challenges and Opportunities
      1. Challenges and Opportunities
      2. Consumer-Specific Challenge
      3. Regulation-Specific Challenges
      4. Industry-Specific Challenge
      5. Market-Dynamics-Specific Challenge
      6. Local-Competition-Specific Challenge
      7. Operations-Specific Challenge
      8. Research-and-Development-Specific Challenge
      9. Global-Competition-Specific Challenge
      10. Product-Specific Challenge
      11. Manufacturing-Specific Challenge
   7. Frost & Sullivan Awards
      1. Frost & Sullivan Award for Market Leadership
      2. Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Innovation Leadership
      3. Frost & Sullivan Best Bang for the Buck Award
      4. Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Innovation
      5. Frost & Sullivan Award for Growth Leadership

3. North American Class 6-8 Truck Driveline Components Market
   1. Market Overview
      1. Market Overview and Definitions
      2. Market Engineering Measurements
   2. Drivers and Restraints
      1. Market Drivers
        a. Increasing Production of Heavy-Duty Vocational Trucks Drives Unit Shipments
        b. Higher Engine Power Necessitates Increased Number of Driveline Components
        c. High-Strength, Low-Weight Driveshafts Are Arresting Rapid Price Declines
        d. Steeper Deceleration in Prices Is Arrested by the Introduction of High-Quality, Long-Lasting Driveline Components
       2. Market Restraints
        a. Delay in Introduction of Composite Materials and Aluminum-Based Driveline Components Restrains Growth Potential
        b. Tepid Technological Innovations Limit the Market's Growth
        c. Intense Competition Results in Rapid Price Reductions
        d. Improved Manufacturing Processes and Economies of Scale Drive Down Prices
     3. Quantitative Analysis
      1. Demand Analysis
      2. Unit Shipments and Revenue Forecasts
      3. Pricing Analysis and Trends
   4. Competitive Analysis
      1. Competitive Structure
      2. Competitive Barriers
   5. Market Share Analysis
     1. Market Share Analysis
   6. Market and Technology Trends
      1. Market Trends
      2. Technology Trends

4. North American Class 6-8 Truck Axles Market
   1. Market Overview
      1. Market Overview and Definitions
      2. Market Engineering Measurements
   2. Drivers and Restraints
      1. Market Drivers
        a. Increasing Class 8 Truck Sales Drive Unit Shipment Growth
        b. Increasing Freight Movement Necessitates Multiple Axles
        c. Demand for Modular Axle Systems Impedes Accelerated Price Declines
        d. Cyclical Nature of the Market Causes Price Adjustments to Minimize the Impact of the Market's Decline
        e. Higher Torque Engines Demand Bigger and Stronger Axles, Arresting Rapid Price Declines
        f. High Entry Barriers Lessen Price Competition
        2. Market Restraints
        a. Increasing Truck Longevity Limits Unit Shipments
        b. Complete Dependence on the New-Truck Market Exposes Suppliers to the Cyclical Nature of the Market
        c. Axle Weight Restrictions in Urban Areas Hinder growth in the Class 6 and 7 Truck Segment
        d. Intense Pressures from Truck Makers Accelerate Price Declines
        e. Switch from Drive Axles to Non-Drive Axles Drives Down Prices
        f. Increasing Raw Material Costs Decimate Profit Margins
    3. Quantitative Analysis
      1. Demand Analysis
      2. Total Unit Shipment and Revenue Forecasts
      3. Unit Shipment and Revenue Forecasts by Truck Class
      4. Unit Shipment and Revenue Forecasts by Front and Rear Axle Sets
      5. Pricing Analysis and Trends
   4. Competitive Analysis
      1. Competitive Structure
      2. Competitive Barriers
   5. Market Share Analysis
      1. Market Share Analysis
   6. Market and Technology Trends
      1. Market Trends
      2. Technology Trends

5. North American Class 6-8 Truck Suspension Systems Market
   1. Market Overview
      1. Market Overview and Definitions
      2. Market Engineering Measurements
      3. Lifecycle Analysis
   2. Drivers and Restraints
      1. Market Drivers
        a. Increasing Volume of Trade and Backlog in West Coast Ports Is Creating Demand for More Trucks
        b. Driver Fatigue Issue Is Resulting in Increased Demand for Trucks and Better Suspension Systems
        c. Increasing Demand for Modular Systems Drives Revenues
        d. Growth in Axle Shipments Spurs Growth in Shipments of Suspension Systems
        e. Vehicle Safety, Driver Comfort, and Ride Quality Influence the Purchase Decisions of Truck Makers
        f. Technological Innovations Justify Price Levels
        g. Increasing Penetration of Air-Ride Suspension Systems Boosts the Average Price
        2. Market Restraints
        a. EPA Regulations Are Expected to Instigate a Plunge in Unit Shipments
        b. Increasing Truck Longevity Impedes Higher Installation Rates
        c. Proprietary Suspension Systems Obstruct Growth for Independent Suppliers
        d. Consolidation of Truck Makers Results in Smaller Market Available to Independent Suppliers
        e. Cheaper Imports Threaten to Curb Unit Shipments and Revenues
        f. High Price Pressures from Truck Makers Hinder Price Increases
        g. Advanced Manufacturing Processes Drive Down Manufacturing Costs
        h. Large Supplier Base Result in Intense Price Competition
    3. Quantitative Analysis
      1. Demand Analysis
      2. Total Unit Shipment and Revenue Forecasts
      3. Unit Shipment and Revenue Forecasts by Truck Class
      4. Installation of Leaf-Spring Suspensions
      5. Installation of Air-Ride Suspension Systems
      6. Installation of Independent Suspension Systems
      7. Price Analysis and Trends
   4. Competitive Analysis
      1. Competitive Structure
      2. Competitive Barriers
   5. Market Share Analysis
      1. Market Share Analysis
   6. Market and Technology Trends
      1. Market Trends
      2. Technology Trends

6. North American Class 6-8 Truck Brake Systems Market
   1. Market Overview
      1. Market Overview and Definitions
      2. Market Engineering Measurements
      3. Lifecycle Analysis
   2. Drivers and Restraints
      1. Market Drivers
        a. Increasing Demand for Class 6-8 Trucks Creates Growth Opportunities
        b. Greater Load Carrying Capability of Trucks Instigates Higher Installation Rates
        c. Declining Prices Result in Greater Penetration of Advanced Brake Systems
        d. Increasing Penetration of Disc Brakes Increasing the Average Price
        e. Shorter Required Stopping Distance May Increase the Average Price of Braking Systems
        f. Demand for Modular Systems Mitigates Pricing Pressures
        g. Greater Installation of ABS and Other Safety Enhancements Increase the Average Price
        h. Larger Brakes and Components Support Prices
      2. Market Restraints
        a. Exposure to the Cyclical New-Truck Market Poses Threat of Unit Shipment Decline
        b. Increasing Average Age of Trucks Limits Demand
        c. Migration to Disc Brake Systems Decimates the Market for Slack Adjusters
        d. High Pricing Pressures and Intense Competition Result in Price Declines
        e. Improved Manufacturing Processes Promote Economies of Scale
   3. Quantitative Analysis
      1. Demand Analysis
      2. Total Unit Shipments and Revenue Forecasts
      3. Installation of Disc and Drum Brake Systems
      4. Installation of Pneumatic and Hydraulic Brake Systems
      5. Price Analysis and Trends
   4. Competitive Analysis
      1. Competitive Structure
      2. Competitive Barriers
   5. Market Share Analysis
      1. Market Share Analysis
   6. Market and Technology Trends
      1. Market Trends
      2. Technology Trends

7. North American Class 6-8 Truck Steering Systems Market
   1. Market Overview
      1. Market Overview and Definitions
      2. Market Engineering Measurements
   2. Drivers and Restraints
      1. Market Drivers
        a. Migration to Modular Systems Present Growth Opportunities
        b. Decreasing Prices of Hydraulic Power Steering Systems Prods Unit Growth
        c. Introduction of Advanced Steering Systems is Expected to Drive Demand
        d. Growth in Production of Vocational Trucks Supports Demand for Advanced Steering Systems
        e. Incorporation of Ancillary Driver Assistance Systems with Steering Systems Justifies Higher Prices
      2. Market Restraints
        a. High Correlation with the Truck Build Rate Has a Restraining Effect in a Cyclical Market
        b. Imports Impede Demand for Domestic Products
        c. Volume Contracts Lead to Price Declines
        d. Existing Suppliers Discount Prices to Guard Market Shares
    3. Quantitative Analysis
      1. Demand Analysis
      2. Unit Shipments and Revenue Forecasts
      3. Pricing Analysis and Trends
    4. Competitive Analysis
      1. Competitive Structure
      2. Competitive Barriers
   5. Market Share Analysis
      1. Market Share Analysis
   6. Market and Technology Trends
      1. Market Trends
      2. Technology Trends

8. Appendix
   1. Glossary
      1. Abbreviations
      2. Compound Annual Growth Rate
      3. Conversion Equations
      4. Exchange Rates

9. Decision Support Database
   1. Decision Support Database
      1. Average Retail Prices -- Diesel Fuel
      2. Ton-Miles of Freight
      3. Interest Rates
      4. Real GDP
      5. Real GNP



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