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Frost & Sullivan: Automotive OEMs Focus on Ride and Handling Improvements in Driveline Systems

- Major manufacturers look to optimise driveline size and driveline disconnect to neutralise market challenges

LONDON, Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumer demand for improved performance and handling is pushing automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in Europe and North America to deliver reliability and durability in their products. As a result, driveline systems are expected to undergo advancements in favour of ride and safety as well as mass reduction and enhanced fuel efficiency.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Key Focus Areas for Driveline Systems in Europe and North America, which covers front-wheel drive (FWD)-based all-wheel drive (AWD) disconnect systems, true torque vectoring systems, electronic limited slip differential systems (eLSD), and power transfer units (PTUs), finds that these technologies will remain the most important parameter defining OEMs' driveline system strategies.

For instance, with the passenger car market for AWD systems curbed by soaring fuel prices and dynamic consumer needs, eLSD could potentially replace conventional AWD systems. Although implementing disconnects on to the transfer-case within a target cost range has proved feasible, OEMs are struggling to achieve similar cost strategies for FWD-based AWD systems.

"Major OEMs worldwide, including premium participants such as Audi, BMW and Daimler, will adopt driveline rightsizing and driveline disconnect strategies to counteract this challenge," says Frost & Sullivan Automotive and Transportation Research Analyst Vikram Chandrasekar. "Establishing OEM-supplier partnerships will be vital to optimise the size of driveline components based on customer usage profiles."

Certain OEMs are likely to reduce driveline torque and design right-sized on-demand driveline systems, rather than installing FWD driveline disconnects, to sidestep the additional cost. Active on-demand systems will also cut energy losses and attract discerning customers looking for better driving dynamics and stability.

Apart from decreasing costs, OEMs and suppliers must focus on drag torque reduction. To that end, all OEMs in North America and Europe will move to single-stage PTUs to attain cost as well as efficiency benefits.

"Overall, various OEMs will follow different strategies to tackle carbon dioxide emission regulations, meet increasing fuel economy demands, and achieve economies of scale," opines Chandrasekar. "However, lightweight construction of vehicles and elimination of unnecessary components will become increasingly important for both luxury and mass-market OEMs in North America and Europe."

If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an e-mail to Julian Borchert, Corporate Communications, at [email protected].

Key Focus Areas for Driveline Systems in Europe and North America is part of the Automotive & Transportation ( Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan's related studies include: European Usage-based Insurance Market for Passenger and Commercial Vehicles, Commercial Vehicles 2020 Vision, European and North American Market for Automated Driving, and European Market for Vehicle-to-vehicle and Vehicle-to-infrastructure Communication Systems. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants.

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Key Focus Areas for Driveline Systems in Europe and North America

Julian Borchert
Corporate Communications – Europe
P: +49-(0)-69-770-33-43
E: [email protected]

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