Disc brakes were the last major innovation to take hold in foundation brakes. Now, suppliers of brake systems are developing electrically actuated calipers to replace hydraulic units. Although implementation in production vehicles is believed to be years away, emerging brake-related technologies such as electric brakes, emergency brake assist and electronic brake force distribution offer a range of benefits. Innovative technologies such as these enable suppliers to compete in this challenging market.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivanís Automotive & Transportation Group finds that the North American OE Brake Systems Markets earned revenues of $11.74 billion in 2005 and projects this to reach $12.57 billion in 2012.
If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end users and other industry participants an overview of the North American OE Brake Systems Markets, then send an e-mail to Tolu Babalola, Corporate Communications, at tolu.babalola[.]frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address. The brochure will be e-mailed to you upon receipt of this information.
"Foundation brake systems are used one per vehicle, meaning that the demand exactly matches vehicle production. However, electronic brake control systems are optional. Stability control systems are a major advance over antilock brake systems, and this expects to expand demand for electronic brake control systems,Ē observes Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst Joerg Dittmer. ďAdditionally, stability control systems are more expensive than antilock brake systems, which also boosts revenues as the market transitions to them."
Although antilock brake systems enhance driversí control over their vehicles on test tracks, in an actual on-the-road experience, they have done little or nothing to reduce accident rates. However, several studies of stability control systems have found that they do reduce accident rates in real-world driving.
Suppliers to vehicle makers face many challenges, which combine to pressure their profitability. Against a backdrop of continual pressure for lower prices from vehicle makers, suppliers must contend with rising materials prices, uncertain volumes and demands from vehicle makers that they take on more research, development, testing and validation work. With safety-related technologies, there is the additional challenge that systems must be 100 percent reliable right from the start.
"A number of major suppliers in the auto industry, caught between declining prices for their products and rising prices for their inputs, have been driven to declare bankruptcy. The largest of these is Delphi Corp., which supplies brake systems along with numerous other products," states Dittmer.
From procurement to manufacturing to inventory management, market participants are responding by maximizing efficiency in all aspects of their operations. Some specific steps they are taking are just-in-time purchasing to reduce raw materials inventories, faster throughput to reduce work-in-progress inventories and just-in-time production to reduce finished goods inventories. Automation can reduce labor costs and scrap rates, as well as increase quality. Finally, shifting production of basic, labor-intensive products abroad can reduce labor costs as well.
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North American OE Brake Systems Markets