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2014 North American Category Management Report—Steering and Linkage Components : Control Arms and Steering Gears Will Drive Category Growth

  • December 2014
  • 89 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 2563771


Table of Contents

Key Findings

Total manufacturer-level revenue is forecast to increase from $ x million in 2013 to approximately $ x million in 2020. Unit shipments are expected to increase from x million to x million over the same period.
Control arms (CAGR x %) and steering gears (CAGR x %) are expected to lead market growth for steering and linkage components. Revenue for ball joints, tie rod ends, and center and drag links are projected to decline during 2013–2020.
Average manufacturer-level prices are expected to increase by a CAGR of x % from 2013 to 2020. The key factors will probably be increasing sales of higher-priced electric power steering gears in place of hydraulic parts, and aluminum control arms in place of steel units.
Traditional warehouse distributors accounted for just over half of all manufacturer-level revenue in 2013, but retail store chains are gaining share of steering and linkage component sales with private-label parts supplied through two-step distribution channels.
Federal-Mogul captured approximately x % of manufacturer-level revenue in 2013, which includes the share of its recently acquired Affinia Group chassis business. However, the company is likely to face increasing competition in the forecast period from discount brand suppliers such as Dorman Products, Mevotech, and Qualis Automotive.

Product Definitions

Ball Joints

•Ball joints are spherical bearings connecting the control arms to the steering knuckles. They play a key role in effective weight transfer from the vehicle to the road.
•Most light vehicles have x ball joints, depending on the type of suspension system. Wear on the ball joints, primarily during their operation and also as a function of road conditions, causes noise from the suspension and as well as wheel misalignment.

Tie Rod Ends
•Tie rod ends transfer the forces from steering centers to knuckles. They allow car wheels to be turned right or left, as desired.
•There are inner and outer tie rod ends on each wheel, which suffer from wear and tear caused during operation. The inner tie rod end is connected to the center link, while the outer tie rod end is fastened to the steering knuckle.

Control Arms
•Control arms link the steering rack in a car to the wheel hubs.
•A vehicle can have up to x control arms on the front and rear suspensions. Replacement is needed when the ball joints are worn out. Additionally, a collision affecting the wheels may necessitate the replacement of control arms.

Center & Drag Link
•Center and drag links connect the right and left sides of a vehicle’s steering linkage, allowing the driver to control the wheel direction.
•In most steering systems, there is one center or drag link on each wheel. Severe wear can affect the wheel alignment and drastically affect the vehicle’s handling and stability.

Steering Gear
•Rack-and-pinion steering gears couple the steering wheel to the linkage of a vehicle. The gears transfer the rotation of the steering wheel into motion for the two front wheels.
•When a steering gear wears out, it causes the wheels of the vehicle to rotate freely without control from the steering wheel. It may be replaced with a new or remanufactured steering gear.
•Each vehicle has one steering gear. This analysis does not include steering gearboxes.

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