However, the market will witness a slowdown, unless other VMs also join the bandwagon and work with tier 1 product and services companies to integrate their expertise knowledge and overcome the challenge of working with innovative materials. They also need to collaborate on technology development to improve production, achieve cost savings and manufacturing efficiency as well as realise the benefits of a vehicle structure assembly methodology.
BIW is an area that has, and will continue to, undergo considerable changes over time, especially due to the advent of advanced manufacturing methods, electronic coatings and material developments. Significant changes will occur in the responsibility levels outsourced to tier 2 material suppliers and tier 1 product and services companies, as they gain more proficiency in design, development and technology enhancement.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (automotive.frost.com), Strategic Analysis of the European Market for Body-In-White, finds that the market earned revenues close to $27 billion in 2007 and estimates this to reach $37 million by 2015.
If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end users and other industry participants with an overview of the strategic analysis of the European market for BIW, then send an email to Anna Anlauft, Corporate Communications, at anna.anlauft[.]frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be sent to you by email.
“The European BIW market is being driven by the introduction of new lightweight materials and the development of BIW structural designs to reduce vehicular weight,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Poonam Tamana. “The reason for rising demand for lightweight vehicles is to meet the European Union’s targets for the reduction of CO2 emission by 8 per cent within the period 2008-2015. Improvements in fuel efficiency and power-to-weight ratio, while maintaining comfort and safety features are also considerations in the search for lightweight structures.”
In order to meet the growing demand for BIW, new structural designs – unibody design, space frame design and multi-material design – have sought to use limited material content, thereby achieving lower weight. Moreover, novel lightweight materials such as aluminium, magnesium, plastics and carbon fibre have been introduced to enhance lightweight BIW designs, comparable in strength to a typical steel structure.
However, trying to maintain an optimal balance between cost and weight remains a key challenge for the BIW market. The use of innovative materials is often accompanied by limited knowledge on how to capitalise on the use of these new-generation materials in manufacturing. This, in turn, may cause production difficulties resulting from the high cost of manufacture.
“Being core to the business of vehicle manufacturers, a large proportion of BIW activities remains in-house for volume vehicle models,” states Tamana. “For more niche vehicle models, it is important for BIW suppliers to exhibit expertise in innovative and new structural designs.”
Realisation of BIW opportunities can be maximised by developing value-added products and services in line with the VMs’ model strategies. Synergies in the value chain between material suppliers, together with product and services companies, are key to providing added value for VMs.
Strategic Analysis of the European Market for Body-In-White is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Services Programme, which also includes research in the following markets: Strategic Analysis of the European Market for Gasoline and Diesel Boosting Technologies, Strategic Analysis of the European Automotive Advanced Electronic Controller Market and European Automotive Original Equipment Position, Pressure and Temperature Sensors Markets. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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Strategic Analysis of the European Market for Body-In-White