Technological advancements in automotive industry is one of prominent factors driving the demand for development of more durable and strong products such as center and drag links. Moreover, due to fragmented nature of market, number of players in the center and drag link market has increased in recent years. This has further led to improved product development at affordable prices, which is fuelling the market growth. In addition, growing automotive industry particularly across countries such as India and China is further expected to increase demand for steering wheel components such as center and drag link among the end-users. Manufacturers of steering wheel system are focused on extensive research and development (R&D) in order to achieve a defined top-line growth.
Apart from R&D gaining significant share in the aftermarket is a concern for manufacturers in North America. Thus, improvement in stock keeping units (SKUs) with an aim to increase coverage of products for different vehicle models might offer surge in unit shipment sales and result in competitive pricing. Furthermore, this is predicted to lead towards enhanced product availability at affordable prices for end users particularly in North America and increase in market share of respective companies. However, large number of suppliers does lead to increased product availability, which results in low quality and less efficiency and thus, hampering the market growth of high-end center and drag link assemblies.
Center link is used for transmission of motion from inner tie rods to pitman arm on both sides of a vehicle as compared to center link, which connects to an idler arm. While driving, center link allows the driver to turn front wheels in desired direction. Center and drag link assemblies offer smooth functioning of the vehicle and result in less vibrates and wobbles, thus easy to drive. Center and drag link assemblies are essential components of steering wheel, which is intended to maintain front wheel and front axle lineup.
Center and drag link manufacturers are keen on developing products, which overcome challenges such as extreme temperatures, uneven terrain, bad ground conditions, safety and reliability. With increasing end user inclination towards better and efficient vehicle components, the vehicle component manufacturer’s need to design products meeting aforementioned challenges especially for commercial vehicle vehicles
Center and drag link market is segmented on the basis of Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), ball size range, end use industry and product type. Based on the type of GVW applications, the market is segmented into less than 8,000 lb. GVW, between 8,000-15,000 lb. GVW, and more than 15,000 GVW. On the basis of ball size type, the segmentation includes 1 to 1.5 inch, 1.5 to 1.75 inch and 1.75 to 2.75 inch. Center and Drag link assemblies are used across various end use industries including agriculture, forestry, off-road vehicles, mining, and military.
The segmentation is also done by the product type, which majorly includes light-duty vehicle, medium-duty vehicle and heavy-duty vehicle. Geographically, the center and drag link market is segmented into seven regions namely North America, Western Europe, Japan, Asia Pacific Excluding Japan, Middle East and Africa and Latin America. Also, Asian countries offer low-cost labour, the developed products are less expensive as compared to those manufactured in developed regions of the world.
Some of the players in the centre and Drag link market include Federal-Mogul Corporation, KOREA Central CO., LTD., Rane (Madras) Ltd., Powers & Sons, LLC, ZF TRW and Moser Engineering among others. Original steering parts manufacturers across the globe are focused on developing quality products in compliance with reliability and durability. This has thus, led to slow replacement rates, which is indirectly leading towards market demand for center and drag link shipments in the aftermarket.
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