Cars and light trucks - 15% of net sales 2016

Market overview

Increasing global energy demands, ambitious governmental CO2 reduction targets and growing customer demand for smart, energy-efficient products, are driving the development of solutions that reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Connectivity solutions are also increasing to include smart ways of helping drivers to drive safely and efficiently.

The automotive industry is significantly investing in developing cars that run on alternative fuels or using hybrid technology, combining conventional combustion engines and electric motors or fully electric cars. Another increasing development are the standardization of platforms and modules for more flexibility and cost efficient car production. In addition, as the traditional internal combustion engine technology continues to propel the majority of cars in the near future, major investments are being made to make this technology more efficient. Car manufacturers are focusing on engine efficiency reducing weight as well as developing projects for direct injection systems and turbo-charging applications. There is continued focus on development of high performing automatic transmissions. The new 8, 9 and 10 gear transmissions combined with double clutches and the new generation of smaller engines with electronic control of the automatic transmission, contributes to reduced emissions. Connectivity solutions will contribute with more intelligent systems signaling to the car’s control system to auto-correct while driving, keeping car passengers and pedestrians more safe on or off the roads. Compact affordable cars is a vehicle segment that continues to grow.

SKF’s offer and role in the market

SKF is a strategic partner to major car manufacturers worldwide. Lead time for developing new generations of vehicles is fairly long and SKF is involved early in the development process, years before production starts.
Automotive products are designed specifically for a certain customer, a particular application and platform.
SKF offer a range of products to meet customer demands in energy efficiency, comfort and safety. This is achieved mainly by reducing friction, weight and size of the solutions, but also by integrating sensors. SKF’s core capabilities to reduced friction, weight and size of bearings and units, are addressed with innovation in the engineering design and materials for many car applications. Seals plays an important role in reducing friction. A major area for SKF in the automotive market is to focus on strengthening its core product offering for wheel-end and suspension solutions, where SKF is the market leader. SKF ‘s global manufacturing and engineering footprint, being closely located to its customers locally, is one enabler for fast response to customer requirements and building stronger partnerships.

The dedicated Racing unit deliver engineering support to the motorsport market segment as well as top car segment. This knowledge is then adapted for high volume manufacturing and offered as new solutions to automotive customers. SKF’s cooperation with the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One team spans 70 years – the longest technical partnership in the history of Formula One. Besides major Formula One championship teams, SKF also supplies most of the motorsport series, including the full electrical series, in the various fields of chassis, suspension, engine, gearbox and transmission. The 2015 season marked SKF’s 18th year in NASCAR as both a technical partner and sponsor. This partnership strengthens recognition and exposure of the SKF brand, particularly in North America. The partnership with Penske Racing has also enabled SKF to test products under the harshest conditions in both the NASCAR and IndyCar series.

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