Generally, the door of an automobile is hinged to the automobile in such a way that the door opens away from the vehicle. However, sliding doors are mounted on a track and open by sliding horizontally. Sliding doors are mostly preferred for minivans and commercial vehicles, as they offer a wider opening and enable easy loading and unloading of load or goods. Sliding doors can be operated manually or by some kind of actuating device. Power sliding doors are generally operated by the using actuating devices that sense their position and accordingly slide horizontally when signal or command is given.
Key drivers of the automotive power sliding door market is less space required for opening coupled with ease of opening. When a sliding door opens, it comes about only three inches away from the vehicle body and slides either in the rear or front direction. The conventional and other types of doors, however, require considerable space to open. The availability of space for vehicle parking is a big issue for vehicle owners, especially in urban areas, sliding doors can help overcome this issue.
The number of vehicles running on the roads is increasing day by day, as well as construction of new buildings is rapidly increasing, resulting in less space availability for other purposes. Parking space available at shopping complexes, hospitals, airports, railway stations, and several other public places is limited, and the need for parking space becomes a significant issue during rush hours. Consequently, several auto manufacturers are focusing on incorporating vehicles with power sliding doors.
A few restraints of the market are its cost and higher weight. Power sliding doors are more expensive than conventional doors. The mechanism used in a sliding door makes it heavy, thus reduces the vehicle efficiency. Therefore, sliding doors are not installed on a large number of vehicles. Sliding doors also have a drawback that opening a sliding door is considerably difficult in case of a side-on collision or crash.
Research and developments in the field of metallurgy has offered numerous opportunities for the automotive power sliding door market. Invention of carbon fiber and other composites can make sliding doors lighter in weight, thus enabling higher utilization on vehicles.
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The power sliding door market for automotive can be segmented based on drive type, direction of opening, vehicle type, and geography. In terms of drive type, the power sliding door for automotive can be segregated into three segments. Electric drive type doors are preferred on most vehicles, as they provide better control over opening and closing.
In terms of direction of opening, the power sliding door market for automotive can be classified into two major segments. Horizontally opening doors are most popular type of power sliding doors. Horizontally opening doors are further classified into two sub-segments.
Based on vehicle type, the market can be segmented into two segments. Mostly, commercial vehicles prefer to have sliding doors. Sliding doors provide bigger space in order to load and unload components, equipment, and other things without any obstruction. Therefore, several minivans, mini buses, and light commercial vehicles have sliding doors.
Based on geography, the power sliding door market for automotive can be segmented into five prominent regions. North America has the highest number of commercial vehicles using sliding doors. Several passenger and commercial vehicles in Europe have power sliding doors. As the vehicle automation is higher in North America and Europe, the automotive power sliding doors has a significant demand in these regions.
Key players operating in the power sliding door market for automotive include AISIN SEIKI Co., Ltd., DURA Automotive Systems, LLC., ALEX ORIGINAL LTD. Engineering Co., tsienna, Auto Cool Ind. Ltd., ILCA, and Stedall. Sliding doors are frequently utilized presently; however, advancements in the field of research and development by automotive engineers are likely to offer lucrative opportunities for original equipment manufacturers.