The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need for road safety, and increasing focus on driver and passenger safety, and growing importance of technologies such as suspension technologies and artificial intelligence. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.2 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Automotive: Suspension springs. Buy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData


Premium Insights Innovation in Automotive: Suspension springs

Buy the Report

Premium Insights

The gold standard of business intelligence.

Find out more

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

290+ innovations will shape the automotive industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the automotive industry using innovation intensity models built on over 619,000 patents, there are 290+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, resilient spoke wheels, auto-transmission lubrication circuits, and ignition switching engines are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Engine purge actuators, electro-dynamic braking, and adsorptive vapour recovery system estimation are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are collision avoidance braking control system and direct injection type engines, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry

Suspension springs is a key innovation area in automotive

Suspension springs are the link between the wheels and the car's body. Their main function is to make up for uneven road surfaces and guarantee extremely comfortable rides.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of suspension springs.

Key players in suspension springs – a disruptive innovation in the automotive industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to suspension springs

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
KYB 104 Unlock Company Profile
NHK Spring 72 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 48 Unlock Company Profile
Schaeffler 48 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 47 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 42 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Steel Mfg 34 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 31 Unlock Company Profile
Tenneco 31 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 31 Unlock Company Profile
Polaris 30 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 27 Unlock Company Profile
AB SKF 20 Unlock Company Profile
HOERBIGER Automotive Komfortsysteme 17 Unlock Company Profile
Sistemi Sospensioni 14 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Mobis 13 Unlock Company Profile
Gordon Murray Design 13 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 12 Unlock Company Profile
Mazda Motor 12 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 12 Unlock Company Profile
Oiles 12 Unlock Company Profile
Immsi 12 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 11 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 11 Unlock Company Profile
Fox Factory Holding 9 Unlock Company Profile
ThyssenKrupp 9 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 9 Unlock Company Profile
Yamaha Motor 8 Unlock Company Profile
Chudenko 8 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 6 Unlock Company Profile
ARB 6 Unlock Company Profile
ILJIN 6 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 5 Unlock Company Profile
Briggs & Stratton 5 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Boshoku 5 Unlock Company Profile
Suzuki Motor 5 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

KYB is one of the leading innovators in suspension springs with 104 patents. Lift kits for the Toyota 4Runner, Jeep Wrangler JK, and FJ Cruiser will be the first products in the new KYB JAOS line. These suspension lift kits offer 14 position damping and a lift of up to 2in. Each shock and strut made by KYB has a dial that can be adjusted at the base to offer 14 different settings for compression and rebound. The user can manually adjust the suspension for vehicle loads, larger tires and wheels, and different road conditions using the 14 settings. Two shocks or struts, two coil springs, and other installation products are included in each kit. Other companies innovating in this technology domain are Hitachi, Toyota, and Nissan.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.