The ITB Group Assesses Technical and Market Opportunities for Intelligent Aerodynamics

Current and future automotive model cycles are evaluating mechanized components that provide aerodynamic drag reduction. The recent improvements in component cost and benefit are compounded further by additional thermal system benefits in powertrain. The ITB Group has observed tremendous development of control strategies, actuator packaging and power, as well as molding integration into semi-structural retainers and even first surfaces for increased drag reduction. In May 2016, The ITB Group released a market and technical report providing the understanding of active aerodynamics within the automotive industry. Ranging from active grille shutters or aero shutters, to emerging opportunities in wheel spats and air dams, the advisory firm insightfully analyzed market trends and developments within North American, European, and Asian automotive markets. The published report, “Intelligent Aerodynamics,” discusses these and other technologies that are being considered and implemented by suppliers and OEMs.

The market has been trending towards the embrace of aerodynamic innovations to lower drag coefficients and improve fuel economy and CO2 emissions. Recent launches attain notable Cd improvements through grille shutters, ride control, wheel deflection, and even micro fins, to name several current strategies. In the United States, OEMs have increasingly taken advantage of potential aerodynamic regulatory credits to improve their overall fleet performance calculations, utilizing activated upper shutters, lower shutters, or a combination of both. Individual OEM approaches are compared via a series of OEM strategic profiles in the report.

The ITB Group market analysis projects current usage of grille shutters in 2016 and growth by 2021, and offers an understanding of modularization and part integration strategies at each automaker. A full discussion of implementation strategies and the range of projected fuel economy payback assumptions can be viewed in the industry dynamics section of the “Intelligent Aerodynamics Report.”

The report evaluates recent efficiency improvements in component design and looks in detail at electronic evolution in control, torque and actuation capabilities. The application potential includes active grille shutters and other potential actuated methods, such as wheel spats, air dams, and spoilers. Through direct interviews with suppliers and OEMs, The ITB Group is able to gather market data that will allow product planners an accurate representation of projected market trends. Subscribers who purchase the report will also be privy to The ITB Group’s advisory capabilities on emerging performance requirements and current prospects for future innovation, which will allow them to make targeted company decisions.

The ITB Group has also organized technical discussion and networking opportunities at the upcoming Plastic Powertrain Parts (June, 2nd, 2016) and Smart Automotive Surfaces (September 28th and 29th, 2016) conferences in Novi, Michigan. A full listing of current and upcoming ITB Group conferences can be viewed online at:

About The ITB Group:
The ITB Group, Ltd. is an international automotive technical/business consulting firm headquartered in Novi, Michigan, USA. It provides technical and business advice to OEMs, component and material suppliers in North America, Europe, and Asia. The company is a leading expert in the use of polymer materials for automotive applications including under-the-hood, interior, and exterior applications. The firm further provides guidance for various forms of supplier transactions.

Further background can be found at