Issue: Apr 2003


Inside Line



Are There Immediate Opportunities for Door Modules?

Level-1 door modules (or base modules) make up just over 14 percent of all side doors of vehicles produced in North America. Level-1 door modules consist of at least door latch mechanisms or a window regulator attached to a carrier plate (steel or plastic). The first level-2 door module, comprised of a base module plus the interior trim panel, is not scheduled for launch on a North American production vehicle until 2006. Production of level-3 door modules (which include a level-2 door plus the body panel) face many barriers not the least of which is the fact that most side door body panels are stamped at inhouse by the vehicle manufacturers. In fact for the North America, the level-3 side door module is non-existent.

So are there immediate opportunities for level-2 and level-3 door modules? Perhaps it is in other closure panels besides side doors. Many suppliers should not make the mistake of overlooking liftgates and sliding doors as potential door modules. While a sliding door and liftgate dont have identical components that a side door has, they do have latching mechanism, wipers (for liftgates) and interior trim panels. More importantly, more than 33 percent of liftgate body panels in North America are out-sourced using aluminum or composites, an opportunity that does not exist with side doors.

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