The automotive aluminum parts high-pressure die casting (HPDC) market is expected to register a CAGR of over 7.5%, during the forecast period, 2020-2025.
High-pressure die castings (HPDCs) are light-weight alternative components made from forcing molten metals into a mold at high speed and pressure. The casting of molten metals allows for the once multi-piece, welded-together structures to become singular, aluminum or zinc castings – performing the same task with less mass and variability.
Some of the major factors driving the growth of the market are the enactment of the stringent emission regulations and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, increase in the demand for commercial vehicles and sales in the European region, and the growth of the automotive industry. Approximately 75.0% of the aluminum consumed can be reused, and reclaimed aluminum can be recycled indefinitely, making it the most popular material for automotive parts high pressure die casting.
Key Market Trends
Rising Aluminum Prices Hindering the Market
Base metal prices have been under pressure in recent weeks, due to the looming trade war between the United States and the rest of the world.
The imposition of tariffs on imports from the US allies (including European Union, Mexico, and Canada), on aluminum (10%) and steel (25%), by the President-elect, is expected to increase the domestic aluminum prices.
According to the Aluminum Association, even if the production of aluminum increases in the United States, it may not be possible to boost it enough to take the place of all the aluminum and steel imports by the American manufacturers. This will result in a rise in the cost of aluminum high-pressure die casting.
- Traditionally, the aluminum casting could be done with costs lower than that by other metals.
- The aforementioned new tariffs are expected to change the situation. They are likely to result in long durations for orders to get completed, as the aluminum needed for die casting may not be as readily available as it has been in the past.
Some manufacturers are focusing on finding more cost-effective alternatives for die casting. It is expected that the tariffs will have a big impact on downstream manufacturers, as well as may result in increase in prices as the cost of aluminum rises.
North America Growing at a Faster Pace
Many die casting parts manufacturers across the world have significantly invested in the expansion of the aluminum high pressure die casting production process for the automotive industry. During 2017-2018, North America has been recognized as one of the major regions with a larger number of investments and expansions of new production plants by major manufacturers like Nemak, Bocar, and George Fischer, mainly in the United States and Mexico.
Increased CO2 emissions and subsequent stringent CAFE and EPA regulations in the region are forcing automakers to employ high-pressure die casting (HPDC) parts of aluminum more extensively in their manufacturing processes, acting as a propellant for the market’s growth in the country.
The Mexican automotive die casting market is emerging, as the country is one of the largest vehicle manufacturers and seventh-largest car manufacturers in the world, as well as is the fourth-largest car exporter, behind Germany, Japan, and South Korea.
During 2017-2018, automakers, like Toyota, Mercedes-Benz (with Nissan), Audi, and BMW established new factories in Mexico. Other automakers, like General Motors, Fiat-Chrysler, Hyundai, and Honda are focusing on expanding their existing factories. Additionally, Chinese automobile manufacturers are planning to expand their production bases in Mexico, owing to the recent announcement of an increase in import tariff on auto parts from China to the United States.
Owing to the growing Mexican automotive industry, the presence of tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3 suppliers have been significantly increasing. The number reached more than 400 suppliers in the country, as of 2017. With the rising trend of lightweight and robust automotive parts, the above suppliers are likely to adopt aluminum parts manufactured through HPDC, during the forecast period.
The automotive aluminum parts high pressure die casting market is fragmented, as major players, like Rheinmetall Automotive, Endurance Group, Shiloh Industries, GF Casting Solutions, Ryobi Die Casting Inc., and Nemak.
Expansion of business segments and manufacturing plants, joint ventures with local manufacturers in key geographies, and mergers and acquisitions are the key strategies adopted by the players to maintain and improve their competitive position in the market. For instance,
- Ryobi Die Casting Inc. has signed a contract with Changzhou Wujin High-tech Zone for the construction of a new die-cast parts plant worth JPY 1.2 billion.
- In 2017, Nemak announced the inauguration of its new plant in Mexico, with an investment of USD 200 million, to produce aluminum transmission housings and structural parts. The company also plans to venture into the manufacturing of die casting parts for electric vehicles.
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