The market for automotive polymer composites is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 4% during the forecast period. One of the key factors driving the market is the significant growth in usage of the plastic in automotive manufacturing. The market is also benefitted from the higher adoption of electric vehicles in places like Europe, China, and North America.
- However, the global slowdown of the automotive industry due to demand decline is expected to act as a restraint for the automotive polymer composites market.
- Asia-Pacific is estimated to dominate the market with the largest consumption coming from countries like China, India, Japan, and South Korea. However, Africa is likely to register a healthy growth rate during the forecast period owing to growth over the small base.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Use of Polymers in Light Vehicle Segment
- The automotive industry has been focusing on vehicle weight reduction for decades as vehicle weight has a direct impact on driving dynamics and fuel efficiency. As per the US Department of Energy (DOE), reducing the weight of vehicles by 10% yields an increase of 6-8% in fuel economy. As governments from around the world are implementing stringent emission regulations and even are planning to set even higher emissions standards in the coming years, the importance of lightweight materials is expected to increase.
- Light vehicles represent an important market for plastics and polymer composites, one that has grown significantly during the last decade. Composites polymers are any combination of the polymer matrix and fibrous reinforcement. The average light vehicle now contains approximately 351 pounds of plastics and polymer composites, 8.8% of the total weight which has grown significantly from about 279 pounds in 2000. Composite polymers usage as a percentage of the total weight is even more in the electric vehicle.
- Major composite polymers used in the automobiles are based on polypropylene, polyurethanes, nylon, polyvinyl chloride, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and others. The polypropylene and polyurethanes only accounts for more than 40% share in the market studied.
- Hence, Increasing share of plastics in automobiles is expected to boost the automobile polymer composites market.
Asia-Pacific is Expected to Dominate the Market
The global automotive polymers market is dominated by Asia-Pacific region owing to it huge automobile production base from counties like china, India, Japan, and South Korea. After a study growth till 2017, the automobile industry has seen a decline of 1.8% in 2018 in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2019, the production has further declined by 6.3% owing to the fall in sales demand in countries like India along with global slowdown. In 2020, the COVID-19 has further affected the automotive composite polymers market owing to automotive production halt because of lockdowns in major countries. However, automotive polymers market in the region will benefit from tightening environmental regulations in the countries like India where automobiles are expected to shift to BS 6 standard which forced automobile manufacturer to use more lightweight materials to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Booming electric vehicles industry in China and japan is also furthering the cause for composite polymers in the region.
The market studied is partially consolidated in nature. Some of the key players in the market include BASF SE, SGL Group, Covestro AG., Hexcel Corporation, Solvay, and DuPont.
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