The Europe Automotive AHSS Market is expected to register a CAGR of over 9% during the forecast period (2020 – 2025).
- The demand for reducing the weight to enhance vehicle performance and safety is growing globally, and Europe is the second-largest market for AHSS Market. As a result, Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), which is a crucial material for vehicle mass reduction and, is the fastest-growing material in today’s automotive industry.
- Europe is anticipated to dominate the AHSS market until 2025. The high-revenue market value can be attributed to the presence of major automobile manufacturers and OEMs in the region. Recovery of the automobile sector post the recession period, across the region, may further support the regional growth.
- Steel makes up around 70 % of an average automobile’s weight. Compared to standard steel, AHSS enables to reduce vehicle weight by 23-35% which is around 165 to 250 kg, for a regular passenger car, saving 3 - 4.5 tons of greenhouse gases over the vehicle’s total life cycle. This saving in emissions is much more substantial than the CO2 emitted during the complete production of steel needed in a car.
Key Market Trends
Continuous Advancements in Automotive AHSS technology
The steel composition involves more than 30% of the body structure, panels, doors, and trunk closures, giving it an energy absorption as well as high strength in case of a crash. Around 23% has used the engine and machinable carbon steel for the wear-resistant gears. 12% is used in the suspension, using rolled high-strength steel and the remainder in the wheels, tires, fuel tank, steering, and braking systems.
To produce higher strength for reduced steel section size and weight, automakers use less material, significantly reducing a vehicle’s weight. The steel industry is focusing on developing different alloys for processing combinations, steel with high tensile strength and ductility, along with optimized chemical compositions to achieve multiphase microstructures of AHSS.
Other advancements include the expanded capabilities to automotive steels that have high strength, which enable the design of thinner parts optimizing stiffness but maintaining geometries. AHSS such as Nano Steel helps deliver thinner gauges of steel and components to manufacture at room temperature.
Also, with the emergence of electric vehicles and an increasing ban on diesel vehicles production of IC engine vehicles may face negative growth. However, AHSS will remain a driving factor due to its application in an alternative fuel vehicle market.
Germany Poised to be the Largest Market for European AHSS Market
Within Europe, Germany is one of the prominent markets for AHSS in automobiles. The country is the largest steel producer in the EU28, with an annual production of approximately 42.4 million metric tons of crude steel in 2018. Germany is one of the fastest-growing European countries, even in the electric vehicles market.
According to IEA, in 2017, Germany registered nearly 54.56 thousand units of electric vehicle (EV) sales (including battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs)), indicating an increase of 121% from its EV sales rate in 2016. Future applications of AHHS in these electric vehicles are also expected to drive the market. With the demand for AHSS vehicles in development, various initiatives within Germany are driving the technological advancements. As per, regulatory framework (Euro 6 norms), there is a growing motivation for a low-carbon economy by 2050.
Research organizations such as the Affordable Lightweight Automobiles Alliance (AFLA) are specialized to deal with automotive light-weighting, which is co-funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 and EUCAR, the European Council for Automotive RandD. Carmakers such as Daimler, Volkswagen, Fiat-Chrysler Research Centre, Volvo, Opel, and Toyota are working together to produce more efficient vehicles. Their goal is to reduce energy consumption by 10% and global warming potential (GWP) by 6% by reducing the vehicle’s weight by 31 to 33% while maintaining the cost. These developments are expected to help the market grow.
The Europe Automotive AHSS Market is moderately consolidated with existing players such as ThyssenKrupp AG, SSAB AB, POSCO, ArcelorMittal SA, Baoshan Iron and Steel Co. Ltd., AK Steel Holding Corporation. As the demand for AHSS is growing in the region, the automotive AHSS manufacturers are trying to have the edge over its competitors by making joint-ventures, partnerships, launching new products with advanced technology.
For instance, Volvo’s XC40 was named the 2018 European Car of the Year. With the use of advanced high strength steels (AHSS), including hot-formed boron grades, the strong automotive steel the vehicle makes significant improvements in its performance. The XC40’s safety cage is made up of AHSS, including ultra-high-strength boron grades, to provide maximum occupant protection in all types of crash scenarios.
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