The automotive plastics market is expected to register a CAGR of around 6% during the forecast period. The increasing demand for lightweight and electric vehicles is expected to drive the demand for the market during the forecast period.
- The decline in automotive production and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic are likely to hinder the growth of the market.
- Technological development in electric vehicles is projected to act as an opportunity for the market in the future.
Key Market Trends
Under Bonnet Application to Dominate the Market
- Plastic can act as an electric conductor as well as an insulator (mainly insulator). So it plays an important role in various under bonnet applications concerning propulsion, alternative drive systems, and batteries.
- Plastics not only make electric and hybrid automotive batteries more affordable, but also aid in value addition by replacing heavy electric cells with compensatory light-weighting.
- The plastic sensors, harnesses, connectors, seals, fuses, and capacitors that are used in ‘under-the-hood’ applications in hybrid or electric vehicles help to consolidate parts, resist corrosion, and reduce noise.
- Hybridization (the use of combined gas and electric propulsion system) has already increased the demand for efficiency, battery longevity, weight, and space savings, as well as safety standards in the automotive sector.
- EV manufactures know that consumers demand driving ranges which are similar to driving ranges of gasoline vehicles. Plastic innovations are already assisting the manufacturers with this demand. Lithium-ion battery packs, Ni-MH battery packs, and snap-fit li-ion battery cell packs are all being made possible with plastics.
- Improving the heat and chemical resistance of plastics in contact with some of the most demanding under bonnet applications, such as turbo chargers, is making it possible for small engines to meet high-profile performance requirements.
- DuPont has closely worked with Ford on the EcoBoost project, in order to develop key parts of a turbo system and an injection molded resonator within the blow molded ducts that eliminate.
Germany to Dominate the Market
- The German economy is the largest in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. In 2019, the German economy grew by about 0.6%, which was its weakest growth rate in the last six years. The economic growth of the country is affected by various factors, such as trade tensions leading to reduced exports and tariff disputes triggered by the US government. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic situation increased, with around 1,60,000 cases and 6,000 deaths registered till the end of April 2020. The situation has largely affected the economy in the country. According to the German Council of Economic Experts (GCEE), the country’s GDP growth rate is estimated to shrink to 2.8% in 2020.
- According to the DIHK Internet - German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, COVID-19 has an impact of 92.4% on the total economy of the country, while the manufacturing industry is witnessing an 88.9% impact.
- Germany leads the European automotive market, with more than 40 assembly and engine production plants that contribute to one-third of the total automobile production in Europe. Germany, which is one of the leading manufacturing bases of the automotive industry, is home to manufacturers from different segments, such as equipment manufacturers, material and component suppliers, engine producers, and whole system integrators.
- In 2019, the German automotive production recorded a decline of approximately 9%. However, the country accounts for approximately 30% of the total passenger cars manufactured in Europe. Out of the world’s top-100 automotive suppliers, 21 are German companies. The country has been witnessing a decline in automotive production over the past few years. This is mainly due to high costs and shifting of the production base to other countries, like China. The decline in automotive production is one of the major factors restraining the growth of automotive plastics market.
- Additionally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in the country, the manufacturing plants have been shut down and halted production for quite a long period. This, in turn, is expected to witness a further decline in the automobiles production.
- Germany has become the largest market for plug-in automobiles in the European region and is the strongest growth contributor to the growth of Europe electric vehicle market. Despite the COVID lockdown, the German plug-in vehicle market reached a record share of 8.9% (4.8% fully electric/BEV) in March 2020 with around 19,145 plug-in registered vehicles.
- Thus, the increasing demand for electric vehicles in the country is expected to drive the production of EVs, in turn, augmenting the market for automotive plastics. during the forecast period.
The automotive plastics market is partially fragmented. Key players in the automotive plastics market include DSM, BASF SE, Covestro AG, Celanese Corporation, and Borealis AB amongst others.
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