The global automotive plastics market is poised to exceed USD 66 billion by 2024. The market is anticipated to grow at a healthy CAGR of over 13.5% from 2016-2024 (forecast period). Demand for interior & exterior furnishings & power train applications can fuel the global market in the forthcoming years.
Alloys & metals are increasingly being substituted with plastics in automobile parts. This leads to enhanced component performance & chemical corrosion resistance owing to reduced vehicular weight. Greater focus on emission control and on the reduction of vehicle weight will fuel market demand during the forecast period. Other market drivers are enhanced vehicle designs and demand for automobiles. The automotive market has been witnessing a growing trend towards vehicular weight reduction for enhanced fuel efficiency.
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Besides reducing the weight of vehicles, these compounds are employed to enhance aesthetics, reduce vibrations, and decrease noise & cabin insulation. However, high costs of raw materials and substantial investments could hinder market growth. Most automotive plastic products are derived from petrochemicals. The availability of crude oil determines the supply of petrochemicals. The non-recyclable nature of automotive plastics can impede market progress.
The global automotive plastics market is categorized into products, applications, and regions. Products include polyethylene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyurethane, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polycarbonate, polyamide, and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). Polypropylene led the market in 2014 with a revenue exceeding USD 5 billion. Engineering metals & plastics are increasingly being replaced by PP-based materials in the production of automobile parts. This leads not only to vehicular weight reductions but also to significant costs savings. Polypropylene and polyethylene foams are commonly used for vibration and noise dampening & thermal solidity.
PMMA holds a smaller market share. However, this segment may witness substantial growth in the forecast period. This owes to the widespread application of PMMA in automobile light covers, windows, trims, and glazing. It is also used as a replacement for glass.
Based on applications, the automotive plastics market is divided into electrical components, power train, under the hood, interior & exterior furnishings, and chassis. In 2014, electrical components held the largest share and surpassed USD 6 billion. Interior & exterior applications held a share of over 32% in 2014 and can grow at a CAGR of over 9% during the forecast period. Bumper systems, fascia systems, body & light panels, and steering wheels are the key components that use automotive plastics. ‘Power trains’ is anticipated to be the fastest growing segment and may register a CAGR of over 10% during the next eight years.
Based on regions, the global automotive plastics market is segmented into Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and Rest of the World. The Asia-Pacific automotive plastics market dominated the industry in 2014. In terms of revenue, the region reported USD 9.5 billion during the same year. The shift of automotive manufacturing units to countries, such as India, China, Thailand, and Indonesia propels the Asia Pacific market. Demand is attributed to supportive government initiatives and the availability of cheap labor. Central & South America could grow at a decent CAGR of over 10.5% from 2016 to 2024. Major companies operating in the industry are Johnson Controls, The Dow Chemical Company, Akzo Nobel N. V., Delphi Automotive PLC, and Evonik Industries A. G.