The global automotive composites market stood at USD 3 billion in 2015 and will reach around USD 7.5 billion by 2024 growing at a healthy CAGR of 8.5 % from 2016 to 2024. Technological advancements and steady focus on superior performance vehicles have spurred the demand for automotive composites.
Composites are chemical compositions of two (or more) different phases and insoluble substances. These insoluble substances are of superior performance fiber such as glass or carbon in a matrix material like an epoxy polymer. When joined with each other, the composites thus formed offer enhanced properties as against those of the individual materials themselves. These composites, after deployed in automotive and automobiles, are known as ‘automotive composites’. When used in the production of vehicles like buses, trucks, trolleys, and cars, composites ensure greater strength and rigidity. This is because; composites are lighter than steel and iron by almost 60%
Automotive composites can be used in vehicle bodies in just a single coat as well as in multiple coats. One substance between two other substances makes a sandwich composite, which is mostly used in the production of top and internal coatings for cars. These composites are also used in the production and renovation of vehicles such as utility vehicles and cars.
The Asia-Pacific has been the biggest regional market for automotive composites over the last few years and is anticipated grow at a CAGR of 8.5 %. Preference for passenger cars with higher fuel efficiency along with product differentiation for aesthetics is expected to spur market growth in the forthcoming years. Moreover, greater awareness about the applications of lightweight materials in the production of exterior & interior components of a vehicle will propel the market. This in turn will lower fuel consumption and benefit the industry in the long run.
Increasing metropolitan population, particularly in developing economies such as China can create significant growth opportunities for market participants. Furthermore, enhanced living standards and increasing consumer disposable incomes in metropolitan cities will fuel the demand for passenger cars and other vehicles.
Consumers are increasingly shifting their focus towards fuel efficient vehicles so as to counter escalating crude oil prices. Automotive composites provide high heat & impact resistance and reduce the overall weight of a vehicle. Various properties such as simple manufacturing, high tensile strength, surface tension, and corrosion resistance are ideal for manufacturing lightweight and fuel-efficient vehicles.
Exponential economic growth in various developed and emerging economies such as the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, India, the United Arab Emirates, and China has raised concerns regarding carbon emissions and sustainability. This has encouraged a pool of automotive regulatory bodies to adhere to ecological standards.
Reduction of vehicle weight is a priority for most automobile manufacturers as a measure to reduce carbon emissions. Reducing a vehicle’s overall weight by 450 kg ensures a drop in CO2 emission by more than 40 gm. It also enhances fuel efficiency by 8 to 12 percent. However, recyclability issues along with high prices of raw materials will hinder the automotive composites market from 2016 to 20024.
The global market is segmented on the basis of products, applications, manufacturing technologies, and regions.
Product-wise, the market is categorized into Metal Matrix Composites (MMC), Polymer Matrix Composites (PMC), and Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC). Among these, polymer matrix composites are subdivided into Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites (GFRP) and Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites (CFRP) or natural fiber reinforced polymer composites. The CFRP segment is poised to reap high gains of over 20 % by 2024 owing to wider applications in latest car models that enhance fuel efficiency. The MMC segment can witness substantial growth over the forecast period.
The application sector of the global automotive composites market includes interior, exterior, and engine & powertrain components. Exterior components held the largest share within the applications segment owing to the growing demands for aesthetically appealing passenger cars. This application segment is anticipated to record remarkable growth in the years to come. Engine & powertrain components will also exhibit robust growth. The market is segregated on the basis of manufacturing technologies into continuous, manual, compression, and injection among others.
Geographically, the worldwide automotive composites industry is divided into Asia Pacific (APAC), North America, the Middle East & Africa (MEA), Central and South America (CSA), and Europe.
The APAC region will continue to lead the global market from 2016 to 2024. Proliferation of automotive production bases in economies such as Thailand, India, China, Indonesia, etc. is anticipated to drive the regional demand in the near future. These economies will benefit on account of encouraging government policies in the form of low wages and tax incentives.
The Europe region is anticipated to have moderate growth during the estimated years. Strict environmental rules will support market growth in the region. The regional markets of the United Kingdom, Germany, and France are anticipated to have steady gains on account of the presence of major automobile manufacturers, such as, the Renault Corp. and Bayerische Motoren Werke A. G. (BMW). The North American region is said to experience stable gains over the next eight years as a result of the rise in a customer spending capacity post-downturn.
The global market is highly consolidated, with four leading manufacturers meeting more than 70 % of the overall global demand. The prominent companies operating in the industry are SGL Group; Toho Co. Ltd.; Toray Industries Inc.; and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. Other companies include E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company; Cytec Industries Inc.; SAERTEX GmbH & Co. K G.; and Koninklijke T
Research Support Specialist, USA