Global automotive composites market valuation was around USD 3.1 billion in 2014 and is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of around 8.8% from 2015 to 2020. Growing preference for higher fuel-efficiency in passenger cars, product differentiation with vehicle aesthetics, and rising vehicle production in Asia Pacific (APAC) region are expected to drive the industry over the forecast period.
Growing urban population especially in emerging economies such as China and India is likely to present growth opportunities for industry participants. Rising standard of living and high disposable consumer income in metro cities is also a major factor fueling demand for passenger cars and other vehicles.
Exponential economic growth of various developed and developing countries such as the U.S., Germany, the UK, China, India, UAE, etc. has driven concerns regarding sustainability and carbon emission levels. Increasing awareness regarding application of lightweight materials to manufacture interior and exterior automotive components, thereby reducing overall fuel consumption are other factors likely to drive market growth. Automotive composites consumption has witnessed a steady rise, mainly in the U.S. which has 800 vehicles per 1,000 people.
Composites offer high heat and impact resistance, while lowering overall vehicle weight mainly in electric & hybrid cars. However, differing regulatory structures and high raw material (composite) prices are likely to hamper growth. Recyclability concerns are also likely to challenge the industry over the forecast period. Rising carbon emission levels owing to increasing vehicular activity over the last few decades has prompted governments across the globe to revamp numerous aspects regarding adherence to environmental norms and regulations in the automotive industry.
On the basis of product type, the market can be classified into polymer matrix composites (PMC), metal matrix composites (MMC), and ceramic matrix composites (CMC). PMC is further divided into glass (GFRP), carbon (CFRP), or natural fiber reinforced polymer composites.
The CFRP market is the fastest growing segment and is expected to increase at 20.2% CAGR over the forecast period in terms of market value. Rising demand for fuel efficient cars, stringent environmental regulations and increasing application of composites in newer car models are some factors expected to foster market growth.
On the basis of application, the market can be segmented as exterior, interior, engine & powertrain among other components. Chassis and powertrain components emerged as the fastest growing application in recent years owing to high scope for expansion. Exterior components remained the largest application segment for automotive composites owing to high demand for attractiveness & aesthetic appeal in passenger cars.
The market can also be segmented as per the manufacturing process or technology into manual, compression, continuous and injection among other processes.
The global market has been categorized into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Central and South America (CSA). Rapid industrialization and growing disposable consumer income in emerging economies such as China & India led to greatest market share in APAC. Increasing demand for lightweight, fuel-efficient vehicles lead to focused manufacturer efforts towards automotive composite applications in this region. Increasing partnerships, agreements, and numerous product launches made APAC a favorable market for automotive composite investments.
The market is highly consolidated with top four players, namely, Mitsubishi, SGL, Toho Co. and Toray Industries occupying over 70% market share. Other participants in the global industry include UFP Technologies, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Scott Bader Company Ltd., Teijin Limited Inc., Johnson Controls Inc., Johns Manville, Koninklijke Ten Cate N.V., Cytec Industries Inc., and SAERTEX GmbH & Co. KG.
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