The scratch resistant polypropylene (PP) compound for automotive interior market size was USD 3.40 billion in 2015. Increasing usage of engineering plastics to comply with stringent legislations is likely to foster the market demand. Stringent regulatory norms, such as directives from the European Union and EPA to cut down carbon emission has triggered the need to reduce gross vehicular weight.
Such enforcements have been instrumental in driving engineering plastics demand for automotive production. Ample supply coupled with superior properties is expected to trigger the PP compound market growth. Polypropylene compound has its use in the variety of applications ranging from automobiles, packaging, construction, and infrastructure.
The auto sector is expected to emerge as the largest consumer of PP compounds and accounted for 55.3% of the market demand in 2015. Polypropylene compounds, owing to their excellent impact and scratch-resistance properties have been widely used in automobile interior applications. Even though the scenario is quite upbeat, volatile crude oil prices that might impede the PP compound growth. PP prices are directly dependent upon crude oil prices, as it is one of the key raw materials.
Apart from the existing applications of polypropylene compounds in automobiles, these compounds can replace traditional materials in exterior as well as interior parts. Use of polypropylene products for manufacturing instrument panels, thus replacing engineering materials is yet to be thoroughly explored. Supplemental restraint system (airbag) is another application which can provide a relatively good scope for these materials.
In the light of current developments, it is anticipated that plastics are likely to account for 18% to 20% of the average vehicle weight by the end of the forecast period. Automakers are investing in research and development activities to develop different grades of PP compound which facilitate scratch resistance & rigidity and also comply with the strict regulations laid down by various regulatory bodies.
U.S. scratch resistant polypropylene (PP) compound for automotive interior market revenue by application, 2014 - 2024 (USD Million)
"Dashboard was the leading application segment in 2015"
Dashboard accounted for the largest share in 2015 and is projected to grow at the highest CAGR from 2016 to 2024. The dashboard is a major component of automobile interior and hence requires good impact strength. Nowadays, consumers want their vehicle to look new after a period, and this requirement can be satisfied by using scratch resistant compounds.
Door trim application segment demand was 564.7-kilo tons in 2015. Door trim is a component which is attached to the inner side of the door and requires good impact strength and surface finish. Scratch resistant polypropylene compounds are used in door trim applications as they facilitate easy assembly and also reduce the structural weight of the component along with improvement in user experience.
"Asia Pacific is expected to generate the largest demand during the forecast period"
Asia Pacific is anticipated to account for over 35% overall revenue and is likely to grow at highest estimated CAGR of 11.5% during the forecast period. Rapid industrialization and increasing population have contributed to economic growth in China and India. With developing an economy, increasing product demand and subsequent industrial growth in the region, major industries such as construction, automotive, consumer appliances and electrical & electronics have witnessed rapid growth.
Scratch resistant polypropylene compound demand is likely to be low in North America during the forecast period, and this attributes to dip in automotive production growth in the region. The demand from European automobile industry can be attributed to stringent emission regulations. Germany, being a major auto hub is anticipated to account for over 25% of the scratch resistant PP compound market in Europe.
"Major players like Borealis AG, LyondellBasell, A. Schulman, Inc., have focused on capacity expansion through M&A and joint ventures"
Scratch resistant PP compound for the automotive interior market is fragmented owing to its presence of a vast number of players throughout the value chain. Most of the industry participants have focused on integration throughout the value chain to achieve profitability and also expand their presence in emerging markets.
The industry can be characterized by strategic alliances with the manufacturers throughout the value chain. Industry participants have collaborated with compounders and end users to develop new products with improved characteristics.
Key players such as Evonik Industries have developed new siloxane based additives for automotive applications which impart permanent scratch resistance. Major players include BASF SE, Borealis AG, Evonik Industries, LyondellBasell, Mitsui Chemicals Inc., SABIC, Sinopec, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd, etc.
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