GVR Report cover Automotive Exterior Materials Market Report

Automotive Exterior Materials Market Analysis By Product (Steel, Aluminum, Plastics, Glass Composites, Carbon Composites), By Application, And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025

  • Report ID: GVR-1-68038-557-1
  • Number of Pages: 102
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Industry Insights

The global automotive exterior materials market size was valued at USD 10,461.1 Million in 2016. The need for better aerodynamic designs with an aim to improve fuel efficiency has resulted in the need for developing new materials that not only reduce the overall weight of the vehicle but also comply with various regional regulations. These factors are expected to play a vital role in fostering the market growth for automobile exterior materials market.

To compete with the changing market, the majority of participants focus on implementing strategies that will help to accommodate a global perspective of their operations, especially in emerging markets. Thus, in order to gain competitive advantage, vehicle manufacturers in these regions are looking for suppliers located near to the production sites.

U.S. automotive exterior materials market revenue by product, 2014 - 2025 (USD Million)

U.S. automotive exterior materials market

Specific consumer choices and technological advancements add up to a fundamental shift in behaviors of the mobility industry. Consumer preference is shifting towards newer car models with high fuel efficiency and low emissions. Lighter vehicles can be powered by small engines, which brings down the carbon footprints without compromising the operational efficiency of the automobile, which is the biggest factor influencing the demand for lightweight automotive.

Experimentation with a variety of other lightweight materials is also being executed in order to consistently comply with the emission standards. Mobileye, Tesla, BOSCH, Google, and Apple are key market participants who are on the verge of coming up with various technological advancements in automotive digitization, such as impact detection systems for automotive parts, thus increasing the scope for strategic partnerships.

The regulatory pressure in the developed economies is a major trigger for growth, and gains in the automotive materials overall are likely to be outpaced by advancements. Strict fuel economy standards are likely to increase the scope of lightweight materials. The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) was issued by the US in August 2012, which requires light-duty vehicles to perform at an efficiency of 55 miles per gallon. Canada and Mexico have begun undertaking similar initiatives, in order to put in continent-wide regulations, for the respective automotive industries to remain competitive.

Energy absorption and vehicle weight reduction can be achieved by lightweight plastic components if they are used in crumple zones. Unlike steel, a composite front end occupies less space without the crash protection being compromised and opens more room for manufacturers to add pedestrian impact measures.

Product Insights

Steel accounts for a major section in the automotive exterior materials industry owing to its well-developed repair and maintenance technology. Steel also possesses added benefits such as recycling compatibility, reforming possibility in manufacturing and service life-cycle stages, assembling simplicity, wide hardening ability, high impact resistance, high formability, easy availability, low cost, versatility, etc.

Technological advancements have hiked the heat-resistance capacity of plastics and enabled cost-effective reuse of scrap plastics for manufacturers. Also, plastic components weigh 50 percent lesser than conventional metals, which reduces the weight of the overall automobile, thus resulting in fewer emissions and improved fuel efficiency, without the desired strength being compromised.

Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymers (GFRP) hold a significant recognition in the automotive exteriors market, owing to its earlier development and suitable properties. Greater quality, such as the ratio of stiffness and strength unlike other metal materials make it stand out. Higher molding flexibility can be achieved, on account of enhanced properties of the material. Such advantageous properties are increasing the relevance of GFRP not only in the automotive sector but also in airplanes and sports equipment.

New product developments include the I-bumper, which has several active structural components, inclusive of a moveable bumper, two explosive airbags, morphing mechanism, and a morphing lattice structure that comes with a locking mechanism, providing the desired level of stiffness, and the capability of absorbing energy in case of a collision.

Application Insights

Automotive bumpers and hoods anticipate major demand among other applications concerning the growing demand from end-user markets. Given the highest priority to pedestrian safety, bumpers are mostly made up of engineering thermoplastics or fiber composites.

While hood, doors, fenders, tailgates are made up mostly of steel or composite materials. Usage of steel provides solid and long-lasting protection, though carbon fiber tailgates are being increasingly deployed on account of the resilient and extremely lightweight properties of the material.

Global automotive exterior materials market volume by application, 2016 (%)

Global automotive exterior materials market

The usage of lightweight material not only lessens the drag but also improves the fuel economy of the vehicle. Steel and aluminum have found the most preferred usage in hoods, owing to their strength and rigidity. Energy absorption of the aluminum bonnet is observed to be lesser than the steel and composite ones.  

It is very necessary for the side door to bear as much deformational energy as possible, without wearing out or breaking. Although steel increases the overall weight of the car, it still is the most extensively used material in doors. However, composite materials will eventually replace this concept. Appropriation in the stacking sequence of the cross-ply laminate and fiber orientation provide a relatively high energy absorption in comparison with steel.

Regional Insights

An increasing amount of population in China and India are likely to generate a steady demand for passenger cars and light commercial fuel-efficient vehicles, thus extending the requirement of exterior materials. With the presence of major market participants such as Toyota, Suzuki, Honda, Nissan, Suzuki, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Dongfeng, Changan, Geely, Tata, Mahindra and Mahindra, Hyundai, etc.; Asia Pacific is anticipated to witness a sturdy demand for auto manufacturers and OEMs.

Europe portrays a considerable growth because of the reputation of their OEMs and the high quality of European car. The North American market is growing at a rapid pace considering the increased demand from end-user markets. New investments in auto factories coupled with increased installed capacity are likely to emerge in Mexico, serving North American as well as global markets. This requires automotive manufacturers and suppliers to manage their supply chains and factory usage cautiously in the United States.

In CSA, automotive industries witnessed idled assembly lines and slashed payrolls owing to the economic turmoil faced there, although low-cost vehicles are likely to constitute a significant share of the market. Weight reduction, to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions are likely to remain a key area of research for the manufacturers.

Competitive Insights

In the coming years, the suppliers operating at various levels are liable to assume roles of systems integrator, global standardizer, component specialist, and raw material suppliers. Outsourcing manufacturing capabilities are expected to remain a dominating trend. Thus, regional expansions will be largely influenced by the availability of vendors who are ready to offer their services at competitive prices.

For some car manufacturers, recycled materials, such as salvaged plastics are used as raw material for fresh produce. Ford Motor Company and Toyota are such examples, wherein worn-out plastic bumpers are recycled and used in new ones. At Mazda, damaged bumpers are collected and reused in the production of new components.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2016

Forecast period

2017 - 2025

Market representation                                                

Volume in kilo tons, revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2017 to 2025

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S., Germany, U.K., France, China, India, Japan

Report coverage             

Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends

15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analyst working days)

If you need specific market information, which is not currently within the scope of the report, we will provide it to you as a part of customization

Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional & country levels and provides an analysis of the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global automotive exterior materials market on the basis of product, application, and region:

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Steel

    • Aluminum

    • Plastics

    • Glass Composites

    • Carbon Composites

    • Others

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Bumpers

    • Fenders

    • Doors

    • Hoods

    • Tailgates

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • The U.S.

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • The U.K.

      • France

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

    • Central & South America

    • The Middle East & Africa

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