Automotive Plastics Market Report

Automotive Plastics Market Analysis By Product (ABS, PP, PU, PVC, PE, PC, PMMA, PA), By Application (Powertrains, Electrical Components, Interior Furnishings, Exterior Furnishings, Chassis), And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025

  • Published Date: May, 2017
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2016
  • Report ID: 978-1-68038-193-1
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2016
  • Number of Pages: 260

Industry Insights

The global automotive plastics market size was estimated at 10,224.2 kilo tons in 2016. Global recovery in the automotive sector, improved vehicle design capabilities and the increasing importance of weight reduction and emission control are key factors driving industry growth. 

Plastics are majorly processed into automotive components and parts owing to their ease of manufacturing, possible sourcing from renewable raw materials and relative ease of improved design. ABS, PC, and PU are a few choice materials used for vehicle part and component applications.

U.S. automotive plastics market volume by product, 2014 - 2025 (Kilo Tons)

U.S. automotive plastic market

Usually, an average car consists of 5.8% to 10% of plastics, depending on fuel efficiency standards and performance requirements, with consumption in vehicular equipment accounting for over 105 kg in an average car. This percentage is expected to increase over the near future, owing to the growing demand from consumers for high-performance, lightweight and fuel-efficient vehicles.

Weight reduction also offers a cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gases emission and fuel consumption, conserving non-renewable crude oil reserves. For example, for every 10% weight reduction in the vehicle would improve fuel economy by 5-7%. However, 1kg weight decrease in the vehicle is expected to reduce 20kg of carbon emission in the atmosphere.

Plastic monomers are polymerized using chemical reactions and catalysts to form polymers and co-polymers and are turned into polypropylene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polycarbonate, polystyrene and other such polymerized materials. These materials possess far better properties than their respective monomers and are extremely stable for use in molding and fabrication.

Designing a vehicle is a critical factor as it is subjected to various external forces and the possibility of high impacts. To preserve the structural integrity of a vehicle, the materials that are used in its manufacture then become important factors for safety and stability. Although they are relatively cheaper compared to metals, their design parameters and manufacturing equipment are highly expensive, which is expected to pose a challenge to industry participants.

Improvement in recycling processes has influenced manufacturers to use high performance products. Plastics undergo five different stages while recycling such as sorting, washing, shredding, identification & classification and extruding into final component or product.

Product Insights

Polypropylene (PP) emerged as the leading product category and accounted for over 25% of the total volume in 2016. PP offers excellent chemical and electrical resistance at very high temperatures. It is semi-rigid, translucent and also provides integral hinge property. PP is lightweight as compared to other materials and widely used as a thermal insulator and noise & vibration dampeners in vehicular components. 

Polyurethane (PU) emerged as the second largest product segment in 2016. PU exhibits superior properties such as high tensile strength, abrasive strength, hardness, impact and abrasion resistance. Growing demand from automotive OEMs and electronic appliance manufacturers for applications such as refrigeration insulation, interior trims and seat cushioning has significantly influenced the growth.

Application Insights

Interior furnishings emerged as the leading application and accounted for over 50% of the total volume in 2016. Plastics are widely utilized for automobile furnishings including light displays & panels, seat covers, steering wheels and fascia systems. 

Numerous other interior components such as seat bases, load floors, headliners, and rear package shelves are being constructed entirely from high performance plastics such as GMT & ABS composites, instead of conventional rubber and metal, to foster weight savings.

Global automotive plastics market share by application, 2016 (%)

Global automotive plastic market

Proliferation of digitalization has fostered the demand for plastics integrated into car dashboards to support highly advanced electronics with futuristic technology & features. Safety concerns and high electrical insulation properties of plastics have propelled their demand in instrument panels containing advanced electronic systems.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific was the dominant market and accounted for around 50% of the total market volume in 2016. The shift in production landscape towards emerging economies of Asia Pacific, particularly China, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia is expected to positively influence industry growth. 

Expanding manufacturing base and increasing investments in advanced technologies for vehicular production is expected to bring about a new era of automobiles, positively influencing the sector. Consumers in Europe and Asia Pacific are highly conscious regarding fuel efficiency in contrast to countries with ample crude oil reserves such as the U.S. and China. These factors have driven sustainable plastics demand in emerging economies across the globe.

Asia Pacific was followed by Europe which accounted for around 35% of the overall revenue share in 2016. European automobile manufacturers are also utilizing utilization of high performance plastics since they are energy efficient and help in the weight reduction of the vehicle. European countries have to meet higher emission standards owing to which automakers have to shift from diesel engines to electrified motors.

Competitive Insights

The industry has presence of major multinationals that are actively engaged in R&D, technological innovations, M&A and other collaborations to improve their position and standing in the market. Furthermore, companies such as Hanwha Azdel Inc. and BASF have invested in expansion of their production capabilities to enhance their portfolios and regional presence. 

Major participants include AkzoNobel N.V, BASF SE, Covestro, Evonik Industries AG, Johnson Controls, Magna International, Momentive Performance Materials Inc., SABIC, The Dow Chemical Company, Borealis AG, Hanwha Azdel Inc., Grupo Antolin, Lear Corp., Owens Corning, Quadrant AG, Royal DSM N.V, and Teijin Ltd.

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, Latin America, Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S., Canada, Germany, UK, France, Italy, China, India, Japan, Southeast Asia, Mexico, Brazil

Report coverage

Volume & 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 on 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 plasticsmarket on the basis of product, application and region:

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

    • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)

    • Polypropylene (PP)

    • Polyurethane (PU)

    • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

    • Polyethylene (PE)

    • Polycarbonate (PC)

    • Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)

    • Polyamide (PA)

    • Others

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

    • Powertrain

      • PE

      • PP

      • PVC

      • PU

      • ABS

      • PC

      • PA

      • Others

    • Electrical Components

      • PA

      • PP

      • PMMA

      • ABS

      • PVC

      • Others

    • Interior Furnishings

      • PUR

      • PP

      • PMMA

      • ABS

      • PVC

      • PE

      • PA

      • Others

    • Exterior Furnishings

      • PP

      • ABS

      • PVC

      • PUR

      • PA

      • Others

    • Under the Hood Components

      • PE

      • PP

      • PA

      • ABS

      • PUR

      • Others

    • Chassis

      • PE

      • PP

      • PA

      • ABS

      • PUR

      • Others

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

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • UK

      • France

      • Italy

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • Southeast Asia

    • Latin America

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

    • Middle East & Africa
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