GVR Report cover Automotive Plastics Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Automotive Plastics Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (PP, ABS, PU, PE, PC, PA, PVC, PMMA), By Application (Powertrain, Interior/Exterior Furnishings, Electrical Components), By Process, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2021 - 2028

  • Published Date: Apr, 2021
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2020
  • Report ID: 978-1-68038-193-1
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2016 - 2019
  • Number of Pages: 301

Report Overview

The global automotive plastics market size was valued at USD 28.1 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4% from 2021 to 2028. Globally, recovery in the automotive sector, improved vehicle design capabilities, and increasing focus on vehicle weight reduction and emission control are the key factors boosting the growth of the market for automotive plastics. Plastics are widely used in automotive components and parts owing to easy manufacturing, possible sourcing from renewable raw materials, and improved designs.

U.S. automotive plastic market size, by application, 2016 - 2028 (USD Billion)

Polypropylene (PP), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), and Polyurethane (PU) are the most commonly utilized materials for vehicle parts and component applications. Plastics undergo five different stages while recycling including sorting, washing, shredding, identification, and classification, and extruding into the final component or product. Improvements in recycling processes have forced manufacturers to use high-performance automotive plastics. 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 110-120 kg in an average car.

This percentage is expected to increase owing to growing demand from consumers for high-performance, lightweight, and fuel-efficient vehicles, thereby augmenting demand for automotive plastics over the years to come. Weight reduction also offers a cost-effective way to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and fuel consumption, conserving non-renewable crude oil reserves. For example, every 10% weight reduction in a vehicle would improve fuel economy by 5 to 7%.

Plastic monomers are polymerized using chemical reactions and catalysts to form polymers and co-polymers and are turned into Polycarbonate (PC), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene (PE), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polystyrene (PS), 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 possibilities of high impacts. Thus, to preserve the structural integrity of a vehicle, the materials used in its production become important factors for safety and stability. Although they are relatively cheaper than metals, their design parameters and manufacturing equipment are highly expensive, which is expected to pose a challenge to industry participants.

Product Insights

The polypropylene segment led the market for automotive plastics and accounted for the largest revenue share of more than 32.0% in 2020. This growth can be attributed to the rising product demand from end-use industries such as packaging, electrical and electronics, construction, consumer products, and automotive.

Polypropylene finds application in both rigid and flexible packaging owing to its physical and chemical properties. Apart from this, it offers excellent chemical and electrical resistance at very high temperatures. PP is quite lightweight as compared to other plastics making it suitable for application in the automotive sector for reducing the overall weight of vehicles, which, in turn, helps reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

Polyvinyl chloride emerged as the second-largest product segment in 2020. PVC is used in a broad range of domestic and industrial products such as raincoats, shower curtains, window frames, and indoor plumbing. Its major automotive applications include underbody coatings, sealants, and floor modules, wire harnesses, passenger compartment parts, and exterior parts.

Process Insights

The injection molding segment led the automotive plastics market and accounted for the largest revenue share of more than 56.0% in 2020. The high share is attributed to the application of the broad range of injection-molded plastics in the automotive industry to manufacture door handles, engine hoses and tubes, console and dashboard covers and brackets, radio covers and other electrical internal components, buttons and bezel panels, knobs for shifter levers, controls and covers for the sunroof, and convertible roof assemblies.

Injection molding is one of the most common processes used in the automotive industry to mold plastic. It is a process of creating customized plastic parts and fittings by injecting molten plastic material into a metal mold under high pressure. Modern innovations to minimize the error rate have increased the importance of injection molding technology in the mass production of complicated plastic molds.

Apart from this, the blow molding process is also widely used in the automotive industry owing to its advantage of making more complex products in various designs and shapes that would otherwise be challenging with other technologies with the cost of the end product being significantly higher. This process allows companies to increase their production output in a relatively short period while maintaining flexibility in terms of design and materials. However, it has few drawbacks such as high machine cost and the use of large machines that take up more space is restraining their usage small scale industry.

Application Insights

The interior furnishings segment led the market for automotive plastics and accounted for the largest revenue share of more than 44.0% in 2020. Growing demand for automotive plastics in an area such as body and light panels, seat covers, steering wheels, seat bases, load floors, headliners, and rear package shelves and fascia systems is projected to boost the market for automotive plastics over the forecast period.

Global automotive plastic market share, by application, 2020 (%)

Moreover, the proliferation of digitalization has fostered the demand for plastics integrated into car dashboards to support highly advanced electronics. Safety concerns and high electrical insulation properties of plastics have also propelled their demand in instrument panels containing advanced electronic systems. Plastics such as PVC exhibit excellent chemical & solvent resistance with good tensile strength and flexibility, which makes them highly suitable for instrument panels and other electrical components.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific dominated the market for automotive plastics and accounted for the largest revenue share of over 45.0% in 2020. Shifting production bases from developed regions to emerging economies of Asia Pacific, particularly in China, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia, is expected to boost the market growth. Expanding the manufacturing base and increasing investments in advanced technologies for vehicular production is expected to bring about a new era of automobiles, positively influencing the market for automotive plastics. Consumers in Europe and APAC are highly conscious regarding fuel-efficiency. This has also driven the demand for sustainable plastics.

Europe was the second-largest market for automotive plastics and accounted for a revenue share of more than 31.0% in 2020. Automobile manufacturers in Europe are using high-performance plastics as these materials are energy-efficient and help in a weight reduction of the vehicle. Strict emission standards in the region have forced automakers in European countries to shift from diesel engines to electrified motors. This is also expected to augment product demand over the forecast period.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The global players face intense competition from each other as well as from the regional players who have strong distribution networks and good knowledge about suppliers and regulations. Companies in the market compete on the basis of product quality offered and the technology used for the production of automotive plastics.

Major players, in particular, compete on the basis of application development capability and new technologies used for product formulation. Established players such as BASF SE are investing in research and development activities to formulate new and advanced plastics for the automotive industry, which gives them a competitive edge over the other players. In March 2019, BASF SE inaugurated a new research and development center in Shanghai, China, which has a special automotive application center for handling research and development activities specific to the automotive industry. The center is intended to develop innovative products and meet the increasing demand from various interior and exterior automotive applications. The market is found to be significantly fragmented in nature owing to the presence of a large number of manufacturers across the globe. Some of the prominent players in the automotive plastics market include:



  • Dow Inc.

  • AkzoNobel N.V.

  • Covestro AG

  • Evonik Industries AG

  • Borealis AG

  • Royal DSM N.V.

  • Magna International, Inc.

  • Teijin Limited

Automotive Plastics Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 28.7 billion

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 38.7 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 4.4% from 2021 to 2028

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2019

Forecast period

2021 - 2028

Quantitative units

Volume in kilotons, revenue in USD million, and CAGR from 2021 to 2028

Report coverage      

Volume forecast, revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Product, process, application, region

Regional scope

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

Country Scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; Germany; U.K.; France; Italy; China; India; Japan; Southeast Asia; Brazil

Key companies profiled

BASF SE; SABIC; Dow Inc.; AkzoNobel N.V.; Covestro AG; Evonik Industries AG; Borealis AG; Royal DSM N.V.; Magna International, Inc.; Teijin Limited

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analyst’s working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global automotive plastics market report on the basis of product, process, application, and region:

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

    • Polypropylene (PP)

      • PP LGF 20

      • PP LGF 30

      • PP LGF 30Y

      • Others

    • Polyurethane (PU)

    • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

    • Polyethylene (PE)

    • Polycarbonate (PC)

    • Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA)

    • Polyamide (PA)

    • Others

  • Process Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Injection Molding

    • Blow Molding

    • Thermoforming

    • Other

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Powertrain

      • Polyethylene (PE)

      • Polypropylene (PP)

      • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

      • Polyurethane (PU)

      • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

      • Polycarbonate (PC)

      • Polyamide (PA)

      • Others

    • Electrical Components

      • Polyamide (PA)

      • Polypropylene (PP)

      • Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA)

      • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

      • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

      • Others

    • Interior Furnishings

      • Polyurethane (PU)

      • Polypropylene (PP)

      • Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA)

      • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

      • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

    • Exterior Furnishings

      • Polypropylene (PP)

      • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

      • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

      • Polyurethane (PU)

      • Polyamide (PA)

    • Under the Hood

      • Polyethylene (PE)

      • Polypropylene (PP)

      • Polyamide (PA)

      • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

      • Polyurethane (PU)

    • Chassis

      • Polyethylene (PE)

      • Polypropylene (PP)

      • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

      • Polyamide (PA)

      • Polyurethane (PU)

      • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • U.K.

      • France

      • Italy

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • Southeast Asia

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

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