The global laminated glass market is expected to witness significant growth on account of increasing demand from the automotive industry. The demand for laminated glass is increasing in sunroofs and windshields of vehicles owing to safety concerns.
Laminated glass is manufactured by placing a sheet of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) or polyvinyl butyral (PVB) between the layers of a normal glass, where the sheet minimizes the chances of glass to completely shatter unlike other types of glasses.
The glass is used in windshields and sunroofs of vehicles where in case of a hard hit or external pressure it forms a spiderweb-like appearance and protects the passengers. Companies such as Tesla, Ferrari, and Volvo use laminated glass in all their cars that have panoramic sunroofs. However, the usage is less, a majority of manufacturers still use tempered glass.
Laminated glass has applications in the construction industry as well, but, its usage is less owing to its high cost. The glass is often preferred in places where the winds are strong or areas prone to calamities. It is used in exterior storefronts, curtain walls, windows, and sky gazing.
The abilities of laminated glass such as anti-shock, anti-break, and sound insulation make it applicable in high-end products such as bullet-resistant glass and hurricane-resistant glass. The Vine Hotel in Mexico has made use of laminated safety glass for its exterior windows, doors, balustrades, and facades for ensuring safety against hurricanes and maintaining a modern, high-quality, transparent look for the guests.
The demand for laminated glass is high, however, its consumption is restricted owing to the availability of low-cost substitutes. The high cost of laminated glass is owing to its capital intensive and in-depth manufacturing process as it requires multiple layers of materials, unlike other types of glasses. Thus, the availability of substitutes like the tempered glass is a major restraint for the global laminated glass market.
The manufacturing process of glass is expensive thus, the companies are striving to find solutions for reducing the consumption of energy and raw materials keeping in mind the impact on the environment. In March 2019, Phoenicia and Clear Glass Solutions Ltd. inaugurated a new recycling plant for laminated glass in Israel. With the new plant, there will be a significant reduction in carbon demand, environmental pollution, use of energy, and landfill waste.
Based on the application, the laminated glass can be broadly segmented into construction and automotive. The growth in infrastructural developments is a positive sign for the laminated glass market growth. For instance, the new Istanbul Grand Airport that opened in 2018 has incorporated laminated glass in its façade, multiple balustrades, and five pier buildings. The airport construction is expected to be completed by 2027.
The growth in the automotive glass market is anticipated to propel the demand for laminated glass over the forecast period. Technological innovations such as the dimmable and display glass technology by Gentex Corporation are expected to push the market players to further invest in the glass market of the automotive industry. Laminated glass is largely used in sunroofs and the global automotive sunroof market is anticipated to progress at a CAGR of over 11.0% from 2016 to 2025.
Based on region, the laminated glass market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, and Middle East & Africa. The Asia Pacific is expected to be the leading regional segment in the market owing to the increasing number of construction activities, the shift of manufacturing plants from other locations to Asian countries, and rising investments in the automotive industry.
The growing investments in the infrastructural developments in the Southeast Asian countries are expected to boost the market growth in the Asia Pacific over the forecast period. China and Japan are investing in Southeast Asia and their projects are valued at USD 255 billion and USD 367 billion respectively. Also, increasing investments by numerous automobile companies are expected to foster the demand for laminated glass in the Asia Pacific. For instance, India received FDI investment worth USD 16.5 billion between April 2000 and December 2016 for the automotive sector, and the country is expected to attract further USD 8-10 billion investment by 2023.
The increasing expenditure in other regions like Europe is further expected to augment laminated glass demand. In March 2019, the European Commission proposed an investment of €421 million (USD 465.9 million) in safer and greener transport infrastructure. The surge in the demand for laminated glass in the region is propelling manufacturers to expand their production capacities. In May 2019, Guardian Glass inaugurated its new laminated glass production line at its plant in Hungary for catering to its customers in Europe. The line has a monthly production capacity of 150 truckloads of laminated glass, which is mainly for customers in Balkan countries, Romania, and Hungary.
The global laminated glass market is competitive with the presence of established players in the industry such as AGC Inc., Central Glass Co. Ltd., Fuyao Glass Industry Group Co., Ltd, Guardian Industries, Saint-Gobain, Şişecam Group, Taiwan Glass Ind. Corp¸ Vitro and Xinyi Glass Holdings Co., Ltd. Capacity expansion is the key strategic initiative adopted by a majority of the market players, followed by acquisitions and new product development.
The growing demand for the product is propelling the raw material suppliers as well, to increase their production capacities. For instance, in December 2017, SEKISUI CHEMICAL CO., LTD announced the commencement of its operations at its third plant in Mexico for the automotive laminated glass interlayer films.
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The shortage in supply of raw materials from Chinese manufacturers has resulted in a severe demand-supply gap. The manufacturers are further expected to be stranded on raw material orders owing to the logistics industry being significantly impacted due to lockdown amid COVID-19. However, the producers are expected to move away from China aiming to reduce the future risks that would affect the business and to reduce the manufacturers' cluster in a single country in order to smoothen the supply chain. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.