Automotive composites are composite materials used in automotive construction. The usage of these automotive composites market in car construction confers several benefits such as reduced weight and increased structural strength. In turn, these lead to lower emissions from the vehicle, resulting in a lower environmental damage. The large share of cars in global greenhouse emissions means that any reduction in harmful emissions from automobiles is welcome news in today’s environment-sensitive world.
Stringency of Vehicle Emission Norms Helps Demand for Automotive Composites
Various governing bodies around the world have set stringent regulatory guidelines for vehicular emissions in order to reduce their own country’s contribution to the global carbon footprint. Since reducing the weight of the vehicle is the easiest way to reduce the vehicle’s emissions, automotive manufacturers have focused on automotive composites as the perfect solution. The effect of the stringent environmental norms is so high that even the high prices of automotive composites are not a significant barrier to the progress of the global automotive composites market.
Lighter loads don’t just help cut down on vehicle emissions, but also enhance the performance of the vehicle, since the powertrain has to carry a lighter load and works more efficiently as a result. Thus, automotive composites are in demand for the construction of both passenger cars as well as luxury and sports cars. Polymer matrix composites are the largest product category of the global automotive composites market. The segment is expected to take up a share of more than 75% in the global automotive composites market.
The overall market is expected to be worth US$7,019.7 million by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 8.8% upon its 2014 value of US$3,062.7 million. Metal composites, however, are expected to grow the fastest among all product categories of the global automotive composites market, exhibiting a 9.9% CAGR from 2014 to 2022. The polymer matrix composites segment, on the other hand, will face the effects of maturation in several regional segments to grow at a CAGR of 8.7% during the same timeframe.
Asia Pacific Set to Dominate Global Market
According to geography, the market for automotive composites in Asia Pacific was the largest regional sector of the global market in 2014. Growing demand for passenger cars from the increasing middle-class population in China and India are a major factor in the Asia Pacific automotive composite market’s growth. Increase in automotive manufacturing facilities in these two countries is also helping demand for automotive composites. China’s automotive industry, in particular, is on course to eclipse many established industries, such as those in the U.S., Germany, the U.K., France, and Italy, in the near future.
The Asia Pacific market accounted for more than 50% of the global automotive composites market in 2014; Europe and North America followed with shares either side of 20%. The APAC market for automotive composites is expected to grow further in the next few years, while Europe’s established car manufacturing sector will also help demand for automotive composites.
The latter two regions - particularly Europe - also contain several countries that are among the global leaders in legislating and enforcing emission norms. This has helped shape the focus of automotive manufacturers in these regions towards reducing weight, which will help boost demand from the global automotive composites market in the near future.
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