Asia-Pacific was the largest market for automotive composites in 2014, accounting for 50.8% market share, followed by Europe and North America, with 22.7% and 15.5% market shares respectively. The Asia-Pacific market is expected to account for 52.4% by 2022, as per MRRSE - Market Research Reports Search Engine. Rising domestic automotive production, especially in developing countries such as India and China, is expected to boost the Asia Pacific automotive composite market. The Europe market is expected to lose market share to reach 21.9% by 2022. However, the automotive composite market in North America is expected to marginally gain market share to reach 15.9% by 2022. The automotive composites market is divided on the basis of composite material (polymer matrix composites, metal composites and ceramic matrix composites), manufacturing process (manual, compression, injection and continuous and other), composite component (interior components, exterior components, engine and drive train components and others) in major region. The polymer matrix composites segment held the largest share in 2014 and was valued at US$ 2,728.6 Mn. The segment is expected to reach US$ 5,290.8 Mn by 2022, at a CAGR of 8.7% for the period 2015–2022. However, the metal composites segment is expected to exhibit the highest CAGR of 9.9% during the forecast period to reach US$ 1,203.4 Mn by 2022.
Concerns over increasing carbon emissions have led various industries to undertake various initiatives for environmental conservation. The automotive sector is one among the prominent sources of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Owing to environment deterioration various governments have formulated regulations or emission reduction targets. In order to achieve these targets, various automotive companies are focusing towards improving the fuel efficiency of vehicles. Use of lightweight materials for vehicle design or automotive weight reduction is the preferred strategy to improve the fuel economy of the vehicle. Advanced plastics, alloys,, and composites are some of the lightweight materials extensively utilized for automotive designs in order to reduce the weight of the vehicle. Composites being durable, light weight, corrosion resistant, easy to mold and high strength to weight ratio are becoming preferred lightweight materials for automotive designs.
Some of the major drivers identified in the market are growing preference for fuel-efficient passenger cars, improving vehicle aesthetics in order to achieve product differentiation, increasing vehicles production especially in Asia Pacific region, and stringent vehicle emission norms. Minor restraints identified in the market is relatively high cost of composites.
This is influencing automakers towards investing in the R&D of lightweight materials to manufacture the exterior and interior parts/components of the vehicle. This reduces the overall weight of the vehicle, in turn, improving its fuel efficiency. According to SuperLight-Car, Germany, around one-third of total fuel consumption by passenger cars depends on weight. For instance, weight reduction of the vehicle by 100 kg is expected to save 0.3 to 0.5 liters of fuel for every 100 km drive. Owing to increasing automotive production, especially in developing Asia-Pacific countries such as India and China, consumption of automotive composites has witnessed steady growth in the recent past. In 2013, there were 800 vehicles per 1,000 people in the U.S. compared to 600 vehicles per 1,000 people in Japan, 80 cars per 1,000 people in China, and 25 vehicles per 1,000 people in India.
The global automotive composite market is highly consolidated, with the top four companies accounting for about 70–75% market share. Toray Industries, Toho Co. Ltd., Mitsubishi, and SGL are the prominent players in the market. Other major players operating in the global automotive composites are Cytec Industries Inc., SAERTEX GmbH & Co. KG, Koninklijke Ten Cate N.V., Johns Manville, Johnson Controls, Inc., Scott Bader Company Ltd., Teijin Limited, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, and UFP Technologies, Inc.