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Asia Pacific drives growth in the global automotive plastics market in 2012

Asia Pacific drives growth in the global automotive plastics market in 2012

15-Apr-13

The demand for automotive plastics which was reported at US$15.1 bln in 2012 is expected to be worth US$32.9 bln by the end of 2018, Tranparency Market Research, Asia Pacific had garnered the highest revenue share in the global automotive plastics market in the year 2012. Growing automotive demand, especially from developing markets, coupled with a strong trend to reduce vehicle weight is expected to drive automotive plastic demand in the near future. The automotive plastics market was dominated by Asia Pacific, which accounted for more than 50% of the total consumption by volume in the year 2011. This growth is primarily driven by the huge demand for automobiles in the rapidly developing economies within the region. Combined with improved design capability and the enormous reduction in weight and emissions, plastics have become one of the most important and indispensable materials in automotives and are expected to enjoy this market superiority in the coming years.

The instruments and technology used in designing and manufacture of automotive plastics in their various application segments are extremely cost intensive and this is one of the main drawbacks as it discourages new players from entering the fray. Raw materials for automotive plastics are majorly sourced from petroleum products and this has a direct impact on the price of finished products as the raw material prices are volatile and subject to the variation in crude oil prices. The automotive plastics are used in various automotive components such as bumpers, seating, dashboards, upholstery, internal, and external trims. The researches on composite materials, reinforced plastics, and polymers have come up with improved material qualities that make them suitable for use in interior, exterior, and under bonnet components of automobiles. The careful selection of these automotive plastics enables designers to improve durability, meet load bearing requirements, and achieve reduction in vehicle weight. As of year 2011 Asia-Pacific leads automotive plastics consumption volume by 52% followed by Europe (29%), North America (10%), and rest of the world (9%). Plastics find major applications in electrical components and interior and exterior furnishings of automobiles. The majority of the application market for automotive plastics is under the purview of these two application segments accounting for almost 70% of the total consumption. Plastics are also used in other parts in automobiles such as power trains, under the hood and chassis. The market for these applications is expected to show growth over the forecast period.  Polypropylene (PP) has been the most widely used plastic in automobiles in recent years and is expected to hold sway for the entirety of the forecast period till 2018. Polyurethane (PU), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyethylene (PE) are the other major plastic materials that have been in great demand in automobile manufacturing. Polycarbonate (PC), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polyamides (PA) such as nylons and other plastics including polyoxymethylene (POM) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are also in great demand in various automotive applications. Polypropylene leads consumption by 36% followed by polyurethanes (17%), ABS (12%), composites (11%), HDPE (10%), polycarbonates (7%), and PMMA (7%) due their easy forming properties and their availability at cheaper price than other materials.

The demand for automotive plastics which was reported at US$15.1 bln in 2012 is expected to be worth US$32.9 bln by the end of 2018, Tranparency Market Research. Asia Pacific had garnered the highest revenue share in the global automotive plastics market in the year 2012. Growing automotive demand, especially from developing markets, coupled with a strong trend to reduce vehicle weight is expected to drive automotive plastic demand in the near future. The automotive plastics market was dominated by Asia Pacific, which accounted for more than 50% of the total consumption by volume in the year 2011. This growth is primarily driven by the huge demand for automobiles in the rapidly developing economies within the region. Combined with improved design capability and the enormous reduction in weight and emissions, plastics have become one of the most important and indispensable materials in automotives and are expected to enjoy this market superiority in the coming years. The instruments and technology used in designing and manufacture of automotive plastics in their various application segments are extremely cost intensive and this is one of the main drawbacks as it discourages new players from entering the fray. Raw materials for automotive plastics are majorly sourced from petroleum products and this has a direct impact on the price of finished products as the raw material prices are volatile and subject to the variation in crude oil prices. Biodegradable plastics are a more environment friendly option to plastics sourced from crude oil and derivatives. After a certain time period these plastics begin their degradation process and are easy to dispose without causing adverse effects on the environment. Starch based and polylactic acid (PLA) based biodegradable plastics have been the most common materials used in the automotive industry. Newer biodegradable plastics such as PHA, PCL and PBS are being used in small quantities for automotive applications. Biodegradable plastics have been analyzed separately as a potential opportunity, the estimates for these plastics have not been included in the overall market estimate and have been provided separately.

Traditionally, although North America and Europe have been the biggest markets for plastics in automobiles, Asia Pacific has been the largest consumer of automotive plastics in recent years. This can be attributed to the tremendous growth in the automotive industry in the region and the huge and apparent never-ending demand for automobiles in many economies of Asia Pacific. Europe has been the second largest market for automotive plastics followed by North America and Rest of the World (RoW). As of year 201, Asia-Pacific leads automotive plastics consumption volume by 52% followed by Europe (29%), North America (10%), and rest of the world (9%). Plastics find major applications in electrical components and interior and exterior furnishings of automobiles. The majority of the application market for automotive plastics is under the purview of these two application segments accounting for almost 70% of the total consumption. Plastics are also used in other parts in automobiles such as power trains, under the hood and chassis. The market for these applications is expected to show growth over the forecast period.  Polypropylene (PP) has been the most widely used plastic in automobiles in recent years and is expected to hold sway for the entirety of the forecast period till 2018. Polyurethane (PU), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyethylene (PE) are the other major plastic materials that have been in great demand in automobile manufacturing. Polycarbonate (PC), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polyamides (PA) such as nylons and other plastics including polyoxymethylene (POM) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are also in great demand in various automotive applications. P olypropylene leads consumption by 36% followed by polyurethanes (17%), ABS (12%), composites (11%), HDPE (10%), Polycarbonate (7%), and PMMA (7%) due their easy forming properties and their availability at cheaper price than other materials.

The automotive plastics are used in various automotive components such as bumpers, seating, dashboards, upholstery, internal and external trims. The researches on composite materials, reinforced plastics, and polymers have come up with improved material qualities that make them suitable for use in interior, exterior, and under bonnet components of automobiles. The careful selection of these automotive plastics enables designers to improve durability, meet load bearing requirements, and achieve reduction in vehicle weight. Electrical components and interior and exterior furnishings were the major application areas for automotive plastics and in 2011 accounted for almost 70% of the automotive plastics market. Research and development is currently ongoing to develop newer and better products for use in power trains, under the hood applications and chassis. These market segments are rising rapidly and are expected to show healthy growth during the forecast period. Along with traditional plastics, the relatively new and upcoming biodegradable plastics market has also gained popularity in the automotive industry. Starch-based and polylactic acid-based biodegradable plastics were the most commonly used materials in the manufacture of automotive parts in 2011 and they are expected to gain market share by 2018. Automotive plastics are among one of the widely preferred alternatives for light-weighting of the automobile as they offer enhanced properties such as impact strength, easy mold-ability, improved aesthetics, and reduced weight as compared to conventional automotive components. The increasing production of passenger cars in Asia-Pacific is one of the main drivers for increasing consumption of automotive plastics globally. The global automotive plastics consumption is expected to grow from 6.7 mln tons in 2011 to 10.2 mln tons in 2016 at an estimated CAGR of 8.6% for the same period, as per Markets and Markets. The global automotive plastics revenue is expected to grow from US$22,155 mln in 2011 to US$42,135 mln in 2016 at an estimated CAGR of 13.7% for the same period. The main drivers of automotive plastics utilization are their potential for maximum mass reduction of automobile and carbon emission reduction potential by light-weighting of the vehicle. The factors restraining the market are high material cost and huge investment in material research activities by companies.

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