As consumers are demanding fuel-efficient cars, the OEMs are focusing on mass reduction strategies, using plastics as a significant replacement for steel in the vehicles. The Indian automotive plastics market revenues are forecast to double by the end of 2017, according to the report by TechSciResearch. The report mentions that the market for automotive plastics in India has grown at an exponential CAGR of around 25% during 2009-12.
Rising raw material costs and high capital requirement of the automotive market are the major challenges for the players in Indian market. The report also highlights the initiatives being taken by the government to promote the market. The growing demand for electric vehicles is anticipated to drive the automotive plastics market as Indian government has taken initiatives to boost the market for electric and hybrid cars in India. This can also be observed from the government’s planned incentive package of about US$10 bln on import of batteries during the financial year 2013-14. As the prices of fuel in India are increasing on regular basis, customers are inclining towards fuel efficient cars, thus in order to sustain in the competitive Indian automotive market, automotive manufacturers have also adopted mass reduction strategy to increase fuel efficiency. For the reduction of vehicle’s weight, automotive companies are using plastics and polymer materials over traditional steel for vehicle’s body. The use of plastics in automotive also helps in reducing carbon emissions because of aerodynamic shaping and parts integration. Approximately 60% of engine’s efficiency is used to overcome resistance caused by air. As a result, improved aerodynamics translates into substantial improvements in fuel efficiency and carbon emissions. At a time when light weight passenger cars are the trend of global as well as Indian automotive market, plastics have a significant role to play.
The report reveals that during the last half-a-decade, India has also emerged as export hub for automotive plastics to European and West Asian countries. Indian automotive sales are growing at around 15% and are further anticipated to report similar trend during the next five years. “More cars put a higher burden on the environment, making it necessary to tighten emission regulations and diminish CO2 releases. Rising oil prices and increasing environmental concerns are also the prominent factors to support the growth of automotive plastics market in India,” said Mr. Karan Chechi, Research Director.
Automotive plastics industry is one of those sectors whose growth is exclusively dependent on automotive sector and this sector has attracted all the global auto makers, which has resulted into intense competition. The automotive manufacturers are inclining towards minimizing manufacturing cost, where they are opting for plastics over steel due to its cost-effectiveness. Moreover, India is one of the major producers of automotive plastics, hence during last half a decade, demand for automotive plastics have reported an exponential growth. The properties of plastics such as easy mouldability, recyclability, scratch resistance, high volume to weight resistance, thermal stability, impact strength, and resistance to abrasion makes them suitable for use in automobiles and as it has many benefits over traditional steal based components, the plastics in automotive sector are being accepted at large scale in India. The consumption of polypropylene (PP) and polyurethane (PUR) is forecast to double in terms of revenues in automotive plastics sector in India during the next five years. Western region of India is the highest revenue generator to the Indian automotive plastics market due to existence of automobile manufacturing hub in states, particularly Maharashtra and Gujarat. The leading automotive plastics manufacturers in India are BASF, Bayer Crop Sciences, SRF and Dow Chemicals. Rising focus of automobile companies towards reduction of vehicle’s mass and emission of carbon are driving the Indian automotive plastics market.