Global car market driven by passenger car production and increasing utilization of automotive plastics in vehicle designs

The global passenger car market is mainly driven by passenger car production and increasing utilization of automotive plastics in vehicle designs, as per The global consumption is anticipated to grow from 7.1 million tons in 2012 to 11.3 million tons by 2018 at an expected CAGR of 8.0% from 2013 to 2018. The high growth rate of the industry is attributable to increasing passenger car production and initiatives by automobile manufacturers towards light-weighting of cars. The use of plastics in interior, exterior, and under bonnet components of automobiles help in weight reduction, improve aesthetics, vibration and noise control, and cabin insulation. The properties of plastics such as easy moldability, recyclability, scratch resistance, high volume to weight resistance, thermal stability, impact strength, and resistance to abrasion make them suitable for use in automobiles. Among all the automotive plastics, polypropylene (PP) leads consumption by 37% followed by polyurethanes (PU) (17.3%), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) (12.3%), composites (11.5%), high density polyethylene (HDPE) (10.8%), polycarbonates (PC) (6.8%), and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) (4.4%) due to their easy forming properties and their availability at cheaper price than other materials. As of 2012, Asia-Pacific leads consumption by capturing 50.5% of market followed by Europe (28%), North America (11.3%), and rest of the world (10.1%). Major suppliers/producers include Dow Chemical Company (U.S.), Bayer MaterialScience (Germany), Momentive Performance Materials (U.S.), Akzonobel (Netherlands), and Evonik (Germany). The leading consumers include major automobile manufacturers such as Toyota Motor Corp., Hyundai Motor Company, Mitsubishi Motors Corp., General Motors, Honda Motor Co. Ltd, and Peugeot SA. The main drivers of automotive plastics utilization are their potential for mass reduction of automobile and fuel consumption reduction potential by reducing the weight of the vehicle. The factors restraining the growth of market are high material cost and huge investment in material research activities by companies. The opportunities are cited in the development of new materials such as reinforced composites and PMMA. The global passenger car production is dominated by Asia-Pacific region followed by Europe, North America, and rest of the world. The major players in Asia-Pacific region are Toyota (Japan), Hyundai (South Korea), and Honda (Japan). In Europe the major players are Volkswagen (Germany), Peugeot SA (France), Fiat SPA (Italy), and BMW (Germany). In North America major players are General Motors (U.S.) and Ford (U.S.). Since the slowdown in market during 2008 to 2010, the passenger car market is now on the path of recovery. However, due to prolonged effect of debt crisis in the European region, the European automotive industry is expected to grow at a sluggish rate. The global passenger car production is expected to grow from 63.1 million units in 2012 to 94.4 million units by 2018 at an estimated CAGR of 6.9% from 2013 to 2018. Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at higher CAGR of 8.6% due to growing demand in the region. Increase in disposable income of individuals is among the major reason for same.
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