Transparency Market Research has released a new market report titled “Automotive Plastics Market by Product (ABS, PP, PU, PVC, PE, PC, PMMA, PA), by Application (Power Trains, Under the Hood, Electrical Components, Chassis, Furnishing), Bio-based Opportunity (PLA, PHA, PCL, PBS) – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2012 – 2018,” which observes that the demand for automotive plastics which was reported at USD 15.1 billion in 2012 is expected to be worth USD 32.9 billion by the end of 2018. 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 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 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.
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 the various automotive applications.
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.
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