There are very few opportunities for new entrants in the global automotive lightweight materials market, as the shares are largely consolidated among a handful of well-established players, according to a recent business publication by Transparency Market Research (TMR). The study has observed that while there is strong potential of profitability in producing lightweight materials for the automotive companies, the market is dominated by players such as ArcelorMittal, Grupo Antolin, Toyota Boshoku Corp., The Dow Chemical Co., Faurecia S.A., Reliance Industries Ltd., Magna International, and LyondellBasell Industries N.V. However, the competition among these key players is already quite stiff, and the research and development of new products is expected to pave a way for them for greater shares.
Handful of Key Players Hold Prominent Shares
For instance, ArcelorMittal, which is global leader in steel, supplies various grades of high strength steel to make vehicles lighter, safer and stronger. The company’s advanced high strength steels and press-hardenable steel grades such as Usibor®1500 and Ductibor® 500 can reduce weight by up to 23% of the combined weight of a pick-up’s cab, box, frame and closures. Grupo Antolin, on the other hand, offers products with high added value to outfit automobile interiors in five principal areas: overheads and soft trim, doors and hard trim, seats and metal, lighting and cockpits and consoles. The automotive lightweight materials market is anticipated to revolve around the U.K. based company in the near future.
Detroit based Lear Corporation is a major manufacturer of seating system and vehicle interior components for the automotive industry. The company supplies complete automotive seating systems and components as well as electrical distribution systems and electronic components, including high-power and hybrid electrical systems and components. LyondellBasell is one of the largest supplier of thermoplastic olefin and compounded grade offering to the automotive industry. The company primarily supplies polyolefins, which helps reduce automobile weight and conserve fuel as well as providing comfort and safety. Polyolefins constitutes for nearly half of the plastic found in a car.
Demand to Expand at CAGR 8.3% during 2017 to 2024
In terms of revenue, the TMR report has estimated that the global automotive lightweight materials market will be worth US$301,362.2 mn by the end of 2024, with the demand expanding at a formidable CAGR of 8.3% during the forecast period of 2017 to 2024. In terms of volume, the analyst has foreseen a demand for 139,046 kilo tons of lightweight material coming from the automotive industry by the end of 2024.
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On the basis of product type, the automotive lightweight materials market has been segmented into metal, composites, rubber, and plastic, whereas based on vehicle, the market has been bifurcated into heavy trucks and buses, commercial vehicles, and passenger cars. Application-wise, the market has been categorized into structural, under bonnet, exterior, and interior. Geographically, North America and Europe have been identified as the two regions with maximum potential, although demand from the Asia Pacific region is projected to proliferate at a healthy growth rate too.
Growing Popularity of Hybrid Vehicles to Create New Demand
The study has detected that the fuel efficiency of a vehicle can be improved by six percent to eight percent by a 10 percent decrease in weight and this benefit is the primary driver of the automotive lightweight materials market. On the back of stringent emission mandates in a number of countries, automakers are now aggressively looking to reinvent their products via hollow seat frames, engine downsizing, and electric power steering, and are resorting to manufacturing processes such as resistance spot welding, rotary forging, and resin transfer moulding. Additionally, automotive companies all over the world are increasing their research on hybrid vehicles and ultimately working towards the complete electrification of vehicles using various technologies to produce commercially viable vehicles.
On the other hand, high cost of lightweight materials such as carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) and glass fiber reinforced plastics (GFRP) in comparison to aluminum and steel is the most prominent restraint over the prosperity of the automotive lightweight materials market. However, this severity of this challenge is expected to decrease over the course of the forecast period of this report as a result of relentless research and developed activities that are currently underway.