The automotive composite market is driven by increasing demand for lightweight and fuel-efficient vehicles, increasing per capita vehicle ownership, increasing automotive production, especially in Asia-Pacific, and strict government regulations to reduce carbon emission from vehicles.
The implementation of stringent environmental regulations across the globe is propelling the demand for lightweight materials. Several international organizations are framing strict guidelines and standards to reduce the greenhouse gases emission. In 2011, global CO2 emission stood at 31.6 gigatons, with 23% of these emissions coming from all transport sectors across the globe. According to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations, all vehicles plying in the U.S. need to have average fuel efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. As per the European government CO2 emission regulation, the total CO2 emission from new passenger cars should be decreased from 130g per Km travel in 2013 to 95g per Km travel by 2020. According to Germany based SuperLight-Car, about one-third of total fuel consumption by passenger car depends on weight. For instance, weight reduction up to 100 kg is expected to save 0.3 liters to 0.5 liters of fuel for every 100 km drive. Also, with reduced weight of vehicle, CO2 emissions can be minimized, if not completely removed. The overall weight of vehicles can be reduced by using advanced multi-materials, which is a combination of steel, aluminum, magnesium, plastics, and composites. This is further expected to provide ample growth opportunity for the composites market in the automotive industry.
Composites used for producing lightweight automotive parts are priced higher as compared to other substitutes, including aluminum, steel, wood, and plastics. Automakers can switch to cheaper materials to produce vehicle parts, and thus acts as restraint for the automotive composites market.
In 2015, Asia-Pacific was the largest market for automotive composite, followed by Europe and North America. Asia-Pacific is also likely to lead the automotive composite market during the forecast period, owing to the expected increase in the sales and production of vehicles, increasing demand for lightweight vehicles paired with better fuel efficiency, and growing environmental concern regarding CO2 emissions from vehicles. In 2015, China, India, and Japan were the major consumers of automotive composites in the region. The Chinese government is focused towards strengthening environmental standards in China in order to reduce the CO2 level in the country. This is expected to increase the overall demand for fuel cell vehicles, which uses composites in the near future. Such standards provide further growth opportunities for the automotive composite market in the region. By 2025, the electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles sales are expected to account for 10% and 40% respectively of the total vehicles sold in Asia-Pacific. Also, according to LMC Automotive, 36.0 million lightweight vehicles were sold in Asia Pacific in 2013, representing 43.0% of global lightweight vehicle sales. This number is expected to reach 56.1 million by 2020, representing 48.0% of the global sales. This is expected to boost the automotive lightweight material industry, which in turn will further drive the growth of automotive composite market in Asia Pacific.
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Some of the major competitors in the global automotive composite market include Toray Industries, Inc., Koninklijke Ten Cate N.V., SAERTEX GmbH & Co. KG, Cytec Industries Inc., Scott Bader Company Ltd., Teijin Limited, UFP Technologies, Inc., E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Johnson Controls Inc., and Johns Manville.
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