MarketsandMarkets Research has published this analysis in the report Automotive Lightweight Materials Market – Global Forecast to 2021. The agency also named another driver for the industry growth – it is the increase in sales of electric vehicles in the developing countries.
Metals is the largest market of the material segment in the automotive lightweight material market, with aluminium having the largest market share during the forecast period. Metals alone or in combination with composites are used for all possible vehicle components, including engine components, lightweight metal body, and interior components. The electric vehicle market is estimated to grow at CAGR of 21.49% during the estimated period. The electric vehicles are solely dependent on lighter parts, made of lightweight materials since the weight directly affects the electric vehicle’s power reserve.
Thus, not only do small enterprises but also corporations consider fiber reinforced plastics to be a lightweight material applicable for a car body and even engine components. A lot of countries offer incentives for electric cars buyers to stimulate the sales growth.
The North American region is the fastest growing market for automotive lightweight materials. The stringent fuel economy regulations, the low interest rate and low gas prices have propelled the interest to lightweight materials from Ford Motor Company (US), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (U.K.) and General Motors Company (US).
The key factor restraining the industry growth is the high cost of raw materials (such as carbon fiber). Hence, OEMs from the developing countries which depend more on economical passenger cars, use conventional materials like plastics and high strength steel.
And the other factor is the limited availability of raw materials in the developing countries. Some of the dominant players are BASF SE (Germany), ThyssenKrupp AG (Germany), Covestro AG (Germany), and ArcelorMittal (Luxembourg).
Nevertheless, the industry dominant players include not only conventional metal producers (for example, ThyssenKrupp AG and ArcelorMittal) but also companies like BASF SE, which are actively developing the manufacture of high-strength plastics and allied products.