The global automotive composites market is forecasted to value up to $9.3 billion by 2025 from $5.4 billion in 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.5 percent between the five years, as per the world’s leading market research provider Research and Markets.
According to the report, the rising demand for lightweight and fuel-efficient vehicles as well as the emerging trend of electric cars, are the key factors for the growth of the automotive composites market.
The increasing awareness of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and tightened government rules on emission control also pave the path for the growth of the market. Meanwhile, the report also notes that the negative impact of the COVID-19 on the automotive industry has severely affected the market expansion.
Glass vs Carbon fiber
Carbon fiber composites are expected to mark the highest CAGR in terms of both value and volume between 2020 and 2025 while glass fiber accounts for the largest share of the overall market, the report says.
The excellent features of glass fiber like its strength, durability, flexibility, stability, lightweight, and resistance to heat make it a prime choice of material for automotive composite manufacturers in different applications such as underbody systems, front end modules, deck lids, bumper beams, engine cover instrument panels and air ducts, among many other body parts in automotive.
Composites in exterior parts
The composites of a car body that are placed on the outer surface of the vehicle structure are termed as the exterior parts of the car body and it includes major components like bumper beam, fender, front end module, door panels, and hood, among others.
Using composites in the automotive industry is an upcoming trend as it helps in achieving quality performance properties like stiffness, lightweight, and high strength to weight ratio. The exterior parts manufactured using composites provide rigidity thereby brings down the level of risk against damage in the event of an accident.
Composites also help reduce the weight of the exterior parts hence enabling a weight reduction of the complete car body and make it more fuel-efficient. The exterior parts are more vulnerable to wear and tear owing to exposure to harsh elements and extreme weather and by using composites in the exterior parts the durability of cars can be ensured and can lower the maintenance cost.
Largest vehicle type of automotive composites
Several OEMs like BMW, Audi, Renault, Porsche, Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler, among others uses composites in their high-end non-electric vehicles.
Porsche manufactured a Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) assembly carrier for the Porsche GT3 Cup II model while BMW and Fiat Chrysler uses carbon fiber composites and glass-reinforced polypropylene (PP) composites in their lightweight dashboard carrier and entire chassis of their Alfa Romeo 4C model sports car.
The German car manufacturer has developed the Rodeo concept, an all-wheel-drive carbon fiber safari vehicle based on the classic Porsche 911 safari rally car. These initiatives taken by OEMs across the globe has been driving the use of automotive composites in non-electric vehicles.
Leading automotive composites market
Europe holds the prime position in terms of the growth of the automotive composites market. The European Union is amongst the world’s biggest producers of motor vehicles and the sector represents the largest private investor in research & development.
The growth of the automotive composites market in the region is driven by the presence of established car manufacturers, industrial expansion and industry 4.0 technology introduced in the automotive industry.