Plastic is a highly suitable material for use in the automotive industry due to its beneficial properties, such as scratch resistance, high volume to weight resistance, thermal stability and impact resistance. These properties ease the operation for automotive component manufacturers by reducing the cycle time for moulding and assembly time for OEMs. Furthermore, the shifting consumer preference towards passenger cars with an attractive appearance and upgraded aerodynamic shape is pushing manufacturers to use materials, such as advanced plastic, which are easier to mould to a desired shape than other materials.
On the other hand, attributing to the growing demand for fuel efficient vehicles, component manufacturers are continuously innovating lightweight automotive components with advanced plastic material since it helps improve the functionality, appearance and safety of automobiles while delivering superior value to consumers. The use of new and upgraded automotive components, such as navigation panel and rear vehicle infotainment system, is increasing significantly in the premium and mid-range passenger car segments. These components are generally made of advanced plastic materials and the aftermarket for such augmented products is increasing in Brazil with the increasing number of vehicles in operation (personal car and in-transit/cab-services). For instance, BMW’s i3 is an innovative electric car built with a lightweight carbon fiber and advanced plastic material.
By using plastic components, the overall kerb weight of a vehicle can be reduced as these components are lighter in weight as compared to aluminum and steel. The reduced weight of a vehicle improves its fuel efficiency, which further helps reduce CO2 emission. For instance, approximately 10% weight reduction in a vehicle results in 3–4% fuel savings. Furthermore, increasing vehicle production and high demand for lightweight automotive component by OEMs are providing better traction in the
global automotive interior plastic component market across the globe. Government regulations to control vehicular emission and shifting consumer preferences are some of the factors encouraging OEMs to continue the use of advance plastic material. ‘Inovar Auto’ program by the Federal Government of Brazil is benefiting the automotive industry in the country, which is anticipated to benefit raw material industries, such as automotive plastics. Moreover, advance plastic material is highly preferred by OEMs due to its ease of operation, excellent mouldability and extended warranties as compared to other materials, such as steel and aluminum.
The high cost of advanced plastic material as comparable to aluminum may hinder the global automotive interior plastic component market during the forecast period. There is also competition from other materials, such as high strength steel and aluminum. Steel has the edge when it comes to recycling as plastics are relatively difficult to recycle. Frequent new product launches by OEMs and increasing penetration of advanced technology systems, such as navigation panel, in-vehicle infotainment systems and on-board diagnosis system, are expected to fuel growth of the global automotive interior plastic component market.
Consumer preference is increasingly shifting towards new designs, such as hatchback car with spoilers. Many manufacturers, such as Toyota, General Motors, Volkswagen AG and Daimler Chrysler, have set up their R&D centers in Brazil with the growing interest of expanding their technological capabilities. New raw material plastic products are entering the market, which are green, sustainable, and easy to install and have a long life. For example: advanced plastics, such as bio-based plastic and recycled plastic. These materials are comparatively less aesthetic and are mostly used in the interiors of vehicles.
The global automotive interior plastic component market can be segmented on the basis of vehicle type as: Passenger vehicle, Commercial vehicle; The global automotive interior plastic component market can be segmented on the basis of product type as: Polypropylene (PP), Polyurethane (PU), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Poly Carbonates (PC), Others; The global automotive interior plastic component market can be segmented on the basis of sales channel as: OEMs, Aftermarket; As of 2013, Polypropylene dominated the market with 36.6% of the total Brazil automotive plastics market, followed by Polyurethane, Poly carbonates and Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene.
Examples of some of the market participants of the automotive interior plastic component market are: Braskem SA, Bayer Group, BASF SE, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), Smiths Plastics (PTY) Ltd, Plastikon Industries, Inc., National Plastics Group, Grupo Antolin, MVC Holdings, LLC, Barkley Plastics Ltd, Plastic Molding Technology, Inc., Productive Plastics, Inc., Tata Sons Ltd, Nifco Inc., Dipty Lal Judge Mal Pvt. Ltd, Covestro AG.
It is anticipated that Europe may dominate the global automotive interior plastic components market, owing to the high consumer demand for passenger vehicles. North America, followed by Europe, is expected to show significant growth in the global automotive interior plastic component market. Furthermore, Asia-Pacific, owing to the presence of emerging markets, is pegged to register a high growth rate in the global automotive interior plastic component market. Countries, such as India, Vietnam, Indonesia and China, are anticipated to positively influence the global automotive interior plastic component market. On the other hand, other regions, such as Latin America, are slated to contribute a relatively small market share of the total revenue.
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