Automotive lightweight material market to grow 5%
Sales of automotive lightweight material are estimated to surpass 76 kilotons in 2019, up from nearly 74 kilotons in 2018, according to a recent Fact.MR report. The automotive lightweight material industry is significantly influenced by broader trends in the automobile industry, especially evolving regulations on fuel efficiency. Fact.MR’s new report analyses this landscape in detail, and offers readers a comprehensive analysis on the key factors at play.
The study opines that lightweighting continues to gain a centerstage in the automotive industry. Demand for cost-effective lightweight materials continues to surge, as a growing demographic of consumers shows marked preference towards organisations that embrace sustainability. The report finds that in addition to these broader, cross-industry trends, demand for lightweight materials is also influenced by industry-specific factors such as growing electric vehicle parc.
According to the study, gains have also been complemented by steady automobile sales in China and India, two of the most populous countries in the world. Although cost remains a key parameter for buying behavior, emergence of a sizeable carbon-conscious demographic in the region has led to the introduction of lightweight materials. The report opines that these two countries will remain key to future growth of the automotive lightweight material industry. In 2018, automotive lightweight material sales were in excess of 17 kilotons in China, and are estimated to record a Y-o-Y growth at over 4.0% in 2019.
“China continues to observe numerous benefits, as the country’s lead in electric vehicles sales remains incontestable. Venturing overseas to offset sales fatigue in the local market is becoming the new area of focus for automotive component manufacturers in China. On the other hand, India is likely to become the nesting place for various automotive component manufacturing companies, as it bodes the world’s youngest population. This further implies India’s robust potential of becoming the fastest growing marketplace for automotive components,” said a lead analyst at Fact.MR.
Europe also holds a sizeable share in the automotive lightweight material market, with sales of nearly 19 kilotons in 2018. Government efforts to bring down energy consumption, and targets on weight reduction of vehicles, the automotive lightweight material market in Europe will continue to witness a robust growth.
Steel remains the most lucrative automotive lightweight material
According to the study, steel remains the most lucrative automotive lightweight material, with sales of over 35 kilotons in 2018. Increasing replacement of cast iron and other heavier components with lighter materials such as high-strength steel (HSS) in automobiles is a key demand determinant of steel in the automotive lightweight material market.
Automotive lightweight materials have witnessed robust application in the engine & mechanical components, backed by their numerous advantages such as energy efficiency, improved performance, and enhanced safety. In addition, exterior & structural segment is likely to emerge as the most lucrative application area for automotive lightweight material. Passenger cars account for the highest volume share in the automotive lightweight material market, with sales estimated in excess of 42 kilotons in 2018.
Hefty cost of raw materials such as titanium, magnesium, and carbon fiber remains a key challenge for manufacturers in the automotive lightweight material market. Additionally, sourcing of metallic raw materials is a cost-intensive procedure. This, coupled with limited availability of these materials in developing nations are expected to constrain growth of the automotive lightweight material market to a certain limit.