Six trends affecting the global automotive plastics market in the new decade

- Jan 16, 2020-

Plastic improves the performance, structure and safety of cars and is a major factor in lightening, which improves fuel efficiency and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

As a result, the automotive plastics market has become an important commercial space: the global plastics market was worth $23.7bn in 2016, and the automotive industry's demand for plastics is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11 per cent to more than $50bn by 2024.

Driven by strict regulations, especially on fuel efficiency, plastics are a key factor in the manufacture and design of cars.

In addition to reducing the weight of the parts used in vehicles, plastic offers more design freedom than metal.

Other advantages include material recyclability, wear resistance, durability, strength and vibration control.


Here are the key trends in the automotive plastics Market through 2024, according to research by Global Market Insight.

1. The demand for polypropylene (PP) will increase.

It is procured for automotive interiors and exteriors, as well as under the hood applications, often replacing metal parts.

To neutralise the battery's weight, the PP will soar as production of electric vehicles (evs) surges.

2. Polyethylene (PE) consumption is likely to remain stagnant.

While hdpe continues to replace steel in gas tanks, a new trend affecting demand for polyethylene is the proliferation of electric vehicles.

In electric vehicles, PE is primarily used in engine components because electric motors do not require plastics designed for high temperatures.

3. Although consumption of ABS may suffer as the use of PP composites increases, some high-end cars will still be in demand due to its recognized quality in automotive interiors.

ABS is increasingly used in wheel covers and body parts as it enhances the toughness, impact resistance and heat resistance of plastic products.

4. Polycarbonate (PC) is setting a new standard for lighting and electrification of self-driving and conventional cars.

In addition, PC also has excellent shock resistance, heat resistance, electricity and weather resistance.

The combination of toughness, hardness and stiffness will promote the application of PC in automotive plastics industry.

5. PVC is attractive for its enhanced flame retardancy, excellent flexibility, low (no) lead content and high gloss.

PVC can be molded, molded and blown to form a range of products.

As a result, the demand for PVC in car dashboards and doors is expected to grow to 2024.

6. North America and Europe will continue to attract investors to the automotive plastics market, as the industry will experience significant growth in polymer consumption by 2024.

Despite the buzz over advanced materials such as carbon fibre and aluminium, plastics continue to replace metals in car parts as technological advances improve their tensile strength and other properties.

The need for plastic in car upholstery has led to a classic shift in body design.

In addition to its light weight, the use of plastics allows manufacturers to reduce production costs, promote modular assembly practices, and improve the aerodynamic performance of the car's exterior.

Plastics help manufacturers meet corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards and cater to market trends and buying habits of consumers who want products and companies to be environmentally responsible.

Polymer technologies used by automotive engineers are expected to continue to be used in passenger and public transport vehicles.

PE and PVC seem to stand out from the growing demand for recyclables, but demand for PCS and PP will also continue to grow.

In the coming years, the automotive plastics market will undergo a significant transformation.