Europe Automotive Composites Market share was USD 1,475.4 million in 2019 and will grow at a CAGR of 6.6% up to 2026.
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The Europe automotive composites market is expected to gain a substantial growth owing to the presence of major car manufacturers. Europe is home to numerous car manufacturing companies with production facilities in Germany, the UK, Poland, Spain, and Spain. The UK alone possesses nine major premium and sport car manufacturers. Advanced technology, strong technical expertise, and high-class engineering have enabled regional manufacturers to expand their market strength globally. Key automobile manufacturers in Europe are Ford, Mazda Motor, Volkswagen, Honda, Opel/Vauxhall, Audi, Peugeot, and Audi. The production of passenger vehicles in Europe is rising owing to domestic and international demand.
BMW i3 attained a weight reduction of around 35% in the floor assembly compared to the steel floor of Toyota Corolla. The company incorporated lightweight aluminum along with resin-injected CFRP. Significant R&D investments and product innovation will drive product demand. The EU has set mandatory standards that require all passenger vehicles to meet an emission target of 95 g CO2/km by 2021. Similarly, all light commercial vehicles are required to meet 147 g CO2/km. These stringent regulations have resulted in a surge in the sales of composites, further augmenting the Europe automotive composites industry growth.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted automobile production due to a significant decline in sales of cars and other light commercial vehicles. The low demand has critically affected the region owing to stringent country-wide lockdowns to control the spread of coronavirus. The lockdowns have led to a temporary disruption in domestic production and international trade due to the ban on interstate transportation. However, this situation is expected to gain normalcy through continuous government measures and the automotive composites industry is expected to rebound after the upliftment of lockdown & transportation restrictions.
The glass fiber segment is projected to witness steady growth in European market size. Glass exhibits high strength and stiffness that can be attributed to significant revenue generation. It is highly preferred due to its cost-effective nature. The fiber is also available in various grades with varying mechanical properties such as high heat resistance and low dielectric constant.
By resin type, thermosetting resins dominated the market with around 60% share in 2019. These resins remain stable at both extremely high and dynamic temperature and require low pressure. This enables easy impregnation of reinforcing fibers including natural, glass, and carbon fibers.
Based on the manufacturing process, compression segment will witness over 6.5% CAGR over the forecast timeframe. The compression process is used commonly among consumers due to its benefits such as cost-effectiveness compared to other processes, less delivery time, and easy delivery of lightweight products.
Based on application, structural & power train is a key application of the composites. Product manufacturers are focusing on the usage of lightweight materials for these components, further inducing potential for the automotive composites industry from structural & powertrain application.
Europe will garner a substantial share in the automotive composites market by 2026 due to the high demand for automobiles from countries such as Germany, Spain, France, and the UK. The established automobile industry along with stringent regulations to reduce CO2 emissions from vehicles will spur product demand. Germany held the largest market share in 2019. It is the largest manufacturing country of Glass-fiber Reinforced Plastic (GRP) in Europe, resulting in high exports of the product to international markets. The high production of GRP will lead to extensive usage in vehicles, further fostering the sales of automotive composites.
The key players in the market include Cytec Solvay Group, Gurit Holdings AG, Koninklijke Ten Cate BV, and Polar Manufacturing. Companies are increasingly investing in R&D & product launches, establishing partnerships with other companies, and diversifying distribution & sales network to establish a firm presence in the market. Companies are also engaged in acquisitions, expansion, and establishing long-term contracts with end users and raw material suppliers.