It’s no mystery that reduction of vehicle’s weight can convey major benefits for fuel consumption and other performance parameters of a vehicle. With the continued existing regulatory pressure worldwide for emission control and focus of OEM on developing performance vehicle with high durability brought a significant shift in the automotive industry with employment of light weight body parts. In recent past, weight of vehicle has turned into significant parameter to compete in the market, to accomplish this OEMs either focus on downsizing components or using new materials with reduced weight and similar properties as that of conventional materials used. A study estimates that 10 percent of reduction in weight can result in 8–9% of improved fuel efficiency of vehicle. Body panels constitute a significant share in overall weight of a vehicle reduction of which will help in achieving goal of reduced weight, increased efficiency and hence improved performance. Despite all such advantages the major challenge that exist for use of lightweight material is maintaining rigidity and durability of component/vehicle. The lightweight body panels can be made from metals or polymers and composites. Metals holds significant market share due to high performance and low costs.
Lightweight Automotive Body Panels Market: Segmentation
The lightweight automotive body panels market can be segmented as follow:
By the type of material used the lightweight automotive body panel market can be classified into Metals and Polymer & composites
On the basis of Material Type
- High strength steel
- Polymers & Composites
- CFRP (Carbon–fiber reinforced plastics)
- SMC (Sheet Molding Composites)
- Other Polymer & Composite Materials
On the basis of Component Type
- Door Panels
- Trunk Lids
- Others (header & nose panels, step bumpers, fenders)
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Lightweight Automotive Body Panels Market: Drivers & Restraints
Increasing global automobile production is a major factor empowering the growth of the global lightweight body panels market. Global automotive production in 2014 improved 2.5% as compared to 2013 and increased another 1% in 2015 to 90.7 million units. Further, carbon emissions from vehicles promotes the governmental bodies to emphasize research and development of new materials and use of existing light weight alternatives thus boosting the growth of the lightweight automotive body panels market. Since deployment of lightweight automotive body panels increases the vehicle’s fuel efficiency and reduces the vehicle weight by 60 percent, customers are more inclining towards light weight vehicles, thus driving the growth of the global lightweight automotive body panels market. Increased demand for electric and hybrid vehicles are also anticipated to boost the growth of the market over forecast period.
One of the most important consumer driven factor while selecting a vehicle is cost. The cost can be divided into design cost, raw material costs and manufacturing costs. The lightweight body panels have high cost of manufacturing as compared to panels made of conventional material, which is a major challenge in the lightweight automotive body panels market. Moreover, use of lightweight automotive body panels is high in premium, luxury and performance vehicles, which is a niche segment and is presently about 10–12% of overall automotive production. Moreover, manufacturing of automotive composites take a much longer time than steel and aluminum thus this factor restraining growth of the market.
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Lightweight Automotive Body Panels Market: Region Wise outlook
By region the lightweight automotive body panels market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ), Japan, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific automotive industry production increased 2% in 2015 to 43.8 million units and was highest across the globe. Thus Asia pacific is anticipated have dominating share in lightweight automotive body panel market over the forecast period. Europe is anticipated to be the next largest market after Asia Pacific, with significant automotive production in the region. North America though have a smaller market share in terms of lightweight automotive body panel production, but is a significant hub for research and development of new automotive materials. Latin America lightweight automotive body panel market is expected to witness sluggish growth due to steeply declining automotive production in the region, the automotive production in the region declined 20% in 2015.
Lightweight Automotive Body Panels Market: Key Players
- Gordon auto body parts co., ltd.
- AUTONATIONAL Composites BV
- Alcoa, Inc.
- Austem Co. Ltd
- Faurecia S.A.
- ABC Group Inc.
- Yanfeng Automotive Interiors
- Flex-N-Gate Corporation
- Gestamp Automocion S.A.
- Hwashin Co. Ltd
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