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‘Dynamic growth’ for automotive plastics market

Global – The automotive industry is a ‘dynamically growing market for plastics’: In addition to the global stock of already more than 1.2 billion vehicles, more than 90 million units are added every year. This car production level equates to plastics consumption of 15 million tonnes per year ‘€“ or 167 kg per vehicle, so says German consulting company Ceresana.

The most commonly used plastic in automobiles is polypropylene (PP), which accounts for about 28% of total demand. In the past eight years, demand for PP in the automotive industry increased by more than 3% each year. About one third of the PP consumed in the production of vehicles serves the segment bumpers and lighting.

In 2015, the segment under the hood and fuel system was the most important application area with a demand of around 2.6 million tonnes of plastics. ‘Demand for exterior trim is especially likely to grow further: at rates of presumably 4.5% per year,’ Ceresana reports.

In addition, HDPE, LDPE, and LLDPE are used in vehicles mainly under the hood and for fuel systems. This segment accounts for about 45% of demand with HDPE being the dominant product type.

Demand for polyethylene amounts to almost 3 million tonnes which is slightly more than the demand volume of polyurethane (PUR). ‘Demand for PUR has increased by 3.6% per year since 2007 – especially for the segment seats and upholstery,’ Ceresana writes.

Its latest market study focussed on automotive plastics provides a presentation of the global market for plastics in the automotive industry, including forecasts up to 2023.

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