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Automotive Plastics: On The Road To Another Great Year

November 30, 2019

Despite a few detours in the automotive market, the future for plastic injection molded car parts is quite rosy, according to industry analysts.

Here are the “signs” that plastic automotive components are moving into the fast lane:

  • Overall, the global plastic injection molding market is expected to grow to $345 billion by 2024. And the biggest contributor to this growth is the automotive sector, driven (pun intended) by “light-weighting”, the continual replacement of heavier steel car parts with lighter (and in some cases, stronger) plastic parts. The goal: improving fuel efficiency in gas-burning cars, and vehicle range in electric automobiles.
  • China’s overall market for plastic injection molded products is expected to rise to 6% by 2024. The on-going construction building boom and standards supporting sustainable construction are a major part of this growth.
  • The German market, valued at $11 billion in 2018, is poised to reach $14.5 billion by 2024. The automotive sector historically has been a big driver of plastic injection molding services, but it’s currently in a recession. But if that sector rebounds in the near future that $14.5 billion number could be revised upward.
  • Plummeting demand in China, emissions-related headwinds in Europe and a growing trend toward electric cars are combining to drive down global sales of plastic car components. Although new car sales have dropped a bit from historic highs in the United States, our country’s economy remains robust. That has driven vehicle sales in 2018, which edged up 0.3% over 2017.
  • Strict new regulations regarding CO2 emissions in Europe will cost carmakers with an additional €1000 per vehicle to comply with the new standards. But that means demand for injection molded plastic parts will only grow, as automakers seek to increase fuel efficiency through the aforementioned light-weighting. These molded plastic parts make up as much as 50% of automobile volume but only 10% of the weight. Plastic car parts are found everywhere in today’s vehicles, from wiring harnesses and light covers, to dashboards and door handles.
  • Finally, the growth of electrical vehicles is likely to rise exponentially by the year 2030. Tesla, and other electric are manufacturers are witnessing double-digit revenue growth. The company’s Model 3 was ranked the best-selling electric car in 2018, followed by Model X (ranked fourth) and Model S (fifth). The company reported revenue growth of 82.5% in 2018 as compared to 2017.

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