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Bumper-To-Bumper: Market Demand For Bumper Covers Is Piling Up!

April 3, 2018

And they’re big business:   The global automotive original equipment bumper cover industry was worth more than $30 billion in 2016 and is projected to be worth more than $47 billion by the end of 2025.

Much of this growth can be attributed to the ever-increasing drive toward greater and greater vehicular safety.  But some of it can also be attributed to pure aesthetics, which obviously can sell cars.

Plastic Injection Molding 4.0 equipment
Plastic injection-molded bumper cover

The OE bumper cover market can be segmented according to:

  • design type
  • material type
  • process type
  • vehicle type
  • geography

For the purposes of this article,  we’ll focus solely on the material segment.   Bumper covers can be made of:

  • Injection-molded thermoplastic
  • Thermoset
  • Metals

Thermoplastic bumper covers use many different polymers and blends of other kinds of thermoplastics. In fact, thermoplastics are the preferred material for bumper covers, because of their resistance to sun-bleaching and overall durability.

Another advantage is the manufacturing process: like many automotive parts, thermoplastic bumper covers are manufactured using plastic-injection molding. Urethane blends can also be used in plastic-injection molding. The thermoset materials are typically made of polyurethane and its blends.  Compared to thermoplastics,  thermoset materials are tougher and are often used on heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

Metal bumper covers are also used on heavy duty and off road commercial vehicles.  Passenger cars are not allowed to use metal bumpers, due to concerns about metal’s relative threat to the safety of pedestrians who may be hit by these cars.

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