Big Growth Opportunities for Automotive Silicones in Lightweighting Applications

By on March 20, 2016 in IN THE NEWS

Silicone-Rubber-Molded-Parts-Auto-PartsAs environmental agencies have enforced standards that demand greater lightweighting and fuel efficiency, the automotive industry has increasingly turned to silicone elastomers.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, 360 Degree Analysis of the Silicones Market for the Automotive Industry, finds that the market earned revenues of $2.59 billion in 2015 and estimates them to reach $4.06 billion in 2021.

In the United States, the major push for silicone elastomers comes from the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulation, which requires manufacturers to improve their cars’ miles per gallon (MPG) from 25 MPG to 35.5 MPG by the end of 2016. Meanwhile, for automotive silicone providers in Europe, the chief driving forces are the fuel economy requirement of 5 L/100 km and the new Euro 6 emission standards that require original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to ensure substantial lightweighting and miniaturisation of their products.

“The miniaturisation of critical automotive parts such as engines exposes under-the-hood components to greater stress and higher temperatures,” saidFrost & Sullivan Visionary Science Research Associate Srinivas Venkatesan. “Thus, the adoption of silicone elastomers in under-the-hood applications, as well as the replacement of metal bolts and rivets can be expected to drive market growth. Sealing, gasketing, hosing as well as electrical and electronic applications will also fuel the automotive silicones market.”

Overall, the demand for silicones in the automotive industry will depend on production trends in the sector. With automotive production in China and India likely to witness robust growth, Asia-Pacific (APAC) will present significant opportunities for automotive silicone providers.

Comparatively, Europe will have few opportunities for the automotive silicone market due to sluggish growth in automotive production. The economic instability and the debt crisis has caused a production slump, but once the region rebounds, its automotive production compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is anticipated to increase from 1.7 percent in 2014 to 2.7 percent in 2021.

Much like Europe, automotive production in North America has lost pace, despite the expected growth in sales due to imports from Europe and Asia-Pacific. With automotive production in the region expected to register a CAGR of only 1.2 percent for the 2011-2021 period, automotive silicone providers will have to strive hard to stay afloat in this region.

“Joint ventures and partnerships among global companies and between global and local companies are prevalent strategies owing to the high initial investments required to succeed in the automotive silicones market,” noted Venkatesan. “These collaborations will enable the silicone adhesives segment to witness a growth rate higher than that of the automotive industry, while the elastomers segment is likely to demonstrate marginally higher growth.”

source: Frost & Sullivan

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