Elastomers are materials made of polymers which are joined by chemical bond to acquire crosslinked structure. The property of elastomers depends upon the distribution and degree of the polymers chemical bond. The automotive elastomers are used to manufacture different automotive parts. The global automotive elastomers market is registering a good growth in the recent years and also anticipated to grow at a fast pace in the coming years. This is attributed to the increased usage of these elastomers in the automotive industry for wide variety of applications including front-end body panels, belts, hoses, and others.
Insight by Type
On the basis of type, the automotive elastomers market is classified into natural rubber, styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), nitrile elastomer, ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM), silicone rubber, fluroelastomer, styrene block copolymers, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), thermoplastic olefin (TPO), thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPV), thermoplastic copolyester (TPC), and others. Among all these, natural rubber segment is leading the market and anticipated to register the highest CAGR in the market during the forecast period. This is attributed to the increasing use of this rubber in tire application due to its properties such as excellent tensile strength, tear resistance, elongation, and others.
Insight by Application
Based on application, the automotive elastomers market is segmented into tire and non-tire application. The tire application category is anticipated to dominate the market in the coming years, as 70% of the world rubber is consumed by the tire industry. The industry is witnessing a growth in world tire production due to the growth in automobile industry; hence tire production is among the major force driving the elastomers industry growth. At the same time, the improvement in the variety and quality of elastomers is enabling the tire industry to achieve its goal of providing control, safety, grip, comfort, and other features of tires.
The increasing demand of high-efficiency vehicles, growing automotive industry, light weighting trend in automotive industry, and strict emission regulations are among the major factors that are driving the automotive elastomers market growth. The automotive industry is growing at a decent pace, as the production of automobiles has increased to fulfill the demand of the growing population with rising income levels, particularly in Asian countries such as China, India, and others. For instance, India is among the largest automobile market, as the automobile sales including passenger and commercial vehicles grew by 9.5% in 2017.
Fluctuating cost of raw material and economic instability in Europe are the major challenges which can hinder the growth of automotive elastomers market. Volatility in the prices of raw materials may adversely affect the performance of elastomers in the global market. There are various factors which impacts the international rubber prices such as crude oil price movement, global supply/demand position, impact on prices of synthetic substitutes, and others, which in turn affects the overall industry.
The automotive elastomer industry players are paying attention towards deriving monomers from bio-based sources in order to stay competitive in the market.
Asia-Pacific is projected lead the automotive elastomers market owing to the increasing demand of elastomers in the transportation and automotive industry. The region is emerging as one of the production hub of automobiles due to the cheap labor, presence of major players, and others, contributing in market growth. Also, the increasing purchasing power of people has triggered the automobiles demand in the region. Hence, a healthy growth prospect in the region’s automotive production is projected to increase the demand for elastomers in the region in the coming years.
Major companies in the automotive elastomers industry are anticipated to continue partnering or acquiring the regional manufacturers for the purpose of gaining strong foothold in the market. 3M Company, ExxonMobil, Bayer Material Science, Lanxess AG, Lyondell Basell, Daikin, DowDuPont Inc., BASF SE, Asahi Kasei, Huntsman Corporation, and LG Chem are some of the major players operating in the global automotive elastomers market.