Automotive Lightweight Materials Market Size, Share, Trends, Report 2027

Automotive Lightweight Materials Market

The automotive lightweight materials market is projected to grow from USD 73.9 billion in 2022 to USD 101.5 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 6.5% for the same period. The base year for the report is 2021, and the forecast period is from 2022 to 2027. The market would witness growth owing to driving factors such as the increased weight due to the addition of comfort, safety features, and emission control devices to comply with the stringent emission, safety, and fuel consumption regulations globally.

Advancing manufacturing methods and technologies to drive the demand for lightweight materials

The automotive industry has traditionally used several manufacturing methods to produce various components and parts. Generally, hot-forming and cold-forming manufacturing technologies have been used for panel and body part productions. These manufacturing methods were limited to conventional materials such as some grades of steel, aluminum, and other similar metals. Furthermore, some manufacturing technologies were unsuitable for producing complicated panel shapes and designs.

Advanced manufacturing technologies are replacing conventional manufacturing methods with the increasing need for vehicles with new-age designs and features. These technologies include additive manufacturing, resin transfer, and micro-injection molding. The key advantage of incorporating such advanced manufacturing methods was the ability to manufacture new materials that are relatively light in weight and stronger.

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Furthermore, these advanced manufacturing technologies are designed to operate with minimal or no material wastage. For instance, additive manufacturing technology involves relatively least material wastage. It is a subtractive process in most conventional manufacturing methods, resulting in higher material wastage. This manufacturing technology has greatly driven the growth of carbon fiber material, which has one of the highest weight-to-strength ratios. The technology is also compatible with other lightweight materials, including various grades of plastics, composites, and metals. For instance, BMW (Germany) has demonstrated its additive manufacturing capabilities in the 2020 model i8 Roadster sports car.

Such new processes and technologies greatly aid the automotive industry in meeting the increasing demand for lightweight materials. With the help of these advanced manufacturing systems, many leading OEMs are developing vehicles that are relatively more fuel-efficient and perform better. In some cases, these advanced manufacturing technologies have aided the substitution of materials, resulting in weight and cost reduction.

The development of advanced and affordable electric and autonomous vehicles

The increasing trend of electrification in the automotive industry is mainly due to the global demand for sustainable mobility and the growing stringency in emission regulations. Many leading automotive players, such as Volkswagen (Germany), Tesla Motors (US), Ford (US), General Motors (US), Toyota (Japan), and others, have ventured into the electric vehicle segment. Electric vehicles are relatively more efficient than conventional ICE vehicles. Along with the increase in the sales of electric vehicles, the battery range has become one of the primary buying criteria for customers. However, the battery cost is one of the major costs associated with the manufacturing of an EV. The batteries are also one the heaviest components in an EV, with around 30–40% of the vehicle’s curb weight. With such a demand for vehicles with longer ranges, incorporating larger batteries is not a feasible option as it increases the cost and weight of the vehicles and reduces the usable space. This increase in the vehicle weight further compensates for the vehicle’s performance and battery range. For these reasons, the OEMs prefer automotive lightweight electric vehicles, resulting in a relatively more extended battery range with the same battery capacity.

Furthermore, the autonomous vehicles market is also gradually developing. A few surveys suggest that around 90 percent of these autonomous vehicles will be shared, and only around 10% of them will be personal vehicles. This sharing of the vehicle demands good space for occupying more passengers comfortably. Smaller batteries can be used when such shared autonomous vehicles are incorporated with lightweight materials, resulting in more space for increased passenger occupancy. For all these reasons, the OEMs widely contain lightweight materials in developing their electric and autonomous vehicles. For instance, in 2022, Tesla Motors (US) had lightweight materials in their Tesla Model Y Long Range (LR) and Performance variants. Earlier, both variants weighed around 2003 kg. However, there was a significant weight reduction in the LR variant, with a decrease of 24 Kg. Furthermore, with the rapidly growing electric vehicle market, such as the OEMs’ incorporation of automotive lightweight materials, more affordable electric vehicles with increased driving range can be expected.

Asia Pacific is projected to dominate the Automotive lightweight materials market by 2027.

According to MarketsandMarkets analysis and validations from primary respondents, Asia Pacific is estimated to be the largest market for small passenger cars, backed by solid demand in the automotive industry. The growth of the passenger car segment will positively influence the automotive lightweight materials market in the region. The region also has the presence of many of the major global automotive manufacturers. For instance, Volkswagen Group (Germany), Mercedes (Germany), Ford (US), Renault (France), and others have already set up manufacturing units in these countries. Furthermore, the increasing demand for fuel-efficient vehicles to comply with stringent emission norms will drive the automotive lightweight materials market. By region, the automotive lightweight materials market is expected to increase in the Asia Pacific region. This is mainly because of the strong demand in the automotive industry in countries including China, India, and others. Another key driving factor is the increasing demand for fuel-efficient and less-emitting vehicles in this region. Furthermore, the availability and affordability of raw materials in countries such as China is a key driving factor for the market’s rapid growth in this region.

Key Market Players & Start-ups

The automotive lightweight materials market is led by globally established players such as BASF SE (Germany), Covestro AG (Germany), LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V. (Netherlands), Toray Industries, Inc. (Japan), ArcelorMittal (Germany), ThyssenKrupp AG (Germany), Novelis, Inc. (US), Alcoa Corporation (US), Owens Corning (US), and Stratasys Ltd. (US). These companies adopted expansion strategies and undertook collaborations, partnerships, and mergers & acquisitions to gain traction in the high-growth automotive lightweight materials market.

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