Use of Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS) in Electric and Lightweight Vehicle Manufacturing to Drive the Automotive Metal Market

Tue, 07 May 2019 7:50

Growing disposable income, improving standard of living, and infrastructure development are among the leading factors accelerating the demand for automotive vehicles. The automotive metal market is expected to grow in tandem with this growth in the automotive vehicle market.

The automotive metal market has been witnessing significant developments in terms of materials as well as technologies used in the manufacturing of vehicle components. Stringent fuel efficiency regulations have facilitated the development of lightweight & cost-effective materials for the automotive sector. Moreover, new technologies including 3D printing are being utilized for the manufacturing of large metal parts.

According to the World Steel Association, in 2015, the European Union was estimated to be the second largest region for steel production, accounting for 166 million metric tons. Countries in the European Union such as Germany, France, Belgium, and Italy are leading importers and exporters of steel products. Germany exports around 24.7 million metric tons of steel and imports around 25 million metric tons of steel. Additionally, government support for automotive research and development and R&D investments worth US$ 1.63 billion in car industry for the manufacturing of lightweight material, low-carbon propulsion, and autonomous vehicles have been driving market growth in the U.K.

Regional Insights

Geographically, the automotive metal market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America and the Middle East & Africa (LAMEA).

North America is expected to hold the largest share in the global automotive metal market during the forecast period (2019–2026), owing to the existing automotive manufacturing base, and the fact that Canada and Mexico are the leading manufacturers of automotive parts. According to International Trade Administration, Canada is the top exporter of automotive parts, followed by Mexico. Export of automotive parts from the U.S. to the European Union has been witnessing steady growth during 2012–2015, from approximately US$ 5 billion to US$ 7.2 billion. The demand for automobiles and increasing adoption of technology in automobile manufacturing are projected to further augment market growth during the forecast period.

Asia Pacific is expected to witness significant growth in the global automotive metal market during the assessment period (2019–2026), owing to the prominent presence of automotive component manufacturers in the region. China is a leading automotive component manufacturer, followed by Japan and India. According to the World Steel Association, China ranks first in steel production. In 2016, China produced approximately 808 million tons of steel, accounting for nearly half the total global steel production. Moreover, with high demand for trucks and passenger cars, China registered a 5.3% increase in sales in August 2017. Automotive steel sheets are more widely used as compared to aluminum sheets, owing to their strength and durability; thus, the demand for steel sheets is expected to remain dominant throughout the forecast period. The increasing demand for lightweight and hybrid vehicles is expected to further drive the growth of the automotive metal market during the forecast period.

Segmental Insights

The automotive metal market can be segmented by product, application, and end-use.

Based on product type, the automotive metal market can be segmented into aluminum, steel, magnesium, and others. Steel is a popular alternative in the automotive sector as compared to other metals, owing to its high recycling efficiency and the stringent regulations regarding recycling of automotive waste, such as The End of Life Vehicles (ELV) directive, which oversees the approval of waste vehicles as per their reusability, recyclability, and recoverability. With compliance to such regulations, Europe, India, Japan, and South Korea are projected to register an increase in the use of steel in the automotive industry in coming years.  

In terms of application, the automotive metal market can be segmented into body structure, power trains, suspensions, and others. Stamped metal parts are easy to repair and maintain, and are highly recyclable as compared to plastics and composites; thus, they are extensively used in vehicle body structure. To ensure safety, the suspension of a vehicle body must exhibit high strength. Thus, manufacturers are increasingly adopting aluminum and magnesium in the forging of metal parts such as transmission shafts & gears, clutch hubs, universal shafts, and drive shafts in power trains. The high mechanical strength and resistance to heat, porosity, and corrosion of metal forged products drive their extensive adoption in high-pressure valves, valve bodies, and fittings & flanges.

By end-use, the automotive metal market can be segmented into passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles. The passenger cars is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period, due to the increasing demand for these vehicles around the globe. Initiatives for infrastructure development in terms of road improvement, highway development and traffic management have surged the demand for cars. Light commercial vehicles are also expected to observe significant growth, due to the increasing demand for transportation services including taxies.

Automotive Metal Market Segmentation

By Product Type

  • Aluminum
  • Steel
  • Magnesium
  • Others

By Application

  • Body Structure
  • Power Train
  • Suspension
  • Others

By End Use

  • Passenger Vehicles
  • Commercial Vehicles

Regions Covered:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
    • Mexico
  • Europe
    • U.K.
    • Germany
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • South Korea
    • Australia
    • Rest of Asia-Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Argentina
    • Colombia
    • Rest of Latin America
  • MEA
    • Saudi Arabia
    • South Africa
    • UAE
    • Rest of LAMEA