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Automotive Lightweight Materials Market

Automotive Lightweight Materials Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Metal , Composite , Plastic, Elastomer), By Applications (Body in White, Chassis and Suspension, Powertrain, Closure, Interior, Others), By End-User (Passenger Car , LCV, HCV) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2024-2032

Report Code: SRAT55084DR
Study Period 2020-2032 CAGR 6.5%
Historical Period 2020-2022 Forecast Period 2024-2032
Base Year 2023 Base Year Market Size USD 77.91 Billion
Forecast Year 2032 Forecast Year Market Size USD 137.32 Billion
Largest Market Europe Fastest Growing Market Asia Pacific
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Market Overview

The global automotive lightweight materials market revenue was valued at USD 77.91 billion in 2023. It is estimated to reach USD 137.32 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period (2024–2032). In recent years, with surging environmental concerns, there has been a surging focus on fuel efficiency and emission reduction in the automotive industry, thereby driving the global market. Moreover, advancements in the manufacturing process of automotive lightweight materials are estimated to create opportunities for market growth.

Automotive lightweight materials are substances utilized in vehicle manufacturing to reduce weight without compromising safety or performance. These materials, such as aluminum, carbon fiber, and advanced polymers, offer lower density while maintaining strength and durability. Lightweighting enhances fuel efficiency, agility, and overall vehicle dynamics, which is crucial for meeting stringent emissions standards and improving the driving experience. These materials are passed from strict testing to ensure they meet industry regulations and withstand the demands of everyday use.

Additionally, they contribute to eco-friendliness by reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. As automotive technology evolves, the integration of lightweight materials becomes increasingly vital in enhancing sustainability, performance, and safety across various vehicle types, from conventional combustion engine cars to electric vehicles and hybrids.

Top 4 Key Highlights

  • Composite dominates the product segment
  • Body in white dominates the application segment
  • Passenger car dominates the end-user segment
  • Europe is the highest shareholder in the global market

Market Dynamics

Market Drivers

Increasing Demand for Fuel Efficiency and Emission Reduction

The push towards greater fuel efficiency and reduced emissions is a significant driver in the global market. Governments worldwide have implemented stringent regulations aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of vehicles, which in turn necessitates the adoption of lightweight materials to improve fuel economy. For instance, the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) regulations in the United States mandate that automakers attain a fleet-wide average fuel efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

Similarly, the European Union's regulations mandate reducing CO2 emissions for new cars to 95 grams per kilometer by 2021. These regulations are driving the demand for materials such as high-strength steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber composites, which can significantly reduce vehicle weight and enhance fuel efficiency.

Market Restraint

High Manufacturing Cost of Automotive Lightweight Materials and High Waste Generation

Despite several benefits of lightweight materials, such as enhanced fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, the demand for these materials is still expected to be restrained by the high manufacturing costs. Another problem with alternative material solutions is the high amount of waste generation. At the end of its life, steel can be extracted from cars, which can be further recycled and reused to make another car or some other steel product without compromising its strength. However, in the case of alternative materials, especially carbon fiber-based materials, recycled material cannot be used for making other cars due to decreased strength. They need to be treated before being used in other products, thus further leading to a higher cost.

Market Opportunities

Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies

In response to the rising demand for vehicles with innovative designs and features, advanced manufacturing technologies are substituting conventional manufacturing techniques. These technologies include resin transfer molding, additive manufacturing, and microinjection molding. The primary benefit of incorporating such advanced manufacturing techniques is the ability to produce comparatively lighter and stronger materials. Moreover, these advanced manufacturing technologies are intended to operate with little to no material waste.

For example, additive manufacturing technology results in comparatively little material waste. The development of carbon fiber, which has one of the highest weight-to-strength ratios, has been substantially aided by this manufacturing technology. This technology is also compatible with varying plastics, composites, and metal grades. With the 2020 Model 18 Roadster sports car, BMW (Germany) has demonstrated its additive manufacturing capabilities. These innovative processes and technologies assist the automotive industry in meeting the growing demand for lightweight materials, thereby creating opportunities for market growth.

Regional Analysis

Based on region, the global automotive lightweight materials market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Central and South America, and the Middle East and Africa.

Europe is the most significant global market shareholder and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.9% during the forecast period. Europe represents a major automotive lightweight materials market, driven by strict environmental regulations and a high emphasis on sustainability. The European Union's rigorous CO2 emission targets necessitate the adoption of lightweight materials to enhance fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. This region is home to some of the world's leading automotive manufacturers, which are at the forefront of integrating innovative materials to meet regulatory and consumer demands.

Germany's automotive lightweight materials market is a pivotal player. Home to automotive giants such as BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen, Germany leads the way in the research, development, and application of lightweight materials. German manufacturers are increasingly utilizing advanced high-strength steel (AHSS), aluminum, and carbon fiber composites to reduce vehicle weight and improve fuel efficiency. For instance, BMW's i-series vehicles prominently feature carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP), significantly lowering vehicle weight and enhancing performance. Moreover, Germany's robust automotive supply chain and significant investment in R&D foster continuous advancements in lightweight material technologies, maintaining its leadership in this sector. According to Verband der Automobilindustrie, more than every third euro invested in research and development by the German economy comes from the automotive industry.

The UK's automotive industry, represented by brands like Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Aston Martin, is known for its focus on high-performance and luxury vehicles, which necessitate the use of lightweight materials to achieve superior performance and efficiency. The UK government's commitment to minimizing greenhouse gas emissions has led to initiatives and policies encouraging the adoption of lightweight materials in car manufacturing. Jaguar Land Rover, for example, has invested in aluminum-intensive architectures, resulting in lighter, more efficient vehicles. Additionally, the UK is home to several leading research institutions and collaborations between academia and industry, fostering innovations in material science and engineering. This collaborative environment supports the development and commercialization of new lightweight materials, reinforcing the UK's position in the European market. These factors are estimated to boost the European automotive lightweight materials market.

Asia-Pacific is expected to show the fastest growth in the automotive lightweight materials market. This growth is boosted by the rapid expansion of the automotive industry, increasing regulatory pressures for fuel efficiency and emission reductions, and a rising middle-class population with higher disposable incomes. Nations like China and India are at the forefront of this growth, playing crucial roles in the regional market dynamics.

China's automotive lightweight materials market, the world's largest automotive market, is a key driver of regional market growth. The Chinese government has implemented stringent regulations and policies to reduce emissions and promote the adoption of New Energy Vehicles (NEVs), significantly boosting the demand for lightweight materials. The NEV policy mandates automakers to meet specific production quotas for electric vehicles, encouraging the use of materials such as aluminum, magnesium alloys, and carbon fiber composites to minimize vehicle weight and enhance efficiency.

Additionally, major Chinese automotive manufacturers like BYD and Geely are investing heavily in research and development to incorporate advanced lightweight materials into their vehicle designs. For instance, BYD's Tang model uses aluminum-intensive body structures to reduce weight, thereby enhancing performance and efficiency.

India's automotive lightweight materials market is emerging as a significant player, driven by rapid urbanization, economic growth, and increasing environmental awareness. The Indian government's policies, such as the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme, aim to promote the use of electric vehicles and minimize dependency on fossil fuels. This has led to a growing demand for lightweight materials that can enhance the fuel efficiency and performance of vehicles. As per the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), India's EV market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 36% through 2026, underscoring the increasing adoption of lightweight materials in vehicle production. Thus, the factors above are anticipated to expedite the automotive lightweight materials market in Asia-Pacific.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Product
  1. Metal 
  2. Composite 
  3. Plastic
  4. Elastomer
By Applications
  1. Body in White
  2. Chassis and Suspension
  3. Powertrain
  4. Closure
  5. Interior
  6. Others
By End-User
  1. Passenger Car 
  2. LCV
  3. HCV
Company Profiles BASF SE Toray Industries, Inc. LyondellBasell Borealis AG ArcelorMittal Alcoa Corporation Owens Corning Stratasys Ltd. Tata Steel POSCO
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Singapore Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global automotive lightweight materials market is segmented by product, application, and end-user.

Based on product, the global market is bifurcated into metal, composite, plastic, and elastomer. 

The composite segment dominates the global market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 5.91% over the forecast period. Thermoset polymers, thermoplastic polymers, carbon fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRP), glass fiber-reinforced polymers (GFRP), and natural fiber-reinforced polymers (NFRP) are commonly used composite materials in the automotive industry. These are being widely used in various components of vehicles such as structural assembly, powertrain components, and interior and exterior components such as bumper beam, fender, front end module, door panels, and hood to increase the durability of vehicles, ensuring long vehicle life and low maintenance cost. Factors such as increasing OEMs' awareness of strict government regulations on emission control, lightweight property, and the high safety associated with composites drive the market demand for these products.

Based on application, the global market is divided into the body in white, chassis and suspension, powertrain, closure, interior, and others. 

The body in the white segment is the largest revenue contributor to the market and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.01% throughout the forecast period. Body in White is the most important determinant of vehicle performance. It can be made using a monocoque structure and a body-on-frame structure. BIW is expected to have high tensile strength and high stiffness. It should also protect occupants from accidents and lower the noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) inside the vehicle. Moreover, factors including improvement in fuel and energy efficiency of conventional and electric vehicles also necessitate using lightweight materials in BIW, as it constitutes a significant share of the vehicle's curb weight. As a result, the segment accounts for high usage of materials such as steel, aluminum, magnesium, and CFRP.

Based on end-users, the global market is segmented into passenger cars, LCVs, and HCVs. 

The passenger car segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.3% during the forecast period. The recent trends towards higher comfort and safety standards, luxury, and advanced technologies in the automobile sector are driving the need for new materials in the passenger vehicle segment. The expansion of the passenger cars segment, which includes compact cars, mid-sized cars, luxury cars, premium cars, SUVs, and multi-utility vehicles, is attributed to rising demand from end-users. Inclination towards high-performance and fuel-efficient vehicles has compelled OEMs to use lightweight materials, thus supporting segment growth.  

Market Size By Product

Market Size By Product
  • Metal 
  • Composite 
  • Plastic
  • Elastomer
  • Recent Developments

    Analyst’s Perspective

    As per our research analyst, the future of automotive lightweight materials is promising, with ongoing research and development efforts aimed at overcoming existing barriers. Innovations in material science, such as the development of more cost-effective carbon fiber and new aluminum alloys, are expected to drive broader adoption. As the automotive sector prioritizes sustainability and efficiency, lightweight materials will remain at the forefront of this transformation. Automakers, suppliers, and researchers must collaborate to innovate and implement solutions that balance performance, cost, and environmental impact. The strategic use of lightweight materials will be pivotal in shaping the future of mobility, making vehicles safer, more efficient, and environmentally friendly.

    Top Key Players

    Automotive Lightweight Materials Market Share of Key Players

    Automotive Lightweight Materials Market Share of Key Players
    BASF SE Toray Industries, Inc. LyondellBasell Borealis AG ArcelorMittal Alcoa Corporation Owens Corning Stratasys Ltd. Tata Steel POSCO Others

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    How big is the Automotive Lightweight Materials Market?
    The global automotive lightweight materials market revenue was valued at USD 77.91 billion in 2023. It is estimated to reach USD 137.32 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 6.5%.
    Europe has the highest growth in the global market.
    The demand for automotive lightweight materials is driven by the need to reduce vehicle weight to enhance fuel efficiency and performance without sacrificing safety. These materials, including aluminum, carbon fiber, and advanced polymers, are sought after for their ability to provide strength and durability at a lower density.
    Increasing demand for lightweight materials in the automotive industry is the key driver for the growth of the global market.
    Advancements in manufacturing technologies is one of the upcoming key trends in the global market.

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