The global PP compound market for automotive industry size was valued at USD 9,189.8 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 16,472.2 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Polypropylene compounds are thermoplastic resins created by combining one or more polyolefins as a base with various additives. Impact modifiers, fillers, reinforcers, pigments, and additives are among the multiple components. The features of PP include impact modifiers, fillers and reinforcers, pigments, and additives. Polypropylene is the second-most produced commodity plastic after polyethylene (after polyethylene). In addition, polypropylene is a polyolefin material that is partially crystalline and non-polar. It has properties similar to polyethylene but is slightly more rigid and heat-resistant. It is a white, mechanically durable, and chemically resistant material.
Polypropylene (PP), which is affordable but has outstanding mechanical qualities and moldability, makes up more than half of all plastic materials used in autos. In addition to bumper facias, instrument panels, and other parts, PP compounds are used to trim doors. According to the performance requirements of the intended parts, several grades of PP compounds have been created, each with a different set of performance characteristics for use in the automotive industry.
The automobile industry has been witnessing a shift from conventional materials to lightweight materials due to the stringent regulations across different nations. The need for lightweight materials is emphasized upon considering the importance of fuel economy and environmental aspects. Lightweight materials not only provide significant weight reduction but also lead to enhanced payload-carrying capacity. In addition, the regulatory authorities are promoting the adoption of lightweight materials as they help reduce CO2 emissions. For instance, The European carbon emissions regulations have lowered the permitted amount of emissions per kilometer from below 130g/km CO2 in 2015 to 95g/km CO2 by 2021.
Additionally, PP compounds fall into the category of lightweight materials and are lightweight and scratch resistant. PP compounds possess many properties that make them ideal for weight reduction in automobiles. Using lightweight materials such as PP compounds in the vehicles would help reduce the weight considerably, thereby reducing the harmful emissions of lighter materials, which would significantly improve the fuel efficiency of the vehicles. A regulatory framework such as Kyoto Protocol in Japan restricts the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, thereby increasing the demand for lightweight materials in the country and driving the market growth.
Some of the potential applications of PP compounds in automobiles are unexploited. The application of PP compounds for automotive interiors is currently limited. Both the demand and the requirements of consumers have evolved. They demand an aesthetic appeal related to vehicle interiors, leading to a surge in varying applications of PP compounds for automotive interiors. Along with this, PP compounds emit lesser VOCs than other alternatives, thus becoming an excellent material of choice. The VOCs emitted by the other compounds harm individuals and result in foul odor. Such issues are drastically reduced with the use of PP compounds. Automakers are also exploiting the use of PP compounds for automotive interiors, fueling the growth of PP compounds in the automotive market.
The transportation industry is deemed the root cause of greenhouse gas emissions, and most developed countries are under the radar of traffic congestion as well as poor quality of air. This has led to concepts such as carpooling and the improvisation of public transport services. Carpooling is promoted across the globe to cut down on carbon emissions and ease issues related to transportation. It is also integrated with public transport to reduce the volume of private vehicles. Many carpooling associations have surfaced, providing financial support to companies focused on carpooling. This has negatively influenced new car sales.
Additionally, the surge in such activities has led to a challenge for automotive companies to increase their sales, thereby affecting the growth of the PP compounding market for the automotive industry. Along with this, the emergence of concepts, such as the Hyperloop, an idea proposed by Tesla for freight and passenger transportation, is also anticipated to restrict the growth of the PP compounds market soon.
The demand for electric cars has been growing exponentially, especially in the countries such as the U.S., China, Japan, and others. With the use of lightweight materials in these vehicles, a boost in demand for electric vehicles is expected. The manufacturers can curb the problems associated with the weight of the vehicles, heavy battery weight, fuel efficiency, and harmful vehicular emissions.
Additionally, stringent regulations in the countries such as China are expected to boost the growth of electric vehicles globally. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has set stringent fuel consumption standards for passenger cars in China. It states that average fuel consumption of 5L/100km should be maintained for new passenger vehicles by 2020. If all the automotive manufacturers comply with the proposed regulations, 348 million barrels of oil consumption would be reduced, and carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by about 149 metric tons by 2030. Hence, the factor mentioned above offers tremendous opportunities for market growth.
The global PP compound market for automotive industry is segmented by product and application.
Based on product, the global PP compound market for automotive industry is divided into mineral-filled, thermoplastic polyolefins (TPO) and thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV), glass-reinforced, and others.
The TPO and TPV segment is responsible for the most significant market share and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.4% over the forecast period. TPOs, or thermoplastic polyolefins, are used in applications that call for high-impact resistance. TPO is polypropylene combined without vulcanization with a rubber or elastomer. Thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) is a polypropylene compound that contains vulcanized rubber or elastomer. These are used for tubes and coverings because of their high elastic strength. For instrument panels, center consoles, and interior trim, TPO and TPV are frequently used in automotive interiors.
In addition, TPO and TPV are used in internal components where a soft touch and pleasing aesthetics are required. TPO is used in applications like closures because of its impact strength. Bumpers are the most effective application of TPO where the market is established. Further, TPO is used on bumpers and fenders to provide high-impact strength. High heat and stiffness requirements are present in engine and transmission applications. The properties of TPO and TPV do not satisfy these requirements.
Glass-reinforced polypropylene compounds utilize short and long glass fibers, which help improve the material's stiffness. Glass-reinforced PP compounds are widely used in engine and transmission applications such as air filler housing and battery. The parts that use glass-reinforced PP compound require high strength and stiffness. In addition, high-end cars use glass-reinforced PP compound outside for sliding roof systems, aerodynamic screens, and air vent control. In lower-end vehicles, exterior applications are rare. The frames for interior components like door panels, center consoles, instrument panels, and seats are made of glass-reinforced PP compound.
Based on application, the global PP compound market for automotive industry is segmented into internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and electric vehicles (EVs).
The internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles segment owns the market and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 3.9% during the forecast period. Internal combustion engines (ICEs) were developed in 1860 by Étienne Lenoir and ran on fuels like petrol, diesel, or fuel oil. ICE vehicles have dominated the automobile industry for more than a decade. The mechanism of ICE engines works on an internal combustion chamber powered by petroleum products that cause harmful emissions of greenhouse gases. However, the consumption of PP compounds in vehicles is beneficial to increase fuel efficiency. PP compounds are used in different automobile parts that are cost-effective for vehicle manufacturing, increasing manufacturers' profit margins. PP compounds are used in lighting instruments, panels, bumpers, sittings, door handles, interiors, and fuel systems. The application of PP compounds provides performance and safety to vehicles.
Global demand for electric vehicles is increasing due to the change in government policies and legislation to minimize CO2 emissions. As zero-emission vehicles, EVs are refocusing the automotive industry's attention from internal combustion engines (ICE) to electrically propelled vehicles. In addition, electric vehicles' efficiency depends on their weight, so the demand for lightweight materials for or manufacturing electric vehicles is growing. PP compounds give an affordable and lightweight advantage to EVs. The use of PP compounds in EV manufacturing has gained significant traction in recent years. PP compound is a cost-effective solution that helps reduce manufacturing costs and is a temperature-resistant material that fulfills safety requirements and increases the performance of vehicles.
Based on region, the global PP compound market for automotive industry is bifurcated into North America, Europe, South America, the U.K., the Middle East and Africa, China, and Asia-Pacific and Japan.
Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) is the most significant global PP compound market for automotive industry shareholder and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period. The Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) automotive market is primarily controlled by the South Asian countries consisting of some of the most prominent automotive manufacturers in the world. APJ is home to several major automotive manufacturers worldwide, including Toyota Motor Corporation, Honda Motors, Hyundai-Kia, and Nissan. In addition, Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) is important in the global automotive value chain. The total production in the region occupied more than 50% of the global automotive production. Countries such as China and India occupy a significant share of the region's production and are primarily dominated by small-passenger cars. Furthermore, the growing GDP of developing economies and the rising consumer demand would provide ample opportunities for the PP compound market to grow in the region. The increasing consumer demand for improved features and aesthetics offsets the negative impact of a weak regulatory push to ensure plastic adoption in automobiles in the region.
Europe is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 5.5% over the forecast period. Europe is home to several autonomous vehicle OEMs such as Volkswagen Group, Groupe PSA, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Navya, AB Volvo, and Daimler AG. In addition, some of the leading PP compound manufacturers, such as LyondellBasell, are also present in the region, which helps collaborate for a smoother supply chain. In addition, Europe is the center of modern and technologically innovative vehicles, which has resulted in the significant adoption of PP compounds in European vehicles. In addition, strict government regulations on safety and carbon emissions in Europe drive the market of lightweight electric vehicles, making it one of the fastest-growing regions. European countries such as Germany, France, the U.K., Italy, and Spain generate around 75% of the total passenger cars produced in Europe.
North America is one of the most competitive markets in terms of the consumption of PP compounds. The trend of offering lightweight vehicles by companies is driving the consumption of polypropylene (PP) compounds in the automotive industry in the region. Automotive production in North America is dominated by commercial vehicles, including SUVs and heavy commercial vehicles. In addition, the use of PP compounds for parts such as seats and HVAC air ducts has increased due to using these parts in larger quantities in SUVs than in passenger cars. The region is the largest market for luxury vehicles across the globe. The use of PP compounds for parts such as the screens' aerodynamics and decompression air vents is primarily driven by luxury vehicles. The ongoing trend to improve the interiors of commercial vehicles would further help the PP compound market for the automotive industry to grow in North America.
The government in South America focuses on developing infrastructure and industrial sectors as well as taking several initiatives to increase the automobile manufacturing capacity in the region. This is anticipated to boost demand for automobiles, which will favorably impact the expansion of the region's PP compound market throughout the forecast period. Brazil mainly dominates the South American automotive market. In addition, the nation has evolved as a significant manufacturing base with a stronghold in the domestic markets for the global automotive sectors.
The Middle East and significant African countries include the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Iran, and South Africa. In Middle East countries, a substantial share of vehicles is imported from other countries. Iran is one of the major producers of automotive vehicles in the Middle East. Iran imports automotive products from Middle Eastern countries. In addition, the region witnesses significant demand for passenger vehicles, and government initiatives are helping domestic production to grow. High GDP per capita in the Middle East will create more demand for new cars. Additionally, the high disposable income of the consumers is expected to drive the market for new vehicles in the region, driving the market's growth.
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