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Automotive Plastics Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Polypropylene, Polyurethane, Polyamide, Polyvinylchloride, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, Polycarbonate, Polyethylene, and Others), By Application (Interior, Exterior, and Under Bonnet), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Last Updated: May 06, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102023



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The global automotive plastics market size was USD 40.91 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 53.85 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.3% during the forecast period.

Polymers constitute about 10% of the weight of an average car. The primary objective of using polymers in automobiles is to reduce the weight of the vehicles that leads to an increase in fuel efficiency and reduced carbon emissions. The increasing fuel prices and strict regulations implemented by governments of several countries have influenced automotive manufacturers to adopt plastics in the production of automobiles. Plastics are durable, strong, and offer easy manufacturing, improved processing abilities, and molding properties that enable easy integration in automobiles. Besides, polymers are used to improve the design of the vehicle that aids in raising their safety standard.

The shutdown of Production Units amid COVID-19 to Negatively Affect the Market

The automotive industry was already reeling under tremendous pressure owing to the implementation of BS-VI norms that resulted in disruptions in the inventory systems of automakers. Now, the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic has put additional stress on the auto industry. In India, for example, Hero MotoCorp, a leading two-wheeler manufacturer, reported a sudden drop of 42% in sales during April 2020. The pandemic has disrupted supply chains and halted production, leading to reduced retail sales. Moreover, consumers are willing to invest in new vehicles only after the COVID-19 situation eases as unnecessary purchases may take a heavy toll on their savings and push them into a financial crisis if the coronavirus-induced uncertainty continues. Also, many people are not sure about their employment and the long-term economic and health impacts that this virus will have on their lives, which are also affecting their purchase decisions.


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The emergence of Automotive 3D Printing to Propel Market Growth

3D printing in the automotive industry is still in its early phase and 3D printing in automotive production applications holds the promise of faster lifecycle processes. Several vehicle manufacturers have begun producing 3D printed cars, as the production of the cars with the use of this technology will save costs in terms of design and texture. For instance, companies such as Daimler are using 3D printed technology for making dashboards and interior trims. Also, Italian manufacturer, XEV, started the production of LSEV with the help of this technology. It is the world’s first mass-producible 3D-printed electric car. The company decided to design a small electric vehicle that can achieve C2M (Customer-to-Manufacturer) manufacturing, which is stated as one of the main goals of the Industry 4.0 strategy.


Increasing Use of Plastics in the Automotive Industry to Drive Market Growth

The demand for automotive plastics is increasing with the rise in the production of lightweight vehicles. Stringent environmental and safety regulations imposed by the governments of various countries have forced the automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to replace metal components with those made out of polymers. Using plastics in automobiles reduces the total weight of the vehicle. This increases its fuel efficiency and aids in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, increasing automotive plastic repairs are expected to favor market growth.

The rising demand for electric vehicles is another factor promoting the market growth. Electric vehicles work on renewable sources of energy, are lightweight, and have higher efficiency than conventional vehicles. They offer better efficiency than conventional vehicles due to the increased usage of polymers in them. The increasing demand for electric vehicles worldwide is anticipated to help augment revenues in this market during the forecast period.

The strong, rigid, and flexible nature of polymers makes them suitable for use in automobiles. Hence, the increase in the use of plastics to manufacture automotive parts is fueling the automotive plastics market growth. The growing adoption of automotive plastic paints and dyes is further expected to help promote market growth.


Safety issues Regarding Plastic Consumption to Restrain Market Growth

Consumer safety is of prime importance for automakers and as a result, safety systems are designed to be predictable, reliable, and have zero variation in the performance of the vehicle. Plastic components are replacing steel and aluminum in various vehicular parts. Plastics are lighter than other materials, but they also raise questions about safety. Also, the ban on plastic usage is expected to hinder the market for automotive polymers as they create disposal problems and can harm the environment.


By Type Analysis

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene to Experience Fastest Growth

The market is segmented into polypropylene, polyurethane, polyamide, polyvinyl chloride, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polycarbonate, polyethylene, and others, based on type.

Among these, polypropylene and polyurethane are the major segments holding the dominant market share owing to their high demand. Several manufacturers prefer polypropylene as it is durable, flexible, and resistant to abrasion. Polyurethane helps in reducing the weight of the vehicle, increasing its efficiency, and minimizing carbon emissions. Polyurethane foams are mainly used in seats for automobiles as they are durable and lightweight.

Polyamides are used in airbags, lighting and electrical parts, and powertrain components of automobiles. The implementation of various safety regulations and the increasing awareness of consumers towards safety has led to the growing utilization of polyamide in automobiles.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is mainly used for making interior parts such as dashboards and door panels as it reduces the weight of the vehicle and offers electric and thermal insulation. PVC has sound dampening properties owing to which it is used in carpet backing to cut down external distressing noises. PVC is further used in window frames due to its longer life-cycle, enhanced looks, and easy availability of the material.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is a tough, rigid, and hard plastic that provides resistance to chemicals. Hence, it is used to manufacture shrouds, automotive covers, pipes, body parts, and electronic housing.

Polycarbonate offers high impact resistance and is resistant to weathering. Hence, it is majorly used in headlight lenses and bumpers. Polyethylene offers optimum sealing, easy processing, stiffness, and is light in weight. Therefore, it is used in the manufacturing of various automobile parts.

By Application Analysis

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Interior Segment to Account for the Major Share of the Market

The automotive polymers market is categorized into interior, exterior, and under bonnet, based on the application.

The interior segment held the largest market share in 2019 and is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period. Plastics offer durability and aesthetic appeal, which makes them an ideal material for use in automotive interiors. Additionally, plastics help in reducing vibration and noise levels and pose a low threat for humans in case of accidents. Hence, the use of plastics in the interior segment is increasing and is further expected to attract high market revenue in the forthcoming years.

The use of plastics in vehicle exteriors is increasing owing to their beneficial properties such as corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, and lightweight. Earlier, metal alloys were used in the exterior bodies of automobiles, but they are susceptible to corrosion and deformation. Hence, plastics are used in exterior components of an automotive such as door handles, trunk, window glasses, windscreen, and bumpers.

The use of plastic for under the bonnet applications in automobiles is increasing due to various properties of the plastics such as wear resistance, temperature resistance, and lightweight. The components in the bonnet of the vehicle are under constant stress caused by heat, vibration, and emission of automotive-related fluids and gases. Plastic is resistant to these stresses, dampens the sound and vibrations generated, and helps in reducing the weight of the components. Hence, the use of plastic for under the bonnet applications is rising.


North America Automotive Plastics Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)

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Asia Pacific accounted for the largest automotive plastics market share and is expected to remain so during the forecast period. This is attributable to the fact that China and India are the leading automotive manufacturing countries. China is anticipated to remain the major automobile-producing country due to the availability of raw materials at low rates, which is minimizing the hurdles involved in the production of automotive plastics. Additionally, the increasing use of plastics in automobiles to reduce their weight is driving the market in the Asia Pacific region.

In 2019, the North America market value stood at USD 5.93 billion, of which the US accounted for the largest share due to the increasing demand for automotive polymers owing to their properties such as electric insulation, corrosion inhibition, excellent heat resistance, and low density. Also, the high demand for electric vehicles in North America is expected to promote the growth opportunities of the market in the region, which is expected to augment the growth of the market in North America.

In Europe, the guidelines enforced by the European Union (EU) on greenhouse gas emissions on automakers have forced them to use polymers. Plastic reduces the weight of the vehicle, thereby increasing its fuel efficiency. The presence of major polymer manufacturers in Europe is another factor responsible for market growth in the region.

In the Middle East & Africa, the key factor influencing market growth is the presence of abundant raw materials required for the manufacturing of plastics.

South America is expected to showcase substantial growth in the market. Brazil is a major country for automotive polymers in this region. The increased consumption of automotive polymers due to a reduction in the weight of vehicles and improved safety standards are some factors projected to bode well for market growth in the region.


Key Players to Focus on Providing Plastic Solutions to Automakers to Strengthen Position

The major automotive plastic manufacturers are present across the globe. One of the major companies, LyondellBasell, deals with automotive plastics, chemicals, and refining sectors. It provides a wide variety of plastic products. The company has shown dominance around the globe by applying the acquisition strategy. Another company is ExxonMobil, which is expanding globally by employing strategies such as joint ventures and by providing a diversified range of automotive plastic products. SABIC has a strong influence in the Middle East & Africa region. SABIC provides numerous plastic products that have helped it in its expansion by forming joint ventures.


  • Arkema SA (France)

  • BASF SE (Germany)

  • Borealis AG (Austria)

  • DuPont (U.S.)

  • DSM Engineering (The Netherlands)

  • Evonik Industries AG (Germany)

  • ExxonMobil Corporation (U.S.)

  • LANXESS (Germany)

  • LG Chem (South Korea)

  • LyondellBasell (The Netherlands)

  • SABIC (Saudi Arabia)

  • Covestro AG (Germany)

  • Arkal Automotive (U.S.)

  • Other Players


  • In June 2021 – LyondellBasell and Neste signed a long-term commercial agreement under which LyondellBasell will source Neste RE, a feedstock from Neste that is being produced from 100% renewable feedstock derived from bio-based sources such as, residue oils and fats and waste. The feedstock will be processed through the cracker at LyondellBasell’s Wesseling, Germany, plant into polymers and sold under the brand name of CirculenRenew.

  • In May 2021 – The company started production of virgin quality polymers using raw materials derived from plastic waste at its facility in Wesseling, Germany. This raw material is converted into propylene and ethylene in the company’s production facilities, and processed into polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) in the downstream units for plastics production.

  • In May 2021 – Arkema acquired Agiplast, a company operating in regeneration of high performance polymers. With this acquisition, Arkema become a fully integrated high performance polymer manufacturer producing both recycled and bio-based materials to address the challenges of end-of-life products and resource scarcity. This acquisition will allow the company to enhance its CSR and sustainable growth strategy along with the transition to circular economy.

  • In May 2020 – BASF launched the new styling polymer Luviset 360 that offers an excellent styling performance in six dimensions. This product is flexible, strong, and has long-lasting hold and low flaking. Moreover, it allows for new textures and supports anti-pollution claims. Further, it is designed for a vast range of final hair styling products such as creams, gels and waxes.



The automotive plastics market report provides qualitative and quantitative insights on the market and a detailed analysis of the market size & growth rate for all possible segments in the market. The market is segmented by type, application, and geography. The report also offers insights into market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.

Along with this, the report provides an elaborative industry analysis of the dynamics and competitive landscape of this market. Various key insights presented in the report are the price trend analysis, recent industry developments in the automotive polymers market, the regulatory scenario in crucial countries, macro, and microeconomic factors, SWOT analysis, and key industry trends, competitive landscape, and company profiles.

Report Scope and Segmentation:



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion); Volume (Million Tons)

By Type

  • Polypropylene (PP)

  • Polyurethane (PU)

  • Polyamide (PA)

  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

  • Polycarbonate (PC)

  • Polyethylene (PE)

  • Others

By Application

  • Interior

  • Exterior

  • Under Bonnet

By Geography

  • North America (By Type, Application)

    • The US

    • Canada

    • Mexico

  • Europe (By Type, Application)

    • Germany

    • The UK

    • France

    • Italy

    • Spain

    • Russia

    • Rest of Europe

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, Application)

    • China

    • Japan

    • India

    • South Korea

    • Malaysia

    • Thailand

    • Rest of Asia Pacific

  • South America (By Type, Application)

    • Brazil

    • Argentina

    • Rest of South America

  • The Middle East & Africa (By Type, Application)

    • Africa

    • Egypt

  • Rest of the Middle East & Africa

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the market size stood at USD 40.91 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 53.85 billion by 2027.

Growing at a CAGR of 5.3%, the market will exhibit decent growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).

The packaging segment is expected to be leading the market during the forecast period.

Rising demand for advanced polymers in the automotive industry will drive the growth of the market.

Asia Pacific is expected to hold the highest share in the market.

Rising demand for recyclable automotive polymers from the packaging industry is the key market trend.

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