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Automotive Roof Rack Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Product Type (Raised Rail, Roof Mount, Gutter), By Vehicle Type (Passenger Cars, Commercial Vehicles), and Regional Forecasts, 2021-2028

Last Updated: May 06, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI103569



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The global automotive roof rack market size was USD 2.11 billion in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 2.18 billion in 2021 to USD 3.39 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 6.49% during the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with automotive roof rack witnessing a decline in demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a growth of 3.0% in 2021. The slow growth in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.  

The automotive roof carriers are bars in a stand fitted over the top of the vehicle, employed to transport load while traveling effectively. The roof rack is a strong bar assemblage structure that can haul large objects such as cycles and cargo, allowing the vehicle's roofspace to be more productively utilized. Previously, automotive roof carriers were permanently attached to the vehicle's roof, and disassembling them required the services of a professional. Roof carrier, on the other hand, are currently fixed periodically and are therefore more functional, and they can be fastened with standard connectors on the gutters of the cars.

Luggage or goods on the roof carrier facilitate the user to utilize the space inside the vehicle more efficiently. Automotive roof rack comprises a rail, pillars, and mount. The rail distributes the load on the rack equally to ensure that the roof doesn’t get damaged. The pillars support the rack frame. Furthermore, roof carrier companies are focused on manufacturing lightweight and long-lasting roof carrier to minimize weight of the car, which will propel this market during the forecast period.

Lockdowns And Traveling Restrictions Imposed Due To COVID-19 To Hamper Market Growth

The widespread eruption of the COVID-19 virus has already had a serious burden on the supply chain and transportation business, which had been halted as a result of the virus's spread around the world. This pandemic has created a great deal of instability and concern in the sector, affecting all participants of the business value chain. To prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world have implemented rigorous social separation regulations, ranging from partial to total shutdown initiatives. COVID-19 was undoubtedly the most significant theme to affect the technology and automation industry in 2020. It is effectively a stress test on companies' ability to cope with extreme shocks and financial crises.

The COVID-19 pandemic severely hit the transport and mobility sector, bringing automobiles' manufacturing and sales to a standstill. As a result, all enterprises in the roof rack business, suffered greatly. Mountain biking and ski vacations are expected to become more popular as the requirement for timely leisure activities and medical benefits rises following COVID-19. This, in turn, will enhance the demand for more durable vehicle racks in the automobile market, enhancing market valuation.


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Development of Lightweight & Sustainable Roof Rack is the Upcoming Trend

Heavy roof carrier cause air resistance and also increase the overall weight of the vehicles while driving. This phenomenon leads to an increased load on the vehicle engine. Increased load on the engine reduces the fuel efficiency of the car. Hence the roof carrier should be strong and durable but light weighted. Thus, the manufacturers utilize technological research and development to produce strong but agile materials to sustain the heavy load and not overweight the vehicle.

The roof carrier can be made from steel or aluminum, keeping heavy-duty use in mind. The roof carrier are exposed to rains, chill, and sun directly; hence the roof carrier need to possess non-corrosive properties so that the racks won't rust or fade. Currently, aluminum is the most preferred metal as it is non-corrosive, strong, durable, and light-weighted. However, considering the cost factor, manufacturers are in search of an alternative composite metal or compound. As per the analysis done by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Denver, U.S., the additional fuel consumption caused by roof carrier for fuel cell vehicles (FCV) is about six times larger than anticipated fuel savings and 40% of anticipated fuel savings from battery electric vehicles in 2040. Hence many OEMs are involved in developing lightweight roof carrier.


Growth in Adventure Sports & Tourism Activities To Drive Market Growth

Rise in the number of tourists and increased disposable income across the globe propel the demand for vehicles with luggage carriers, which drives the need for roof carrier. Germany, France, Italy, China, India, Dubai, and others have many tourist footfalls and various tourist places, attracting tourists for long journeys. Due to the rise in preference for outdoor and recreational activities, people focusing on exploring more natural grounds, and the growing travel and tourism industry, the global automotive roof carrier market is projected to grow during the forecast period.

Low Maintenance & Operational Cost Are Anticipated To Drive Market Growth

Automotive roof racks are subjected to much less operational cost as they are made of tough aluminum alloy and composite plastic materials. They have high durability, which does not embed the high price of operations and maintenance. The product demand has increased due to the aforementioned factors, which boosts the growth of the market.


Increased Overall Weight Of Vehicle Decreasing Fuel Efficiency Hinders Market Growth

The use of a heavy roof carrier on the top of a vehicle increases the vehicle's overall weight.  Also, heavy roof carrier and heavy luggage cause air resistance to the vehicles while driving. All these factors lead to an increased load on the vehicle engine leading to increased fuel consumption by the engine. This affects vehicle efficiency. Drivers spend between 10 – 25% more on fuel due to the roof box on top of the vehicle. Increasing the 'frontal area' of the vehicle destroys the aerodynamics. The user’s fuel bill can be aggravated by 15% with even an empty roof carrier. Therefore, the weight factor can hinder the automotive roof rack market growth.


By Product Type Analysis

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Based on product type, the market is segmented into the raised rail, roof mount, and gutter automotive roof rack.

The raised rails are elevated off the roof to fit a tower/bar all around it. Raised rails are available in a wide range of sizes; however, not every bar will fit every side rail. Side rails sit directly against the roof and typically have channels or pinholes for towers to fit into. This style of the side rail is relatively new but becoming more widespread. The raised rails found on most SUVs, wagons, and minivans are currently the most common roof type. Hence the raised rail holds the largest market share presently and is anticipated to continue.

The roof mount racks segment is the second-largest shareholder in the global market. However, it is anticipated to exhibit the highest CAGR. Roof mount racks act as a carrier for the user’s goods. They come as a set of roof bars and often a platform or rack of a standard description. This platform can take the form of a luggage rack or a detachable shelf system. The roof bars attach to the vehicle's conventional roof rails. Roof mounted racks span east to west throughout the roof of the automobile, providing the user with an even more stable carrier. Roof carrier are intended to carry extra cargo payload. To avoid the dangers of an overloaded car, it is critical not to overburden the roof mount rack.

Gutter mounts are for vehicles that have protruding side gutters. They are easy to install, and they are ideal as a non-permanent solution yet offer great strength and durability. Gutter-mounted roof carrier can be clamped directly onto the vehicle's gutters. The set is affixed to the car's rain gutter and door jamb, locking the racks in place. Old vehicles such as jeeps feature rain gutters, but it is hard to find them in modern cars.

By Vehicle Type Analysis

Passenger Car Segment Expected To Hold the Largest Market Share Due To Rising Recreational Activities

Based on application, the market is segmented into passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

The passenger vehicle segment accounts for the greater part of the worldwide automotive roof rack market, and this trend is expected to continue. The additional benefit might be due to a variety of causes, including increased demand for recreational vehicles, increasing demand for cars from the tourism sector, and many young people moving out to different cities for studies and work. Growing numbers of competent cars for off-roading and more compact SUVs being introduced into the market with more practicality and improved vehicular capabilities are major driving forces for the passenger car segment.

The commercial vehicles segment is expanding in terms of product range and sales. Commercial vehicles are anticipated to contribute to the market growth significantly. The roof carrier provides storage solutions for commercial purposes. The commercial toolbox mounted on the roof carrier must be durable as it is exposed to extreme riding and environmental conditions. As a result, the commercial vehicles segment is expected to increase significantly during the projected period, despite the fact that it may not be the market's major stakeholder.


Asia Pacific Automotive Roof Rack Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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The Asia Pacific market stood at USD 0.73 billion in 2020 and in the following years, it is predicted to be the fastest-booming region. During the projected timeline, it is predicted to demonstrate dominance by holding the biggest market share and displaying the highest CAGR. The rising urban population in nations such as India and China, which represents more than 38 percent of the global population, is a crucial element driving this region's growth. Furthermore, increased urbanization and smart cities are expected to drive the growth of the automobile sector, accelerating the development of this market. According to the latest report by MasterCard, after analyzing the spending of consumers, it was found that fuel spending is up 13% from its previous peak in 2019, globally. Road trips are still holding their course. The report shows a robust demand for domestic ground travel, increasing fuel spending in Singapore, Hong Kong, India, China, and Australia.

North America is anticipated to be the second major position in the global market owing to the rising leisure travel. According to the latest report by the U.S. Travel Association, U.S. domestic travel increased 1.7% in 2019 to a total of 2300 million person-trips compared to 2018. Leisure travel accounted for 80% of all U.S. domestic travel in 2019. However, all of this was disturbed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and lockdowns were imposed globally by many countries, which affected the travel and tourism industry significantly.

Europe maintains the third major market share, with Germany ranking first in this specific market due to the presence of significant car makers. Furthermore, Germany is the leading player in the most number of leisure travel trips taken. According to Statista, German citizens took 160,985 leisure trips in 2019. A large number of leisure trips and adventure travel by the young generation is anticipated to contribute to the market growth.

The rest of the world is made up of African, Latin America, and the Middle East. The Middle East is expected to make a substantial contribution to international market expansion. This can be attributed to the travel and tourism industry of the area. According to a recent YouGov survey, the organizer of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2021, the amount of money that Middle East travelers spend on leisure travel will begin to exceed 2019 pre-COVID levels in three years.


Acquisition Of ‘Denver Outfitters’ Will Scale Up The Competitive Landscape For ‘Thule Group’

Thule Group AB is a multinational organization that assembles brands, including cargo carriers for automobiles and other outdoor and storage products, with 35 sales offices in 140 countries worldwide. It is headquartered in Sweden. The Thule product line includes car roof boxes, bike racks, roof rack and strollers, laptop and camera bags, tablet and mobile phone cases, backpacks, luggage, and rooftop tents. In 2020, the company generated revenue of USD 0.91 billion, an increase of 13.1% as compared to 2019. Of this, 64% of the revenue belonged to the ‘Sport & Cargo carriers’ segment (which manufactures automotive roof carrier).

In January 2020, Thule Group announced the acquisition of Denver Outfitters, a leading player in Roof carrier mounted Vaults in North America. The acquisition strengthens an expanding portfolio of products focused on an active lifestyle in the adventure camping segment, following the category additions of rooftop tents and van sunshades for the North America market in recent years.


  • Thule Group (Smaland, Sweden)

  • Magna International, Inc. (Ontario, Canada)

  • Minth Group Limited (Ningbo, China)

  • VDL Hapro bv (Kapelle, Netherlands)

  • Yazaki Corporation (Tokyo, Japan)

  • Yakima Products Inc (Oregon, U.S.)

  • Atera GmbH (Allgäu, Germany)

  • Sumitomo Electric (Tokyo, Japan)

  • Rhino-Rack (Sydney, Australia)

  • JAC Products (Michigan, U.S.)


  • August 2021- Polaris Inc., an American manufacturer of motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATV, and mini EVs, collaborated with Rhino-Rack. This collaboration facilitates Polaris customers to directly order a new Polaris vehicle with roof rack explicitly designed for the contours.

  • January 2020 –  Minth Group invested USD 87 million in an additional facility on the company's property in Lewisburg, Tenn. The facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2021. In the U.S., the company operates as Minth North America Ltd. and designs & manufactures structural body, trim parts for vehicles.


An Infographic Representation of Automotive Roof Racks Market

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The global market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies and leading product applications. Besides this, the report offers insights into the key market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors above, the report encompasses several factors contributing to the market's growth over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year 


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion)


By Product Type

  • Raised Rail

  • Roof-Mount

  • Gutter

By Vehicle Type

  • Passenger Cars

  • Commercial Vehicles

By Geography

  • North America ( By Product Type, By Vehicle Type)

    • U.S. (By Vehicle Type)

    • Canada (By Vehicle Type)

    • Mexico (By Vehicle Type)

  • Europe (By Product Type, By Vehicle Type)

    • U.K. (By Vehicle Type)

    • Germany (By Vehicle Type)

    • France (By Vehicle Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Vehicle Type)

  • Asia Pacific (By Product Type, By Vehicle Type)

    • China (By Vehicle Type)

    • Japan (By Vehicle Type)

    • India (By Vehicle Type)

    • South Korea ( By Vehicle Type)

    • Rest of APAC (By Vehicle Type)

  • Rest of the World (By Product Type, By Vehicle Type)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2.11 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 3.39 billion by 2028.

The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.49% and will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).

The raised rail roof rack segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

Increasing leisure travel and the rise in lightweight roof rack are expected to drive market growth.

Thule Group is the leading player in the global market.

Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2020.

The U.S and China has are key matured markets growing in the global market.

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