April 22, 2024
BRIC Automotive Plastics

BRIC Automotive Plastics: Growth Trends and Future Opportunities

The automotive industry in BRIC nations namely Brazil, Russia, India and China has experienced tremendous growth in the past decade and this growth is projected to continue further in the coming years. With increasing vehicle production and ownership, the demand for automotive plastics used in vehicles is also witnessing an uptrend. This article analyzes the current state and future prospects of automotive plastics market in BRIC countries.

Growth Drivers for Automotive Plastics in BRIC Nations

The automotive industry in BRIC countries is growing at a fast pace primarily due to increasing disposable income, changing lifestyles and expanding middle class. With economic growth and rising standards of living, more people are now able to afford personal vehicles for transportation and luxury purposes. This is directly translating into higher vehicle sales volumes in these emerging economies. According to various estimates, total vehicle production from BRIC nations is predicted to rise from current 30 million units to over 50 million units by 2025.

Rising vehicle production acts as a key growth driver for automotive plastics consumption. Vehicle manufacturers are increasingly utilizing plastics in place of heavier materials like steel and aluminum to reduce vehicle weight and improve fuel efficiency as per stringent emission norms. Lightweighting helps automakers meet theCorporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. Plastics provide an ideal solution with benefits of weight reduction, component integration, design flexibility, durability and lower production costs.

All major automakers in BRIC focus on new vehicle platforms featuring extensive use of plastics. Technological advancements have enabled superior plastics for under-hood applications like engine covers which were traditionally made of metal. Even exterior car parts are switching to engineered plastics. Growing vehicle electrification and development of hybrids/EVs further spur the use of advanced plastics in batteries, power cells and electronic parts.

Surging Demand by Application Segment

The BRIC automotive plastics market is divided into various application segments namely powertrain, electrical components, interior furnishings, exterior furnishings, under-the-hood applications and others. Among these, the interior furnishings segment dominates theBRIC automotive plastics consumption at present owing to extensive usage of plastics in dashboards, door panels, seats etc. Lower-income groups in BRIC nations have growing demand for entry-level vehicles with basic features and plastics allow such cost-effective interior solutions.

At the same time, the electrical components segment is displaying highest gains relying on surging vehicle electrification. Plastics are vital ingredients for electric drivetrains requiring insulation, lightweight housings and connectors. Even conventional vehicles need more electric and electronic parts today for infotainment, telemetry, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) etc. All these factors stimulate demand for engineering thermoplastics and other high-performance resins in the electrical components segment.

Country-wise Market Assessment

Let’s examine the automotive plastics market of individual BRIC countries:

– China: As the largest automobile manufacturer globally, China dominates the BRIC plastics sector as well. It has ambitious electric vehicle development plans bolstering plastic usage. Government incentives and homegrown automakers drive plastic consumption.

– India: Despite lower vehicle ownership currently compared to other BRIC nations, India promises most future growth. The ‘Make in India’ initiative and arrival of foreign OEMs raise plastics demand steadily for autos.

– Brazil: Economic recovery after recession along with regional trade deals benefit the Brazilian automotive industry. Local automakers leveraging latest plastic technologies expand their presence.

– Russia: Automotive production declined recently in Russia due to economic sanctions and ruble depreciation. But plastic consumption is supported by replacement of aging vehicle fleet as urban population grows.

The automotive plastics market in BRIC shows disparate performances by country but overall offers immense scope for plastics processors depending on medium to long term projections of rising vehicle pool.

Considering the current growth trends and projections, it is expected that the automotive plastics market size in BRIC nations will at least double by 2030 from today’s volumes. Future opportunities will be shaped by several factors:

– Advent of electric vehicles at scale across BRIC will revolutionize plastic component designs and formulations. Complex under-hood assemblies demand specialty engineered materials.

– Connected, autonomous and shared mobility solutions need advanced tech plastics for vehicular networking hardware and interfaces boosting the electronics segment.

– Focus on lightweight vehicles encourages greater plastic substitution of metal parts with hybrid/composite materials utilizing nanotechnology.

– Improvement in rural incomes and financing schemes could accelerate individual ownership even in remote areas raising overall automotive production serving as a macro driver.

– Tougher emission controls will catalyze the shift to new energy efficient vehicles incorporating maximum possible plastics for weight savings meeting environmental norms.

To capitalize on these prospects, plastics processors will need to closely work with automakers developing optimized formulations for prototype testing and certification. Investments into R&D facilities, production capabilities and skilled workforce are vital to gain leadership in the BRIC automotive plastics marketplace of tomorrow. Successful companies could reap rich dividends in this lucrative market well into the coming decades.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it