Carbon fiber in the global automotive composites market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 10.4% from 2016 to 2021.
The future of global automotive composites carbon fiber market looks promising with opportunities in various applications, including exterior, power train system, under body system, chassis system, pressure vessel, interior, and others. The major growth drivers for this market are increasing automotive production and growing demand for lightweight materials due to stringent government regulations to increase fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Other major growth drivers include the growing demand for carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) in luxury cars, race cars and other high-performance cars.
Emerging trends, which have a direct impact on the dynamics of the automotive composites carbon fiber industry, include development of transformative technologies and material systems to make carbon fiber parts for mass-volume vehicles.
Within carbon fiber market for automotive, sheet molding compound (SMC), short fiber thermoplastic (SFT), long fiber thermoplastic (LFT), and prepreg, are the major materials to manufacture automotive components. LFT is expected to remain the largest market by value and volume, mainly driven by applications where high strength-to-weight ratios and high resistance to chemicals, heat and corrosion have prime importance.
Europe is expected to remain the largest market due to growing demand for lightweight, environmentally sustainable composite materials from the automotive industry. Government regulations, such as CAFE Standards in the US and carbon emission targets in Europe, are putting pressure on OEMs to incorporate lightweight materials to curb the overall vehicle
weight, and this is the key driver for the use of carbon fiber in the automotive industry.