Dynamics of Auto Exteriors: Plastics, Elastomers, Coatings

Published - Apr 2002| Analyst - Melvin Schlechter| Code - PLS024A
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Report Highlights

  • The automotive exterior plastics market is estimated at almost 1.2 billion pounds and is expected to grow at an average annual rate (AAGR) of 3.0% to almost 1.4 billion pounds by 2006.
  • Thermosets, comprising about 31% of the total volume, will experience the largest growth rate, 4.4%, through 2006.
  • The second largest group, TPEs, will grow at an AAGR of 2.9% to 365 million pounds in 2006, or 27% of the total market.
  • Commodity thermoplastics will hold on to third spot, but growing at an AAGR of only 1.7%, will see their share shrink to 14.4% from 15.4% in 2001.
  • Engineering resins will see meager growth, rising from 160 million pounds in 2001 to 166 million pounds in 2006.



The objective of this study is to provide an analysis of the automotive exterior plastics market in terms of current and forecasted volumes.


The automotive exterior plastics market is fiercely competitive, with plastics competing against aluminum and steel. Intraplastic competition also is a major factor in this market, especially with "plastic intensive" autos. Thermoplastics also are competing with thermosets for body panels, fenders and other major exterior parts, along with the emergence and, in some cases, the dominance of TPOs. Changes in painting and coating technologies for automotive exteriors also need an evaluation.


This report will cover automotive exterior plastic parts segmented by major types, e.g., commodity thermoplastics, engineering resins, thermosets, polymer alloys/blends, TPEs, etc. Applications will be broken down into the following categories: body panels, bumper systems, fenders, transparent automotive exteriors and housings and other exterior parts. Additional detailed applications will be covered, including doors, bumper beams and covers, radiators/grilles, side trim, hoods, etc. Another feature will be the inclusion of sections on exterior paints and coatings.

Further critical topics to be covered will include processing, marketing, research and development activities, new production introductions, recycling, major supplier product lines, etc.


A comprehensive review was undertaken of trade and technical literature relating to automotive exterior plastics, specific applications, technologies, new developments, etc. Included in this review were supplier trade literature, texts and monographs. Following collection and analysis of this information unresolved issues were clarified with polymer and elastomer producers and suppliers, and automotive industry representatives.

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