Partnerships, agreements, supply contracts, joint ventures, alliance, & collaborations are the key strategies adopted by the market players to achieve growth in the carbon thermoplastics (CFRTP) composites market in automotive industry. These strategies accounted for the largest share of all the development strategies adopted by the market players to expand their global presence and increase their market share between 2011 and 2014. The rising demand for new product as well as the need for research and development of CFRTP composites to produce light-weight automotive has encouraged companies to adopt these strategies.
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Use of CFRP composites is considered as one of the most effective ways of reducing vehicle weight and improving fuel economy and emissions levels. However the relatively higher cost of the material limits its use in only a handful of high-end cars production. CFRP composites are used for body-in-white, hood, roof, doors, fenders, deck-lid/trunk-lid, and other exterior components. Despite their cost, there is little economic incentive to attempt repairs on such parts, and this is unlikely to see any decline in terms of volume.
The market for CFRTP composites in the powertrain & UTH application segment is growing faster rate than in exterior, interior, and chassis application segments, in terms of value and volume. Properties of CFRTP composite such as light weight, durability, design flexibility, and uniform surface make them ideal for use in powertrain. CFRTP have been used to reduce weight, to dampen noise and vibrations, and also to make single-piece clutch cylinders, shift control cables, air intake manifolds, engine covers, accelerator and parking brake pedals, fuel system and cooling system components, and gear-lever housing.
Market players are focusing on launching technologically advanced and innovative automotive products in the developed markets. Cytec Industries, Inc. (U.S.), Gurit Holding AG (Switzerland), Mitsubishi Rayon (Japan), SGL Group (Germany), TenCate (Netherlands), and Toray Industries, Inc. (Japan) are some of the leading market players that adopted this strategy to develop their business. These companies have also adopted various organic and inorganic growth strategies to improve their business and maintain their market share, globally.
Recently in September 2016, Teijin Limited (Japan) agreed to acquire Continental Structural Plastics Holdings Corporation (U.S.) for USD 0.82 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, Continental Structural Plastics will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Teijin Limited. This acquisition of Teijin will establish a foundation for an automotive composite products business in North America. The amalgamation of Continental Structural Plastics’ thermoset glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) capabilities and Teijin’s high-performance composites such as carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) will help reduce weight and component count in finished products, thus meeting automobile manufacturers’ requirements for more environmentally friendly components at lower cost.
In June 2014, SABIC and Kringlan Composites (Switzerland) entered into a partnership to develop the world’s first carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite wheel. A prototype is being produced for a German automotive manufacturer. The wheel employs SABIC’s ULTEM polyetherimide (PEI) resin and Kringlan Composites’ wheel design and manufacturing process, which is designed for short cycle times and high-volume production. This material solution offers OEMs the opportunity to reduce weight and save manufacturing costs. It can be used to replace conventional materials such as metal and aluminum alloy. This partnership will strengthen SABIC’s position in high-margin, high-growth carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) market.
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Key companies such as BASF SE (Germany), Celanese Corporation (U.S.), Cytec Solvay (U.S.), Du Pont (U.S.), Gurit Holding Ag (Switzerland), Quickstep Holdings Limited (Australia), Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Saudi Arabia), SGL Group (Germany), Teijin Ltd. (Japan), Tencate (Netherlands), the Dow Chemical Company (U.S.), and Toray Industries Inc. (Japan) are profiled in this report.
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