Emphasis on sustainable architecture and consumer demand for comfort propel use of fibers in the global automotive sector. With stringent fuel emission legislations compelling original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to adopt “lightweighting,” the need for fibers is poised for rapid growth. In the long-term, next-generation telematics in vehicles will broaden the scope for smart textile fibers that can be integrated with electronics.
According to information released by Frost & Sullivan, their “Strategic Analysis of the Global Fibers Market for the Automotive Sector” finds that the market earned revenues of $2.46 billion in 2013 and estimates that this will reach $4.02 billion in 2020. The study covers fibers for technical textile and composite applications.
“The automotive industry, as well as external stakeholders, such as governments, have put into place several mechanisms to improve fuel economy in vehicles,” said Frost & Sullivan Chemicals, Materials and Food Research Analyst Deepak Karthikeyan. “These initiatives are pushing OEMs to incorporate more lightweighting solutions in vehicles, thus fueling the use of fiber-reinforced composites, as well as nonwoven materials.”
Controlling costs will be the name of the game. “Besides cost optimization, fiber companies must work on a multi-pronged strategy that includes a proactive merger and acquisition plan,” advised Karthikeyan. “Strategic alliances through joint ventures, value-chain partnerships and acquisitions will enable fiber manufacturers to widen their regional presence and march ahead of the competition.”
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