Automotive interior materials includes materials such as leather (artificial or PU leather, PVC leather, synthetic leather and genuine leather), thermoplastic polymers, fabric, vinyl and wood. Thermoplastic polymers and leather are the vital segments, which generates the largest revenues among all automotive interior materials. The automotive interior materials market is expected to grow at a considerable rate in the coming years considering the launch of new segment of vehicles (hybrid and electric) and introduction of new technologies in automotive interior materials. Key opportunity areas of automobile interior materials applications are expected to deal with comfort solutions for automobile users, which may include dirt-repellent antimicrobial textiles and surfaces, anti-glare coated mirrors and nano filters. Climate controlled automotive seats based on thermo-electric technology, which converts electricity into heating or cooling is another vital application that is expected to be introduced in the coming years.
A small percentage of hybrid and electric vehicles are already available in the market. The percentage is expected to grow in the coming years because of their eco-friendly use and efficiency. Therefore, with the rise in the number of hybrid and electric vehicles in the automobile market, the application and market for automotive interior materials is set to flourish in the coming years. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of automobiles are trying means and ways to make their vehicles lighter and efficient in order to improve the fuel efficiency and performance. Lighter automotive interior materials, which are used in the dashboard and seating structures can serve as a new opportunity and ensure a feasible option to such OEMs.
In the dynamic business environment where numerous technological advancements are taking place each day, it is necessary for the automotive interior materials manufacturing companies to align its strategies with the technological shifts. Technological advancement in automotive seating in vehicles is expected to help the market to grow potentially. Automotive interior materials manufacturers are introducing light-weight seats that are thinner and comfortable and hence, increasing the floor space and reducing the overall weight of the vehicle.
In Europe, Germany and U.K. are the largest regional markets for automotive interior materials. In Asia Pacific, Japan, China and India are the largest contributors to the automotive interior materials market. In North America, the U.S. has been showing steady growth over the years and is one of the dominant automotive interior materials markets in the world. In Rest of the World (RoW), South Africa is showing substantial growth and is expected to be a key market in the coming years.