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In the past decade, steel fuel tanks were majorly used by automotive producers, whereas in the current scenario, plastic fuel tanks are being mostly used. The key reasons for the drop in demand for steel fuel tanks are safety, weight, permeability, packaging and cost associated with it. Around 95% of the total fuel tanks in Europe, 85% in U.S. and 40% in Asia are made of plastic. The main reasons behind the increased use of plastic fuel tanks are its light weight, resistance to corrosion, and ease of molding into unusual shapes.
The automotive fuel tank market is driven by increasing trend of vehicle weight reduction, growing global vehicle production, and norms pertaining to evaporative emission. The increasing demand for vehicles, coupled with capacity expansion by OEMs in emerging economies has driven the global production of vehicles. The production volume for passenger car and light commercial vehicles (LCV) in Asia-Pacific accounted for more than 50% of the global production. The increasing production in the region is complimented by intensifying demand for passenger cars and LCV in the region. The improving economy and standard of living in countries such as China and India have resulted in increased sales volume of automotive. The high automotive production volume in Asia-Pacific has made it an attractive fuel tank market.
The implementation of stringent environmental regulations across the globe is propelling the demand for use of lightweight materials in vehicles. According to Germany based SuperLight-Car, about one-third of total fuel consumption by passenger car depends on weight. For instance, weight reduction up to 100 kg is expected to save 0.3 liters to 0.5 liters of fuel for every 100 km drive. Also, with reduced weight of vehicle, CO2 emissions can be minimized, if not completely removed. The overall weight of vehicles can be reduced by using advanced multi-materials, which is a combination of steel, aluminum, magnesium, plastics and composites.
By 2022, Asia-Pacific is expected to be the largest automotive fuel tank market, followed by North America and Europe. Asia-Pacific is also expected to be the fastest growing market for automotive fuel tank during the forecast period, owing to the expected increase in the sales and production of vehicles, increasing demand for lightweight vehicles, and strict government regulation. In 2015, China, South Korea, India, and Japan were the major consumers of automotive fuel tank in the region. According to LMC Automotive, 36.0 million lightweight vehicles were sold in Asia-Pacific in 2013, representing 43.0% of global lightweight vehicle sales. This number is expected to reach 56.1 million by 2020, representing 48.0% of the global sales. This is expected to boost the automotive lightweight material industry, which will drive the demand of automotive fuel tank market in Asia-Pacific during the forecast period.
North America is expected to be the second largest automotive fuel tank market during the forecast period, owing to its increasing customer base and norms pertaining to evaporative emission in the region. This has resulted in increased manufacturing activities by local automotive OEMs in the region, and supporting the growth of the automotive fuel tank market. In Europe, Germany, France, U.K., Russia and Spain were the major automotive fuel tank markets in 2015.
Some of the major competitors in the global automotive fuel tank market include Benteler AG, TI Automotive Inc., Yachiyo Industry Co. Ltd., Magna International Inc., Kautex Textron Gmbh & Co. KG., FTS Co., Ltd., The Plastic Omnium Group, Martinrea International Inc., Unipres Corporation, YAPP Automotive Parts Co., Ltd., and SMA Serbatoi S.P.A.
Global Automotive Fuel Tank Market Segmentation