GLOBAL AUTOMOTIVE COATINGS MARKET
Automotive Coatings play an essential role in the automotive industry. Along with increasing the aesthetic look of the vehicle it also acts as a preventive extra protection layer to the exterior body of an automobile.
The Car colour is made up of four different functional layers, coated using specific techniques, with a certain time-gap between them. These different layers are required to shield the car surface from various external forces that are routinely subjected to climatic forces such as rain, snow, fog, heat, cold, humidity, UV radiation and pollution that cause physical damage to the car. Furthermore, gravel, mud and tree branches that collide with the car, as well as brushes used for cleaning can all scratch the car surface.
The Metallic Automotive colour is driven by the Metallic effect pigments which provide brilliant, shiny car colours that enhance the perception of curvature of the car body. These pigments have taken automotive colour styling to a new level. However, to achieve the maximum visual effect of the flat, plate-like metallic pigments, the pigments must align parallel to the painted surface.
Compared to 30 years ago, the problem of corrosion is almost alleviated, and the durability and appearance of the topcoats have become acceptable for the lifetime of a car. In fact, with the worldwide emergence of two-layer topcoats, the colour, gloss, and chip resistance of automobile coating remain in relatively excellent condition during the first 7–10 years of an automobile’s use. Aesthetic features are also trending with automotive fashions.
One solution to the emission of VOCs has been the replacement of liquid coatings with coatings in the form of dry, particulate solids, commonly called “powder” coatings. Their compositions contain exceptionally low concentrations of volatile solvents, on the order of 2%, substantially less than any other paint system. The powder used is a mixture of fine particles of pigment and resin that is electrostatically sprayed onto the surface to be coated. The charged powder particles adhere to the electrically grounded surfaces until the powder is heated and fused into a smooth coating in the curing oven.
One approach has already been successfully established—a wet-on-wet-on-wet-system (3-wet) that mostly eliminates the primer oven in the coating process. Waterborne, 3-wet paint systems have been developed to reduce VOCs and CO2 emissions. These systems apply the primer coat, then basecoat and finally the clearcoat, after which curing is accomplished in only one oven.
AUTOMOTIVE COATINGS MARKET DYNAMICS
Pre -Pandemic, in 2014 in the United States, it is estimated that 129 million pounds of polyurethane coatings were used by the automotive industry. This comprises approximately 72 million pounds by OEMs and another 57 million pounds by the auto refinishing industry.
Post COVID, the automotive industry is reeling under unprecedented economic loss owing to the shutdown of total operations and services globally earlier due to lockdowns and now due to chip shortage.
The surging demand for hybrid/electric vehicles is expected to facilitate the adoption of energy-efficient automotive coatings largely. Among all the regions, Asia-Pacific is expected to remain dominant and hold the highest position in the global automotive coatings market during the forecast period.
Liquid-applied sound damping (LASD) and liquid-applied sound barrier (LASB) technologies are also emerging as major trends in the automotive industry as alternatives to traditional methods used to both protect components from damage and premature wear and to lessen unwanted noise experienced by drivers and passengers inside the cabin.
ADIs are a key component in the production of polyurethane paint and coatings applied by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) during vehicle production and by auto refinishers during repair. Polyurethane coatings are used not only in cars, but in many other vehicles we depend upon such as buses, trucks, agricultural, construction and earth moving equipment. Other transportation uses include polyurethane coatings for aerospace, railways and marine.
AUTOMOTIVE COATINGS MARKET SEGMENTATION
- Primer Coat
- Base Coat
- Clear Coat
- Electro Coat
By Texture Type
- Powder Coatings
- Waterborne Coatings
- Solvent Borne Coatings
By Distributor Channel
By Vehicle Type
- Passenger Cars
- Light Commercial Vehicles
- Heavy Commercial Vehicles
BY COAT TYPE
There have been innovative products which act as both primer and a base coat and thus reducing the primer market alone. The clear coat normally applied on top to protect the surface from UV radiations and avoids fading out.
Electrocoats offer multiple benefits such as high corrosion resistance and protect the surface at extreme climatic conditions. It holds the highest market share and expected to witness quick growth in the segment.
The below graph shows the share of automotive coating based on coat type:
BY TEXTURE TYPE
On the basis of texture type clearly metallic type is leading and expected to be the largest gainer in the future. The customer’s preference towards metallic type for glossy appearance is the factor for the demand of the metallic segment. The rise in sales of premium passenger cars boosts the metallic type.
However in the entry level and mid segment cars and the commercial vehicle segment solid texture holds upper hand.
Waterborne type is the most commonly implemented technology for the automotive coating. The waterborne technology gives out less odour, easier blending and accurate mixing making it the leader in this segment. Powder coating technology is mostly used in the premium car segment and provides high efficiency and high durability. However, due to its expensive set up cost it is limited to premium segment cars and penetration of powder coating is less in economic countries.
The solvent-borne type emits a higher percentage of harmful VOC and thus, there is a decline in the usage of this technology.
BY VEHICLE TYPE
Passenger cars accounted for the largest revenue as they acquired the higher market share compared to other segments of vehicles. Light commercial vehicles acquire the next biggest share.
BY DISTRIBUTOR CHANNEL
OEM holds the higher share in the market compared to the aftermarket channel. The OEM channel continues to be in demand with the increasing vehicle production. Availability of long lasting corrosive paints will help the growth of the market.
Increasing requirements for repair and restoration is augmenting the aftermarket channel of the coatings market. Factors such as inclination towards pre-owned cars and cost effective products are propelling the market in this segment.
US AUTOMOTIVE COATINGS MARKET
In the US due to strict guidelines from National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) the powder and waterborne technologies have witnessed a rise in demand due to their reasonably low emission of VOCs.
Although 3/4th of the market is occupied by achromatic colours, unlike other regions white has seen the lowest market share with 29%. America, global leader in pickup trucks the owners are shifting towards black and chromatic colours such as red
EUROPE AUTOMOTIVE COATINGS MARKET
The increase in sale of luxury and premium segment cars will boost the powder coating market in the region. Waterborne Coating has accounted for the majority of sales in the OEM segment. However, in aftermarket solvent borne coatings hold the higher share in the market.
With more than 75% the achromatic colours hold the majority of share. Among these colours grey has seen the rise with about 20% market share. Nearly every fourth car in Europe features chromatic colour with blue being the single largest individual colour in the segment. The region has about 160 different shades of colours making it a frontrunner in colour diversity too.
CHINA AUTOMOTIVE COATINGS MARKET
China’s Ministry of Environment and Ecology (MEE) has launched a 3-year plan to reduce the VOC emissions by 10% by the end of 2020. This will propel the manufacturers to produce less volatile compounds. Based on passenger car colour selection 77% of market share is occupied by the achromatic colours viz. white, grey and black. And white remains dominant and has the highest share than any other region. Almost every second car in the region is found to be white.
INDIA AUTOMOTIVE COATINGS MARKET
Based on the colour selection, white still dominates the market and in 2019 47% of customers opted for white passenger cars in the region. In the mid segment cars (mostly hatchback), interestingly red is the most preferred colour.
The chart below shows the colour share in the passenger vehicle market:
AUTOMOTIVE COATINGS MARKET SIZE AND FORECAST
The coating products with lower density help to reduce the weight of the vehicle. There is further R&D on the various compositions of chemicals that help reduce the weight and expand the coating market.
There have been continuous developments going on to reduce the VOC emissions by tweaking the composition.
The demand for different colour & texture, enhancement of sales supportive policies, and increasing purchasing power parity (PPP) in emerging economies is driving the automotive coating market. Companies such as BASF SE (Germany), Axalta Coating Systems (U.S.), PPG Industries, Inc. (U.S.), Kansai Paint Co., Ltd (Japan), Nippon Paint Holdings Co., Ltd. (Japan), The Valspar Corporation (U.S.), KCC Corporation (South Korea), Sherwin-Williams (U.S.), AkzoNobel (Netherlands), and Jotun A/S (Norway) are the key market players in the global automotive coatings market.
As COVID-19 is still a concern for outdoor activities, people’s perception that staying in a private vehicle is safer than in public transportation drives the sales of passenger cars. Recently, Axalta broke ground on the expansion project of its Jiading plant in Shanghai and the new project, when completed in 2021, will produce waterborne coatings for its south and east China customers. Axalta has one liquid coatings plant respectively in Jiading of Shanghai and Jilin, and a powder coatings plant in QingPu, Shanghai.
- PPG Industries from US has completed acquisition of German based manufacturer of auto coatings Hemmelrath expanding its presence in Europe.
- AkzoNobel has partnered with BMW to supply its finished products and services to 44 countries across the world.
- Nippon Paint is planning to reach the target of 20% aftermarket share in India by the year 2024.
- PPG Industries has acquired Dexmet Corporation, manufacturer of specialty materials.
- Czech automaker Skoda has opened its most advanced paint shop in Mlada Boleslav in Czech Republic.
- Axalta has partnered for 5 years with Jaipur based Bharat Skill Development University to provide hands-on training in automotive coating in body shops.