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Automotive Glass is the key component that contributes towards the safety of the passengers and the vehicle itself. It avoids the external obstacles keeping the passengers safe. It is developed with the emergence of innovative features including protection from external noise, external temperature changes and better visibility.
Automotive glass includes Windshield, side and rear windows, roof of the vehicle with glass panel. Increasing technological advancements and innovation in vehicle design and rising demand for lightweight vehicles are some factors expected to boost growth of the glass market.
Factors such as increased automotive glass applications, rising demand of smart glass, rising consumer preference towards vehicle safety has caused glass market to expand on larger scale. The increasing usage of sunroof, particularly in high end vehicles has fuelled the glass market. Nowadays the sunroof is not limited to luxury cars and has been installed in other segments as well; also increase in size of windshields and side windows has helped in overall development of the automotive glass market.
The laminated glass sector is anticipated to register higher growth rate in terms of revenue. The laminated glass consist layer of PVB (Polyvinyl Butyral) in b/w glass sheets. Its main application is in windshields. The laminated glass is also used for sunroof. These are sound proof, easy to install and durable. Hence the demand is increasing for laminated glass.
The tempered glass holds the largest share in the market owing to its lower cost, easy availability, high strength and robustness. It has better load bearing capacity and possess deflection before breaking. It is most preferred type of glass for windows and backlites.
In terms of applications of glass in an automobile, windshield dominated the market and is expected to be leader in the market. New technologies are being developed for the constant improvement in safety of the driver. This is expected to drive the market in the future.
Sidelites are the next major contributor for automotive glass market share. Over the years, tempered glass was used extensively for the side windows. Increased usage of tempered glass for sidelites, particularly in the aftermarket is anticipated.
Sunroof is the fastest growing application in the automotive glass market. The incorporation of sunroof in affordable cars is the key growth factor for the segment.
The infographic shown depicts the market size of different application in a car:
OEM glass is due to grow substantially across the globe. Growing safety concerns with warranty and insurance offered are key factors driving OEM market. The rise in new EVs is another major factor favouring OEMs.
High use of old vehicles, need for upgradation and increase in road accidents are primarily driving the aftermarket segment. Cost effective products with improved quality is drawing the customers to aftermarket sector.
US market is expected to register steady growth in the following years. Each of top 5 selling passenger cars like Ford F150, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500 and others are equipped with the sunroof. Most of these cars come with power heated windows/windshield.
New production plants, favourable policies and rise of EVs are driving the European market. The need to reduce the weight of the vehicle to reduce emissions has been a factor helping the glass market progress. Most of the top selling passenger cars in Europe come with panoramic sunroof and heated rear windscreen.
Asia was anticipated as the fastest growing glass market in the world, 2-3 years ago. but two consecutive YOY declines in 2018 and 2019 have dented that claim. Rise in SUV sales has indirectly boosted the glass market as they contribute more volume to glass than compact and sedan cars.
In the year 2020, the Asia-Pacific region represented over 45% of the sector’s revenue share. The industry is dominated by China as it has the highest number of automotive glass manufacturers as well as a thriving automotive production.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the lockdown and closure of the automotive businesses across the globe which in turn decreases even the small prospects of the automotive glass industry.
However, as the demand is rising for the electric vehicle market, this sector will recover with a steady pace. As innovations in this sector are mainly focused on incrementing the strength of the product, nowadays tempered glass using chemicals has emerged superior to the conventional glasses. As the manufacturing of the automobile sector increases, the sales for glass rooftops, windshields, windows and mirrors will increase.
As the COVID-19 pandemic was on the rise, governments across the globe resulted in lockdowns which caused the manufacturing units of this sector as well as the dependent automobile sector to close. The company Saint Gobain reported a sale worth EUR 38,128 million in the year 2020 which was less as compared to the previous year which recorded a sale of EUR 42,573 million.
Similarly, in the year 2020, the sales of the Webasto group fell from EUR 3.7 billion in the year 2019 to EUR 3.3 billion in 2020. This was primarily attributed due to the downturn in demand by the automotive sector as a result of the pandemic.
The need for better fuel efficiency by reducing the weight of the vehicle is affecting every aspect of automobile component. Glass being one of the major contributors for this, lot of developments can be expected in type of glass used in turn boosting the glass market.
There has been this trend where solar panels are installed below the roof from the safety glass; this phenomenon is expected to increase the glass market share in automobiles.
Additional features in windshields rain sensors, acoustic interlays and heads up display (HUD) are positively affecting the glass market.
The automotive glass sector was worth $XX Billion in the year 2020, the market was expected to grow at $XX billion by 2026 with a CAGR of ~XX% for the period of 5 years.
Automotive glasses are the critical components of a vehicle that fuels frequent innovations and growth. This market has been thriving especially in the luxury and premium vehicle applications. The new glasses provide a higher level of comfort for customers with superior security, temperature control and privacy.
In January 2021, General Motors introduced its new electric vehicle – Cadillac Celestiq which comes with a smart glass roof.
With the development of the advanced ADAS operations in connected automobiles, this industry will continue to grow.
The increased usage and requirements of sunroof in vehicles increases the utilisation of glass. With sunroofs not being limited to luxury vehicles, automakers like Toyota and Honda have also introduced them in other vehicle segments.
Smart glass technology has been developing at a rapid pace in the automotive industry. It is now being developed to provide Head-Up DIsplay (HUD) such as in the glass cockpit of helicopters. Automakers like Mercedes and Volvo have been putting a lot of investment in the development of these glass for the automobile industry.
It is a consolidated global market. The top players in the market are Saint Gobain (France), Webasto (Germany), Nippon Sheet Glass Co Ltd (Japan), Asahi Glass (Japan), Xinyi and Fuyao both from China. There has been constant merger and acquisition with the local manufacturers shaping the glass market.
The company Webasto has launched a visually extravagant Smart sunroof. It is a sliding Panorama sunroof which will be supplied to Mercedes in order to be placed in the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class model.
The company Saint-Gobain along with JJG group has started the production line for flat glass with an acquisition of 50% stake in the company. It has also reported the development of production lines in Mexico, Saltillo for flat glass.
In September 2020, Fuyao Glass Industry Group sanctioned an expansion with the value of $45 million for a glass plant in Montgomery Ohio which will also include a research and development sector.
In February 2020, the company AGC glass Europe partnered with citrine informatics to develop a glass technology using AI based simulation. It will help in targeting the identification of the ideal and best process conditions in order to attain higher performance glass materials.
In January 2020, BMW introduced an intelligent glass control system in its iNextits electric SUV. It is a reflective type of glass which can be activated both automatically as well as manually. The glass through different sensors can pick any specific direction of the sun to keep the excess heat and light away from the passengers.
Guardian Glass has invested in the development and advancement of float glass lines in the European manufacturing units. The plant based in the UK will be the first to modernize and advance with the accommodation of a new furnace.
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