Automotive pillars are the vertical support structures welded from the roof to the rocker panel of the vehicle. Automotive pillars provide structural stability and increase crashworthiness of the vehicle. They are designated as A pillar, B pillar, and C pillar. Station wagons and sometimes, SUVs have D pillar.
Increased production of vehicles in developing countries is estimated to drive the automotive pillar market. Rise in income of consumers in Asia Pacific & Latin America is boosting the demand for vehicles, which in turn is expected to boost the demand for automotive pillar. Growing concern for passenger safety and regulations are expected to boost the automotive pillar market. Automakers are compelled to comply with the statutory, crash ratings, which in turn is also propelling technological advancements. Rise in number of vehicles on-road has also led to the rise in number of accidents. The repairing of vehicles post-accident is also fueling the demand for automotive pillars. Light weighting technologies are becoming popular in order to reduce vehicle emissions. Usage of plastic composites significantly reduces the weight of the automotive pillar. Increasing number of automakers are trying to obtain rigidity and structural stability by using composite plastics instead of conventional metals. Rising concerns regarding emissions are estimated to boost the demand for composite material type automotive pillars. Daimler AG has announced an increase the number of bracing struts that are utilized in body shell (automotive pillars) in order to improve stability due to torsional shear, and improve crashworthiness. Improvements in design of automotive pillars also reduce the noise and vibrations and hence, present opportunities for future development.
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Lightweight materials are expensive and hence, due to cost constraint, are utilized only in high-end cars. Development in technology and reduction in prices are expected to boost the penetration of lightweight materials.
The global automotive pillar market can be segmented based on vehicle, material, and region
Based on vehicle, the automotive pillar market can be classified into passenger vehicle, light commercial vehicle, heavy commercial vehicle, and buses & coaches. Sales of passenger vehicles have increased post 2008 economic depression. Sales of passenger vehicles have increased considerably in developing countries such as India, China, Brazil, and Mexico, thereby boosting the automotive pillar market. Rise in number of SME businesses and expansion of the trucking industry is boosting the demand for light commercial vehicles and heavy commercial vehicles. Demand for commercial vehicles is expected to rise during the forecast period, which in turn is projected to fuel the automotive pillar market.
In terms of material, the automotive pillar market can be segregated into aluminum, steel, and plastic composites. Aluminum and steel are widely employed metals in automotive pillars. However, the light weighting advantage of plastic composite is expected to drive the segment at a higher growth rate during the forecast period.
Based on region, the global automotive pillar market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific and Europe are expected to lead the global automotive pillar market during the forecast period.
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Key players operating in the global automotive pillar market include Kirchoff Automotive GmbH, Aisin Seiki, Benteler International AG, Unipres Corporation, Toyotomi Kiko Co., Martinrea International, Magna International Inc., Gestamp, GEDIA Automotive Group, Sewon, and Shiloh Industries.
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