The automotive sector across the world has been under constant pressure to innovate and find new ways to enhance energy efficiency and reduce carbon emission. In addition, evolving government policies pertaining to fuel efficiency have compelled automotive manufacturers to deploy new manufacturing technologies and invest in advanced materials that have in turn, increased the adoption of stainless steel in the automotive sector. In addition, automotive players are also taking significant efforts to meet the future requirements of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)– a factor expected to fuel the expansion of the automotive steel wheels market in the coming years. The ascending demand for stainless steel from the automotive sector is expected to accelerate the development of new advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) grades that are particularly developed for automotive applications.

The adoption of advanced high-strength steel grades is set to outpace the adoption of other alternative materials, including aluminum and glass. Automakers are increasingly inclined toward the use of automotive steel wheels to produce lightweight vehicles and enhance fuel efficiency, improve safety, etc. As automotive manufacturers are highly focused on the development of lightweight vehicles, the demand for automotive steel wheels is set to witness steady growth during the forecast period (2020-2027). Due to these factors and evolving regulations pertaining to fuel efficiency, the global automotive steel wheels market is expected to reach ~US$ 13.4 Bn by the end of 2027.

automotive steel wheel market infographic

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Steel Wheels or Aluminum Wheels: Which is Better?

Advancements in manufacturing technologies in the automotive sector have paved the way for the adoption stainless steel products in the past few years. The push for lightweight vehicles to curb environmental degradation has led to fast adoption of steel wheels in the automobile sector. Stakeholders in the automotive steel wheels market are expected to capitalize on the growing demand for lightweight vehicles by offering products that also fulfil the required industry guidelines. Automotive designers are increasingly making use of automotive steel wheels to reduce carbon/greenhouse emissions. According to multiple studies, if advanced high-strength steel was used to produce the entire automotive fleet in the U.S., greenhouse emissions from vehicles would reduce by ~12%. Witnessing the growing interest in lightweight materials, automotive steel wheels market players are currently expected to make a choice between steel and alloy wheels.

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While the adoption of alloy wheels is on the rise and likely to dent the prospects of the automotive steel wheels market, the sales of automotive steel wheels will continue to grow each year during the forecast period. Despite the several benefits of automotive steel wheels, aluminum wheels could gradually take replace the former in the upcoming years. However, the durability and robustness offered by automotive steel wheels is a major driver that will propel the demand for the same during the forecast period. In addition, another major factor that is expected to favor the prospects of the automotive steel wheels market is the low costs compared to that of alloy wheels that are ~70-80% more expensive. While aluminum or alloy automotive wheels are ideal for use in the summer, automotive steel wheels are suitable during the winter.

Stakeholders Focus on Product Launch and Innovations to Gain Advantage

The automotive sector is experiencing waves of innovations at regular intervals due to which stakeholders in the automotive steel wheels market are increasingly investing resources to develop innovative products. In addition, manufacturers in the automotive steel wheels market are also launching innovation centers to offer a range of products in tune with evolving requirements of the automotive industry. For instance, in September 2019, Iochpe-Maxion, announced that the company would open a new mobility innovation office in Berlin, Germany. The innovation center is expected to assist Iochpe-Maxion in the development of innovative products, including automotive steel wheels and a host of other components. Maxion Wheels is one of the leading players in the automotive steel wheels market with a client base of a host of established lightweight and commercial vehicles.

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Stakeholders are also launching new products to gain an edge in the current automotive steel wheels market. For instance, Maxion Wheels launched two steel wheels leveraging advanced designs, flow forming technologies, and engineering.

automotive steel wheel market segmentation

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