Growing Demand for Lightweight Vehicles to Drive Automotive Steel Wheels Market
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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The global automotive steel wheels market is expected to grow at a CAGR of ~3% during the forecast period. Despite the growing demand for alloy and aluminum wheels, the sales of automotive steel wheels are expected to grow at a steady pace during the forecast period. The push for the development of lightweight vehicles to enhance fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emission are some of the major factors that will continue to augment the demand for automotive steel wheels in the coming years. Stakeholders in the automotive steel wheels market are anticipated to focus on launching new and innovative automotive steel wheels that align with the evolving industrial requirements.
Automotive Steel Wheels Market: Overview
- The global automotive steel wheels market is expected to expand at a CAGR of ~3%, owing to increased sales of commercial vehicles during the forecast period
- Asia Pacific is likely to hold a leading share of the automotive steel wheels market during the forecast period
Drivers of Automotive Steel Wheels Market
- Automotive steel wheels are beneficial when it comes to strength and durability. Therefore, steel wheels are a prominent choice for heavy-haul and severe-duty vehicle operations. Steel wheels cost significantly less than aluminum wheels and do not require much maintenance as compared to that required by alloy wheels. Moreover, unlike alloy wheels, steel wheels do not crack. Expansion of industrial and manufacturing sectors in Asia Pacific and Latin America is boosting the sales of commercial vehicles, which in turn is anticipated to drive the automotive steel wheels market.
- Revival of the global economy and increase in intercontinental trade have boosted the demand for transport and logistics across the globe. Increase in number of trucks and trailers and demand for freight trucking is estimated to boost the automotive steel wheels market during the forecast period.
Challenges for Automotive Steel Wheels Market
- Rising preference for alloy wheels in passenger vehicles is hampering the demand for steel wheels. Steel wheels are not esthetically appealing and have higher weight as compared to that of alloy wheels. However, aftermarket players offer anti corrosion coatings, paints for steel wheels in order to gain a competitive edge over alloy wheels.
Automotive Steel Wheels Market: Segmentation
- Based on OEM, the passenger vehicle segment held a leading share of the automotive steel wheels market. Automotive steel wheels are utilized as standard fitments in budget cars and as fitment on rear/ non-driving wheels to lower the cost of the car. Steel wheels are still prevalent as rear wheels in developing countries.
- Based on aftermarket, Middle East & Africa has high number of used vehicles on road, which use steel wheels even on vehicles fitted where the standard fitment is alloy wheels. Demand for steel wheels in the aftermarket is considerably high, owing to the high need for replacement due to wear & tear in used vehicles and commercial vehicles. Increase in average age of vehicles, globally, is projected to boost the demand for steel wheels in the aftermarket during the forecast period.
Automotive Steel Wheels Market: Regional Analysis
- In terms of region, Asia Pacific is estimated to account for a notable share of the global market in terms of revenue. Furthermore, expansion of the automotive industry in China, India, and Japan contribute to expansion of the automotive steel wheels market in the region. China, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines in Asia Pacific have a large consumer base for used vehicles and hence, the region witnesses a high demand for steel wheels in the aftermarket. China holds a key position in the global steel wheels market. Availability of abundant raw material reduces the need for raw material imports. This, subsequently, reduces the manufacturing cost of steels wheels, thereby lowering the price of steel wheels. Lower prices of steel wheels perfectly complement the demand for low-priced vehicles in the country.
- Europe held a prominent share of the global steel wheels market in 2019. Stringent legislations regarding carbon emissions are expected to boost the demand for lightweight steel wheels during the forecast period. For instance, the European Union has enacted emission norms for heavy vehicles, prompting automakers to adopt lightweight vehicle components.
- The automotive steel wheels market in Latin America is expanding in conjunction with expansion of the automotive industry in the region. Reformed government policies in Mexico and Brazil are prompting automakers and OEM players to establish new production facilities in the region, which in turn is propelling the automotive steel wheels market in Latin America. Mexico is emerging as a key country for the auto industry in the region. The country is estimated to benefit further due of renewal of the NAFTA agreement. Entry of global car manufacturers in Brazil is projected to boost the demand for automotive steel wheels in the region.
Automotive Steel Wheels Market: Competition Landscape
- Key players operating in the global automotive steel wheels market include
- Automotive Wheels Ltd
- ALCAR WHEELS GMBH
- Klassic Wheels Limited Accuride Corporation
- MAXION Wheels
- Central Motor Wheel of America, Inc.
- Thyssenkrupp AG, Steel Strips Group
- CLN Coils Lamiere Nastri SpA
- THE CARLSTAR GROUP, LLC.
- TOPY AMERICA, INC.
- U.S. WHEEL CORP.
- Yantai Baosteel Wheel Co.,Ltd
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