Stringent fuel efficiency norms are compelling automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to reduce the weight of their vehicles, thus spurring the use of lightweight materials such as plastics, composites, and aluminum. This, along with surging automotive sales in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, is fueling the global demand for automotive adhesives and sealants. According to “Analysis of the Global Automotive Adhesives and Sealants Market,” a new report from Frost & Sullivan, Europe and North America are currently using the highest average volume of adhesives and sealants per vehicle. The market earned revenues of $3.61 billion in 2014; it is estimated to reach $6.88 billion in 2021.

“Adhesives and sealants are gaining traction with the assembly applications and in the ‘Body in White’ stage, as the rapid adoption of aluminum and composites in these segments increases the need for bonding and sealing capabilities,” said Ankit Mittal, Chemicals, Materials and Food research analyst. “These products are hugely sought after due to their ease of handling, ability to bond dissimilar substrates, and lower costs when compared to traditional welding methods.”

However, comfort and expertise in traditional joining methods such as welding, nuts, bolts and mechanical fasteners, have led certain OEMs to disregard the performance attributes of adhesives and sealants. Some OEMs remain unaware of the cost performance implications of adhesive and sealant products. Economic instability in Europe is another factor affecting adoption.

Offering products with unique features and strengthening customer support mechanisms will enable manufacturers to sustain profits in the highly competitive automotive adhesives and sealants market. It is critical to establish a strong product portfolio aligned with regulatory standards and OEM specifications.

“Adhesive and sealant vendors must develop high-level technical expertise and long-term relationships with OEMs to cater to the rapidly evolving needs of the automotive industry,” Mittal said. “To achieve this, larger companies will look to acquire regional or segment-specific participants to diversify product portfolios and expand their footprint in the global market.”

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