Booming Market for Automobile Textiles (08/18/2010)

Updated: 2010/8/18 10:15:00

The demand for comfort, concern for safety while driving, and an increasing focus towards reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions have all augmented the usage of special textiles in automobiles. A middle-sized car would generally require 20 kg of textiles. With the increasing demand for sophistication, and a stringent want for using protective textiles, the use of textile materials for the same has currently become 26 kg, and is even predicted to increase to 35 kg by the end of 2020. Two thirds of the automotive textiles are used in trims, seat covers, roof, door liners, and carpets. Other fabric applications include tyres, hoses, safety belts, and air bags.

Global market for light vehicle production experienced a drastic fall, the highest hit in the last 30 years during 2008 and even deeper in 2009. Production of cars was 67.4 million in 2008, and fell to 58.6 million in 2009. Developed countries like North America, Japan, and Europe were mainly responsible for the fall. By contrast, emerging economies like China and India saw a profitable market with production increasing by 50% and 17% respectively. Fluctuations in vehicle manufacturing affected the automotive textile market consequently.

Demand for Coated Fabrics
Airbags, trims, and truck covers accounts for 28%, proving to be the largest share of the coated fabric demand. US demand for coated fabrics is anticipated to grow 2.1% on a year-on-year basis, and to reach 655 million sq. yards by 2012. Gains in the sale of automobiles will motivate the automotive textile market as well. While non-rubber coated fabrics will also

have a good market, rubber coated fabric materials will be in high growth trajectory.

Potential for Knitted & Woven Fabrics
Knitted and woven fabrics had a dominating share in the global automobile fabric area, closely followed by composites, and non-woven. Circular knitted fabrics are used in the interiors of cars for seat covers, door panels, headliners, headrests, boot covers, sunroofs, and parcel shelves. Having the virtues of high flexibility, comfort while traveling, stretchability, and high-grade visual quality; these fabrics will surely have good market potential. Woven fabrics will see a profitable market in the making of door panels, seat covers, side door paneling, and headrests.

Innovative Auto Fabrics
New product innovations in auto fabrics sector will further augment its growth. The latest is the creative combination of seatbelts, and airbags. The belt cum air bag is made with round and smooth edges to give added comfort to its wearer. This process uses high volume production of cold gas inflator, making the seatbelt cum air bag to swell almost five times larger than the width of the normal seat belt. The swelling process is initiated through a deployment signal from a sensor system. This technique will minimize the extent of damage, as it distributes the force across the wearers´ body. The interior fabrics of the car are made with a special kind of micro fiber which is ultra light, flame proof, and is also resistant to abrasion.

Authority in Charge: China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC)

Sponsor :China Textile Information Center (CTIC)

ISSN 1003-3025 CN11-1714/TS