The automotive coatings market can be segmented into various types based on different parameters. For instance, by technology the industry is segmented into waterborne, solvent borne and UV-cured, while based on product, it is categorized into primer, basecoat, clearcoat, and electrocoat.

In the modern era, younger generations such as millennials are showing a rising propensity toward auto ownership. This, in turn, has created a shift in customer preference for enhanced aesthetics and attractive exteriors, as well as vehicle protection. One of the best ways to fulfill all these requirements is through the adoption of automotive coatings.

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Automotive coating technologies are advanced components that provide durable surfaces, thereby optimizing efficiency, enhancing appearance and meeting ecological prerequisites. In essence, a car coating is a second layer added over the vehicle’s regular paint. Although they are derived from man-made materials, these materials are different from car waxes and paint sealants, and exhibit a much thinner viscosity, similar to water.

Car coatings possess several beneficial characteristics including UV protection, color retention, and ease of use, among others.

Rising inclination towards pre-owned vehicles will drive the automotive coatings market

Once a significantly stigmatized and frowned-upon endeavor, the pre-owned vehicle space has gained considerable appeal among younger generations in the present landscape. Many value-seeking individuals and families are rapidly turning to refurbished cars over newer vehicles to fulfil three main considerations, technology, resale value and safety reign. In fact, over 4 million pre-owned cars were bought and sold over the 2018-19 period, while just 3.6 million new car sales were registered over the same period.

This shift in preference towards refurbished cars is likely to add great impetus to the automotive coatings industry outlook. Rising inclination of customers towards customization and overall maintenance of their refurbished cars will significantly enhance the adoption of automotive coatings over the years.

Prominent industry players have comprehensive ranges of automotive coatings designed for automotive refinishing. For example, BASF leverages its R-M® and Glasurit® brands to cater to premium customers’ needs for refinishing coatings, with specific focus on eco-efficient high-solids and waterborne coatings with low solvent concentrations.

Highly complex coatings application process may hamper industry expansion

Despite its robust application potential however, the automotive coatings industry encounters a significant roadblock owing to the highly complex application process. The process is relatively costly as it requires skilled workforce to apply and smoothen the coat properly.

Furthermore, the coating process needs to be carried out in a controlled environment and is considerably time consuming, which could hamper the adoption of automotive coatings.

Burgeoning demand for aliphatic diisocyanates-based polyurethane coatings will act as a significant trend for the automotive coating market

Many prominent automotive manufacturers across the globe are now relying on ADI (Aliphatic Diisocyanates)-based automotive coating technologies as a key factor for production. ADI-based polyurethane coatings demonstrate strong application potential, not just in cars but also across various other vehicles including trucks, buses, construction equipment and more.

ADIs are considered to be an important factor in the manufacturing process of polyurethane coatings and paints used by OEMs for vehicle production, as well as by auto refinishers for repairs.

ADI-based polyurethane coatings are not just useful for the overall enhancement of a vehicle’s aesthetic appeal, but also play an integral role in safeguarding it from corrosion and exposure to harsh environmental conditions.

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Strategic maneuvers will present lucrative growth opportunities for industry growth

Major automotive coatings market players are paving the way for substantial growth prospects for the industry in the upcoming years, through various strategic moves such as partnerships and M&A, among others.

PPG, for instance has made significant strides in this regard, with the acquisitions of prominent paint and coatings manufacturers over the years. These include the company’s 2019 acquisition of German automotive coatings producer Hemmelrath, as well as the more recent 2020 acquisition of ICR (Industria Chimica Reggiana) S.p.A, a coatings and paint manufacturer catering to the light industrial coatings and automotive refinish industries.

Automotive coating technologies have evolved tremendously over the years, becoming more efficient, sophisticated and durable as the years progress. As is evidenced by the industry’s consistent performance enhancement over the past 100 years, it is anticipated that the automotive coatings industry will continue its upwards trajectory and contribute towards a more efficient and optimized automotive outlook in the years ahead.

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