Automotive Carbon Wheel Market: Introduction
- Steel and aluminum alloys are being used to manufacture automotive wheels for the last few decades; however, these materials have limitations such as such as susceptibility to corrosion and considerable weight. Consequently, automobile manufacturing companies are inclined toward composite materials for manufacturing wheels. After successful application in structural parts of aircrafts and automobiles, carbon fiber is currently being used to manufacture automotive wheels.
- Automotive carbon wheels are made by various manufacturing processes such as flow forging method and dry fiber method. During these processes, a synthetic matrix embedded with carbon fibers and resin is formed, which is subsequently hardened by the application of heat and pressure. These wheels offer various benefits such as weight savings, enhanced ride comfort, and improved vehicle dynamics.
Key Drivers of Automotive Carbon Wheel Market
- A major concern of automotive players is weight reduction of the vehicle, which results in enhanced efficiency and performance. Reducing the weight of the vehicle wheels provides better maneuverability, a quieter and smoother ride experience, faster acceleration, quicker deceleration, enhanced suspension, and improved fuel efficiency. These benefits have prompted the utilization of composite materials in different parts of an automobile. Carbon fiber reinforced polymers offer an array of functional benefits and are also esthetically appealing. Consequently, several OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers are using carbon fiber to manufacture wheels. These wheels weigh around 50% less than conventional aluminum or steel alloy wheels. For instance, in May 2016, Ford Motor Company and its partner Carbon Revolution developed carbon wheels, which are offered with Shelby GT350R, Ford GT, and Mustang Shelby GT500 models. Other OEMs such as Ferrari N.V., McLaren Group, Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., Porsche AG, and Koenigsegg Automotive AB are also using carbon wheels in their vehicles. Thus, a reduction in weight and other related benefits are driving the automotive carbon wheel market across the globe.
- Automotive carbon wheels are intended for use in performance vehicles such as sports cars and SUVs where strength, weight, and vibration dampening capabilities of wheels are vital requirements. Rise in disposable income of people has increased their purchasing power, thus boosting their preference toward luxury items including performance vehicles. For instance, Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., a Germany-based performance car manufacturer, witnessed 43% rise in sales for the year 2019 with a total of 8,205 units sold globally as compared to 5,750 units sold in the previous year. Thus, a rise in sale of performance vehicles is propelling the global automotive carbon wheel market.
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Automotive Carbon Wheel Market: Restraint
- Limited availability of carbon wheel sizes and their high cost are restricting the application of carbon wheels to specific vehicle segments. This, in turn, is hampering the global automotive carbon wheel market.
Europe holds Significant Share of Global Automotive Carbon Wheel Market
- Significant presence of OEMs in Europe and their inclination toward carbon fiber wheels owing to the functional benefits offered by these wheels is propelling the share held by Europe in the global automotive carbon wheel market. For instance, in 2016, the BMW AG developed carbon compound wheels and offered them with their M4 GTS model. The company also developed hybrid carbon wheels, which have metal alloys along with carbon fiber composite materials. Furthermore, automotive wheel manufacturers in the region are entering into partnership with OEMs to jointly develop new carbon wheel products. For instance, thyssenkrupp AG and Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center jointly developed carbon fiber and aluminum hybrid wheels in September 2020. On-going developments and partnerships between industry players are driving the share held by Europe in the global automotive carbon wheel market.
Key Players Operating in Automotive Carbon Wheel Market
The global automotive carbon wheel market is highly concentrated due to the presence of top manufacturers. A few key players operating in the automotive carbon wheel market are:
- Carbon Revolution
- Dymag Group Limited
- ESE Carbon
- HRE Wheels
- LITESPEED RACING
- Rolko Kohlgrüber GmbH
- thyssenkrupp AG
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Global Automotive Carbon Wheel Market: Research Scope
Global Automotive Carbon Wheel Market, by Size (in Inches)
Global Automotive Carbon Wheel Market, by Vehicle
- Passenger Vehicle
- Luxury/ Premium Vehicles
- Mid-segment Vehicles
- Entry-class Vehicles
- Commercial Vehicle
Global Automotive Carbon Wheel Market, by Sales Channel
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