Lightweight Car Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2019 - 2024)

The Global Lightweight Car market has been segmented by Car Type, Material Type, and Geography.

Market Snapshot

Summary Graph
Study Period:


Base Year:


Key Players:

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Market Overview

The global lightweight car market is expected to register a CAGR of about 5% during the forecast period, 2019-2024.

Increasing demand for lightweight material from the automotive industry and growing focus on fuel economy are expected to be major growth drivers for the market. However, the high cost of lightweight materials, such as carbon fiber and glass composites, is hindering the growth of the market, as their usage in low-cost vehicles, may drastically increase the prices of such vehicles.

The automotive sector is one of the largest markets for composite materials. The automotive industry is continuously looking for innovative materials to help reduce vehicle weight and achieve fuel efficiency and carbon emission targets.

Asia-Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth in the market, due to the growing automotive industry in the region (in terms of both production and demand), especially in countries, such as India and China. In India, the automotive industry is expanding rapidly, with the rise in the income level of consumers. In addition, the demand for light vehicles has increased with awareness about fuel efficiency and environmental benefits. Currently, it is the fifth largest producer of light and commercial vehicles and is also the second-largest producer of two-wheeled vehicles. With the rapid increase in manufacturing capacities in the country, the consumption of carbon fiber composites is expected to increase, during the forecast period.

Scope of the Report

The global lightweight car market has been segmented by car type, material type, and geography.

By Car Type
Passenger Cars
Sports Cars
By Material Type
Glass Fiber
Carbon Fiber
High-strength Steel
Other Material Types
North America
United States
Rest of North America
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
Asia Pacific
Rest of Asia-Pacific
South America
Rest of South America
Middle East & Africa
United Arab Emirates
South Africa
Rest of Middle East & Africa

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Key Market Trends

Increasing Demand for Lightweight Material from the Automotive Industry

As fuel costs and distance traveled is increasing, consumers want better miles per gallon (mpg) and often consider gas mileage as a key factor while purchasing a vehicle. The global vehicle production has been on a continuous rise till 2017 and 2018 saw a 1.1% decrease. With the enactment of stringent emissions regulations due to increased exhaust emissions, the automobile manufacturers are focusing on the manufacturing of lightweight vehicles to reduce CO2 emissions.  A 10 kilogram weight reduction is estimated to save 1 gram of CO2 per kilometer. In the United States, the regulations mandate that by 2025, the average fuel economy standard must meet 54.5 miles per gallon. As per the US Department of Energy (DOE), reducing the weight of a vehicle by 10% yields a 6-8% rise in fuel economy.

Thus, to facilitate this change, automobile manufacturers are shifting from steel or aluminum to composite materials that are essential to achieve cost efficiency of these highly automated production cycles, which reduce vehicle weight. In a typical automobile, the use of fibers is 50% by volume, while adding just 10% of the weight.

As a result, the companies have started using materials, such as carbon fiber and titanium alloys to make vehicles lightweight and fuel-efficient, especially in luxury and sport models. Automotive manufacturers, such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, McLaren, Chevrolet, and Lamborghini, are some of the OEMs who are continually increasing the usage of composites in their vehicles, as they aid in reducing the weight of the vehicles.

Trend-1 Graph

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Europe - Expected to Witness Healthy Growth Rate

With the enactment of stringent emission norms and fuel economy standards in the European region, the automobile manufacturers in the region have started using carbon fiber composites in the manufacturing of their vehicles.

The companies are experimenting with new composites that can reduce the total weight of the vehicle to a great extent. The application of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) has been widely adopted for the production of automotive bodies, particularly in German cars, such as BMW and Audi.

For instance, BMW partnered with German carbon fiber producer SGL Group and spent ~USD 1 billion for securing the supply chain for CFRP used in the production of i3 and i8. Apart from BMW, another German automobile manufacturer Audi has also been using CFRP to produce the rear wall of the space frame for its A8 luxury sedan. This part provides ~40% of the vehicle’s overall torsional rigidity, making it a suitable material for the usage in the vehicle. The part is ~50% lighter in weight than its metallic predecessor.

Formed in February 2018, the technical partnership between Aston Martin and Dow will enable the continued development and implementation of new and customized industry-leading solutions in light-weighting, powertrain efficiency, and vehicle electrification.


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Competitive Landscape

Some of the major players in the lightweight car market are Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai-Kia, General Motors, and Ford. 

The market for lightweight cars is majorly held by auto manufacturers who have a long-standing partnership with the major composite manufacturing companies and are their preferred suppliers. The top five car producers held almost 45% of the market, as of 2018.

Major Players

  1. Volkswagen
  2. Toyota
  3. Hyundai
  4. Ford
  5. Nissan

* Complete list of players covered available in the table of contents below

CL Graph

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Deliverables

    2. 1.2 Study Assumptions

    3. 1.3 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Drivers

    2. 4.2 Market Restraints

    3. 4.3 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.3.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.3.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.3.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.3.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.3.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 By Car Type

      1. 5.1.1 Passenger Cars

      2. 5.1.2 Sports Cars

    2. 5.2 By Material Type

      1. 5.2.1 Glass Fiber

      2. 5.2.2 Carbon Fiber

      3. 5.2.3 High-strength Steel

      4. 5.2.4 Other Material Types

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Rest of North America

      2. 5.3.2 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. France

        4. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.3.3 Asia Pacific

        1. China

        2. Japan

        3. India

        4. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.3.4 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Rest of South America

      5. 5.3.5 Middle East & Africa

        1. United Arab Emirates

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle East & Africa


    1. 6.1 Vendor Market Share**

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles

      1. 6.2.1 Toyota

      2. 6.2.2 Volkswagen

      3. 6.2.3 Ford

      4. 6.2.4 Hyundai/Kia

      5. 6.2.5 Nissan

      6. 6.2.6 General motors

      7. 6.2.7 Honda

      8. 6.2.8 FCA

      9. 6.2.9 Ferrari

      10. 6.2.10 Lamborghini


**Subject to Availability

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