Market forecast for automotive window films

Tinted car windowAutomotive window films hold the largest market share among all segments, led by the Asia Pacific region, followed by North America and Europe, according to the latest report from Coherent Market Insights (Seattle, WA). Automotive Films Market – Global Industry Insights, Trends, Outlook and Opportunity Analysis, 2018-2026 is scheduled for publication in September of this year.

Automotive window films have many purposes and benefits including heat and glare reduction, thermal insulation and UV filtration. Applied on vehicle windows, these films help reduce energy costs arising from air conditioning. Moreover, UV protection and thermal insulation protects vehicle interiors and passengers from exposure to harmful radiation. Films also provide mechanical protection to prevent shattering of windows during accidents, said the Coherent report.

Increased safety features of automotive films are the major market drivers, according to the market research and consulting firm. The major challenges, however, are regulations involving tinted glass in some countries that have been implemented over concerns related to passenger safety in public vehicles and national security. 

Light passenger cars are the largest market for these window films, followed by commercial vehicles and heavy commercial vehicles.

“The application of window films increases sun protection and also makes the vehicle aesthetically appealing,” said the report. “It does not block radio waves and is cost effective.” Wrap films—one of the other major uses of film in automotive applications—can be used on cars and commercial vehicles such as city buses for advertising purposes.

Asia Pacific is the largest market for automotive films. Combined car sales in India, China and Indonesia topped 32 million in 2015, which is attributed to a rising population and disposable income among the emerging middle class. In India, Coherent notes that strict laws on automotive window films are designed to protect the safety of women in public vehicles such as taxis and buses. The regulations are expected to “hinder market growth in India.”

North America and Europe are the next largest markets. In the United States and Canada, demand for SUVs and pickup trucks has risen as those countries’ consumers have a high preference for personal transportation. Europe, despite having a rich population, is comparatively less inclined toward personal transportation due to a well-developed public transport infrastructure, said the report.

Latin American markets have experienced a slowdown in the automobile industry due in part to political turmoil in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela. The automotive market in Mexico has felt threatened by the NAFTA renegotiation.

Africa, led by South Africa and Nigeria, is witnessing growth across all manufacturing sectors including automotive, said Coherent’s report. South Africa is a major automotive manufacturing country, and increased investment is a result of cheap labor, technical expertise and proximity to growing East African countries.

Coherent notes in its report that 3M acquired Scott Safety from Johnson Controls International Inc. for $2 billion. The deal, which closed Oct. 4, 2017, allows 3M to move into safety devices and “may lead to product innovation in automobile window films.”

Major players in the automotive films market are 3M, Eastman Chemical Co., Avery Dennison Corp., Lintec Corp. and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics. 

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