Global Automotive Front End Module Market - Segmented by Vehicle, Raw Material and Geography - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2018 - 2023)
The global automotive front end module market is expected to record a CAGR 5.27% during the forecast period. The increasing demand for vehicles and growing concerns regarding passenger and driver safety are driving the front-end module market.
The front-end modules were mostly designed and fabricated with heavy steel materials. However, in the recent years, lightweight composite materials like polypropylene, glass mat thermoplastic, long fiber thermoplastic (LFT), direct LFT aluminum etc. are used in manufacturing front-end modules.
Skyworks Solutions of Woburn, USA has designed front-end modules that provide wireless technology for Internet of Things (IoT) applications and GPS-enabled tracking products. Tracking is becoming an increasingly important opportunity as the Internet of Things explosion proliferates and encompasses a wide range of new and previously unimagined applications ranging from smart meters and connected vehicles to security systems. The combination of IoT with front-end module products is expected to propel the market for the latter at a significant pace over the forecast period.
Today, a number of vehicles are launched in the market with front-end modules made of composite materials. The recently launched Hyundai and two small segment cars from Mercedes use a lightweight front end construction that allows for the integration of additional functionality in components, which in turn saves assembly time, reduces costs, and lowers mass. Carriers for all three vehicles make use of injection-molded pelletized LFT-PP.
Raw Material Analysis
Front end modules were earlier developed using steel only. After the evolution of composites into automotive industry, manufacturers have shifted from steel to hybrid systems, a combination of both steel and composites. The first hybrid system developed was bonded with special adhesives. Later on, .manufacturers have focused on developing FEM entirely out of composites. Initially, FEM designs used compression-moldable glass-mat thermoplastic (GMT). Due to cost concerns, manufacturers have shifted from GMT to injection-molded pelletized long-fiber thermoplastics (LFT). However, in the recent years, lightweight composite materials long fiber thermoplastic (LFT) and direct LFT are used in manufacturing front-end modules.
Composites have experienced a widespread use in the automotive industry owing to their ever-higher strength-to-weight ratios, corrosion resistivity, and workability features. Automotive composites are replacing metal in various automotive applications due to their light-weight but tough features, which contributes to lesser fuel consumption. With the growing automotive industry and the increasing need for materials that will help to save fuel consumption, the market for composites for front end modules will continue to increase through 2023.
Key Developments in the Market
March 2018: Mahle Group sells its shares in the Hella Behr Plastic Omnium (HBPO) joint venture to fellow shareholder Plastic Omnium. HBPO specializes in the assembly, logistics, development and design of front-end modules, consisting of bumpers, lighting systems and cooling components.
January 2018: HBPO, the auto industry's important supplier of modular front-end systems, exhibit front-end modules focused on innovation and cost savings at this year's North American International Auto Show.
Major Players – DENSO CORP, FAURECIA SA, HBPO GROUP, MAGNA INTERNATIONAL, PLASTIC OMNIUM GROUP, amongst others
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