LONDON - Polypropylene is likely to be the major winner in the automotive plastics war. It already makes up 32 percent of the plastics used in the industry, and that will grow to 50 percent by 2005, says a Financial Times report Automotive Materials: The Challenges of Globalisation and Technological Change.
Polypropylene is forecast to grow because the trend will be toward the wider use of one material to simplify dismantling and recycling.
That will mean a decline in the use of most other plastics, including polyester and PVC, but polyurethanes will probably retain their current market share of 10 to 15 percent.
The overall use of plastics is generally expected to grow as stricter environmental regulations force the movement toward lighter cars. However, it is the markets outside Europe, Japan and North America that are considered most crucial to plastic's growth, and these are largely the areas that suffered economic and political turmoil in late 1997.
The centers of plastics production are also likely to change over the next decade, predicts the report. The key growth regions will be the major oil-producing areas, such as the Middle East.