Automotive Chromium market size is forecast to reach US$2.8 billion by 2027 after growing at a CAGR of 6.7% during 2022-2027. The Automotive Chromium Industry uses a Chrome plating technique, which is a electroplating method of a thin layer of chromium onto a metal object such as copper, stainless steel, aluminium, and others. The product of Automotive chromium plating is called chrome. These automotive chromium plating can be decorative plating as well as offer corrosion resistance, easy-cleaning procedures, and increase surface hardness. Automotive Chromium plating is being increasingly used for plating various passenger vehicle components like bumpers, grills, mirror covers, inner and outer door handle, interior decorative parts, headrest, and other parts. The chromium plating process involves various different steps which include degreasing, cleaning dirt and impurities, different types of pre-treatment varying with the consistency of substrate material. Furthermore, surge in the demand for the Automotive Industry in the past and in the coming years are some of the major factors driving the Automotive Chromium market growth during the forecast period.
The recent outbreak of COVID-19 indicates that several developing and developed economies were not well-equipped to prevent the disease from spreading. Currently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the core industry automotive was highly impacted. Most of the manufacturing plants of automobiles were shut down, which declined the production of commercial and passenger vehicles. Also, due to supply chain disruptions such as raw material delays or non-arrival, disrupted financial flows, and rising absenteeism among production line staff, OEMs have been forced to function at zero or partial capacity, resulting in lower demand and consumption of Automotive Chromium. The governments of various countries are expected to increase their healthcare spending over the coming years to fight similar situations in the future. This is expected to ensure a positive demand for various Automotive Chromium products.
Automotive Chromium Market Segment Analysis – By Plating
The Decorative Chromium plating segment held the largest share of 54% in the Automotive Chromium market in 2021. Decorative chromium is a thin layer of chromium deposit applied to a metallic or plastic substrate in order to impart particular surface properties like bright appearance, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and scratch resistance. Decorative chromium is comparatively thinner than hard chromium. Additionally, decorative chromium depositions have a micro-discontinuity (micro-porous, micro-crack) structure in contrast to hard chromium, which is normally crack-free. This kind of Chromium plating is mainly applied in luxury passenger vehicles. As a result, the demand for Automotive Decorative Chromium plating can be seen positive, which contributes to increased business growth in the Automotive Chromium market.
Automotive Chromium Market Segment Analysis – By Vehicle
The Passenger Vehicles segment held the largest share in the Automotive Chromium market in 2021 and is growing at a CAGR of 9.5% during 2022-2027. The sale of passenger vehicles has been notably increasing in the developing regions, owing to the growing disposable income of the population in these regions. According to OICA, global passenger car sales was accounted for 63,730,387 in 2019 and 53,598,846 in 2020, showing a small decrease due to the impact of covid. As the development and urbanization of countries are growing at a rapid rate, more and more people from rural areas are moving to the cities, thereby which is increasing the demand for high-quality passenger cars for them. The number of passenger car-owners opting for chromium-plated parts in their vehicles has been multiplied because the plating doesn’t only enhances the decorative/aesthetic appearance of the vehicle but also protects it from rust and scratches as well. Many passenger vehicle manufacturers are using chromium-plated parts to their vehicles to enhance the overall aesthetic appeal to attract and increase their customer base, which has led to significant product demand in the Automotive Chromium industry during the forecast period.
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Automotive Chromium Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
Europe region held the largest share in the Automotive Chromium market in 2021 up to 42% and remains the epicenter of development prospects in the global Automotive Chromium market. The presence of prominent manufacturers like Mercedes Benz, Porsche, BMW, and others, which inflates the market scope and continues the market growth in the European region. The automotive industry remains crucial for Europe’s prosperity. According to the European Union, “The automotive sector provides direct and indirect jobs to 13.8 million Europeans, representing 6.1% of total EU employment. 2.6 million people work in the direct manufacturing of motor vehicles, representing 8.5% of EU employment in manufacturing. The EU is among the world’s biggest producers of motor vehicles.” The European Automotive industry, to strengthen the competitiveness and preserve its top place, supports global technological harmonization and also provides funding for its R&D. which has led to significant product demand in the Automotive Chromium industry in the European region during the forecast period.
Automotive Chromium Market Drivers
Increase of production activities in the automotive sector
Globalization, industrialization, digitalization, and increasing competition are pressing the face of the industry. In addition, increasing safety requirements and voluntary environmental commitments by the automotive industry have also contributed to the changes ahead. According to Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), there has been a global production of 57,262,777 vehicles in 2021, which shows a significant surge compared to the year 2020, where there was a production of 52,146,292, after it suffered a fall from 67,485,823 in 2019, due to the covid-19 pandemic. Proving the capacity of the automotive industry to recover in spite of a global crisis, consequently maintaining a market demand for Automotive Chromium as well.
Lower Toxicity compared to any other plating
From the health and goodwill of the environment perspective, trivalent chromium, which is used for the plating process, is comparatively less toxic. Because of the lower toxicity, it is not regulated as strictly, which reduces overhead costs. Other environmental concerns and health advantages include its higher cathode efficiencies, which cause less chromium air emissions; lower concentration levels, leading to less chromium waste, and anodes that don’t decompose.
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Automotive Chromium Market Challenges
Higher price associated with the Automotive Chromium
The high cost associated with the Automotive Chromium plays a spoilsport in the rapidly growing Automotive Chromium market over the forecast period. On average, the Automotive Chromium plating for vehicles ranges from $500 to $2500, which is higher in the price for most of the consumers, hindering the purchases made by the manufacturing units. Hence, this factor has become the major challenge of Automotive Chromium in terms of consumption, which constrains the growth of the market.
Automotive Chromium Industry Outlook
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in this market. Automotive Chromium top 10 companies include:
Chem Processing Inc
Taiyo Technology of America Inc.
Valley Chrome Plating Inc.
F.H. Lambert Limited
In August 2019, Atotech acquires J-KEM International. Atotech states in their press release that “J-KEM is a global supplier of high-quality chemical products and processes for the printed circuit board and general metal finishing industries. J-KEM’s strong technology and customer relationships complement Atotech’s product portfolio and will help expand addressable markets and drive future growth.”
Europe mainly dominates the Automotive Chromium market, owing to the presence of key automotive vehicle production plants in this region.
Asia-Pacific has a rising demand for Automotive Chromium in growing Automobile industries in emerging economies allied with increasing decorative temptation in the region is likely to boost demand for the market in these regions.
Decorative Chromium plating dominates the Automotive Chromium market mainly because it offers stain resistance.
However, Chromium plating remains as high-cost spending for the various middle class and lower class people to afford, which, hence being a growth restraint for the Automotive Chromium market.
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