Increasing automobile production combined with evolving customer trends regarding interiors have been the driving force behind the automotive interior materials market, according to a new report.


Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have been focusing on reducing vehicle weight to increase fuel efficiency, which, in turn, has been increasing investment
in interior materials.


The current instability of global crude oil prices is also compelling manufacturers to develop low-weight vehicles, and is putting increased demand on the automotive interior-materials market.


Based on their type, the automotive materials market can be segmented into several categories, such as leather, which is increasing in demand due to the emerging regulations regarding the use of environment friendly leather, green chemistry in tanning processes and safe disposal of wastewater.


But such increased demands include increasing prices due to demand-supply deficits. Incorporating green technologies in automotive leather manufacturing are emerging as opportunities for the automotive interior-materials market, but are still not at the advanced stages that make it economically feasible on an industrial scale.


Profitability is also becoming tougher for the automotive interior materials market players due to increased regulations throughout the supply chain, said the report.


Among regions, Asia-Pacific dominated the global automotive interior materials market in 2013 followed by Europe. Asia-Pacific is also expected to continue with its global dominance by 2020 due to its increasing vehicle population.


Within Asia, China, Japan, South Korea and India are the major markets for automotive interior materials. Apart from the growing automotive industry, lower transportation and labour costs, and wide availability of raw materials are the key growth factors.


Vehicle sales in Europe fell during the eurozone crisis, which impacted the demand for automotive interior materials in the region. However, as the economy improves, interior material sales are expected to increase.