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The Universal Selection Source:
Plastics & Elastomers
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Automotive industry likes polymers I – Economic and Technical outline

SpecialChem / Feb 2, 2004

Worldwide, it is roughly estimated that: * More than 500 million passenger cars are in use * 50 million new cars are produced each year * 70 million tonnes of materials are consumed Automotive industry is one of the three major markets of plastics and the first one for rubbers. Motivations are diversified: * Technical: Metal bumpers don't meet the impact regulations; tyres are the only mass production system available to ensure liaison of cars and ground; the others such as caterpillars are only suitable for special vehicles. * Economical: Plastics are the economical response to mass production quite as much as "niche" vehicles. * Aesthetics: Plastics allow much more design freedom than steel and other conventional materials. * Environmental: the reduction of fuel consumption and gas emission needs lighter vehicles and better aerodynamics. A simple answer to a simple query: * More than 7 million tonnes of polymers * More than $60 billion of turnover. The Automotive Industry is the third sector of polymer applications after Packaging, Building & Civil engineering. These big three consume 76 % of the global polymer production.

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