12 May 2016, Cambridge, UK: Carbon fibre composites represent less than 0.1% of today’s automotive materials market, but if just 1 kg of carbon fibre were included per mass market car the carbon fibre automotive market could be worth US$6.5 billion in 20 years, according to a new analysis from Future Materials Group (FMG), the strategic advisory firm for the advanced materials sector.

FMG’s research and analysis team has explored the impact of potential future developments in the automotive sector on the carbon fibre industry. The nascent automotive market for carbon fibre is very diverse and fragmented and its future use is highly unpredictable, but because of the size of the market just a small penetration of carbon fibre composite would lead to a relatively high increase in carbon fibre demand. While the low volume motorsport and supercar segments have employed carbon fibre for many years, it is now beginning to find a place in niche vehicles such as luxury cars and electric vehicles. The increased penetration of carbon fibre in the next generations of niche cars will lead to more confidence in carbon fibre technologies and allow a sequential adoption by the lower value, but larger, market segments, FMG predicts.

According to FMG’s research, in a scenario where just 1% of a niche car was made of carbon fibre the automotive market for carbon fibre would grow exponentially from $250 million today to $3 billion in the next 20 years. In a scenario where 1 kg of carbon fibre were included per mass market car the market would double again to a $6.5 billion in 2034.

To satisfy this level of demand the carbon fibre industry would need to build a new carbon fibre line every two months, representing a capex investment of over $13 billion over the next 20 years.

For investors and industry players this market therefore offers a huge potential opportunity but high risk.

“Obviously these numbers point towards a very big investment opportunity for the carbon fibre industry, but there is a lot of risk in this,” reports Dr Myriam Yagoubi, FMG Research Analyst. “However, if even half the predictions we’ve been making were to come true then in 20 years the automotive carbon fibre industry would be five times as big as that of the aerospace industry.”

Listen to a video outlining highlights of the research here.

The FMG team is available to explain these research findings further and discuss the opportunities they present for investors and industry players.

FMG assists businesses at all stages of development from start-up to maturity, by creating and increasing value through accelerating and managing growth. The company’s in-depth industry knowledge and expertise provides clients a comprehensive understanding of the markets in which they operate, or seek to enter, and many emerging areas of opportunity. Following another year of strong business growth in 2015, FMG will continue to expand its research and analysis team and add to its senior team of industry experts during 2016.

Further information
The following FMG Industry Briefing is available to download: The transforming automotive market: Is the time right for carbon fibre?

About FMG
FMG, headquartered in Cambridge, UK, is an independent strategic advisory firm specialising in the advanced materials and high value manufacturing sectors. Working globally, the company helps businesses at all stages of their development, from start-up to maturity, to create and increase value through accelerating and managing growth. www.futurematerialsgroup.com

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Generational change could bring technological advances which would radically transform the automotive carbon fibre market. (Source: FMG.)