Automotive Soft Trim Interior popularly known as “Soft Trims” belongs to automotive interiors segment being a part of the automotive ancillaries sector. The nomenclature is derived from the nature of the product application compared to the hard exterior body & spare parts of the vehicle. It is used in seats, doors, floor liners, pillar covers, cockpit, headliners, etc. of the vehicle. The material used is primarily of 3 types: Leather, Textile/Fabric & Chemical Polymers. Leather is used in Premium automobile models, whereas the latter two cater to Mid & Base Level models in exterior furnishing/covering as well fabrication of core interior body parts. The product has a blend of critical traits more than just the aesthetics aspect; such as Acoustic Control, Durability & Ergonomics, and Feather Weight Capability.
The Automotive Soft Trim Interior market is segmented on the basis of the materials involved. The major materials types can be classified as: Leather –which can be further classified as per Texture & Finish, Heat Absorption Capacity. Foams –which can be also classified such as Backed & Unbacked Types, Texture e.g. Poker Rail, Sew foam & Grade e.g. Residential or Commercial grade on durability basis. Coated Fabrics –which can be classified as per coating material such as Polymer Coated, Rubber Coated & Other Substrate Coated for having properties like fire, & water resistance and wash proof. Textiles & Acoustic Barriers-which can be classified as per area of furnishing whether seating, safety belts, flooring, lining on doors, roof, shelves etc. & also the grade/quality of material used such ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS), Polyurethane reactive (PUR) for properties similar to coated fabrics & noise and sound proofing as well .
The entire 4 wheeler-Automotive vehicle segments such as Light Motor Vehicles, Heavy Commercial Vehicles etc. are major consumers whom the product caters to. It has both OEM & Aftermarket channel sales market. Leather, Coated Fabrics & Textiles is used for seats, door-side handles, head rests, arm-rests, seat belts, fasteners & cockpit sections. The premium/luxury model of the vehicle employ leather type whereas the standard models employ the latter types owing to the material quality & its associated cost. Foams & Acoustic Barriers are used in auxiliary interior body parts. The product is thus driven both by the automotive OEM for their varied models as well as by end user as per his budget. It can be noted that the existing manufacturers of this material already have a sound access to procurement chemicals & related raw materials. The companies can be a registered to a particular or multiple automotive OEMS which is a determining factor of the company’s standing in the market. These companies are also focusing on different strategies such customized design in order to maintain the market share in the market. Continuous emphasis on new product innovation development by automotive OEMs exists to maintain the competitive advantage by providing more efficient & economic options in the market during the forecast period.
Geographically, the Automotive Soft Trim Interior industry can be divided by major regions which include North America, Western & Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific region, Japan, Middle East and Africa. America, Germany, China and Japan are the major producing nations. In terms of raw materials, Middle East & African countries are major suppliers of Leather; Chemicals by North America, Europe & Asia Pacific including Japan. The market is projected to grow at a steady growth rate. The market would be volume driven across all regions & vehicle segments. Market coverage in existing & untapped regions with OEM order bank would be critical to the company’s business.
The market does not sees any immediate or external threat at present, only material substitution by advanced types may cannibalize the existing material types.
The major players identified across the value chain of The Haartz Corporation, Benecke Kaliko, Polyone Corporation, Recticel, Classic Soft Trim, and Auto Trim Inc. in terms of manufacturing apart from regional /Medium & Small-scale companies, Material Suppliers & Distributors etc.
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