Demand for coatings, sealants and adhesives used in the US automotive industry is forecast to increase 1.3 percent per year to 1.8 billion pounds in 2003. Gains will slow from the expansionary pace set between 1993 and 1998, primarily due to the decelerating US motor vehicle industry. Adhesives and sealants will offer the strongest annual gains due to their increased use per vehicle, while volume demand for automotive coatings will be mitigated by the continuing shift to powders, which are more efficient and weigh less than conventional solvent-based liquids. These and other trends are presented in Automotive Coatings, Sealants & Adhesives, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm.

The continuing popularity of larger vehicles will sustain growth in the OEM market, since these vehicles require more of these materials in their manufacture. Despite the forecasted deceleration in motor vehicle production rates, the OEM market will continue to account for the majority of coating, sealant and adhesive demand well into the next decade. OEM demand, particularly for adhesives and sealants, will also benefit from the increased usage of plastics in motor vehicle assembly. However, future gains for coatings may be restricted by the greater use of in-molded plastics in exterior applications, since these materials do not require painting.

Coatings will continue to be the largest product segment, accounting for over 50 percent of total volume and over 75 percent of total value in 2003, despite facing restricted growth due to competition from in-molded color plastics and dry-paint film. The product mix of the coating segment will continue to switch from solvent-based to environmentally friendly technologies, particularly powder coatings and, to a lesser extent, radiation-cured coatings. The commercialization of powder clearcoats, which is expected to occur within the next ten years, will have the greatest effect on this segment, but in the short-term most demand for powders will remain concentrated in under-the-hood and interior components.

The sealant and adhesive product segments will offer the strongest gains, with growth in both segments attributable to similar trends. Favorable gains are arising from the automotive industry's continuing efforts to produce lighter, more aerodynamic vehicles, an outgrowth of federal mileage and emission standards. In addition to the greater use of plastics, demand will benefit from an effort to create quieter, better sealed interiors, both for aesthetic reasons and to improve heating and air conditioning efficiency.

Automotive Coatings, Sealants & Adhesives (published 9/99, 259 pages) is available for $3400 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. For further details, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600, fax 646.0484 or e-mail Full text is also available online through commercial database companies and the Web site.

Please attribute information from this news release to The Freedonia Group (Cleveland, OH) and include, if possible, the price of the report. We would also appreciate a copy of the article or publication in which we appear.