The global automotive catalytic converter market size was valued at USD 111.00 billion in 2014 and is projected to reach USD 272.95 billion by 2024. The growth can be attributed to strict government and institutional norms applied for emission control, rapidly growing automobile industry, evident environmental impact caused by automobile emissions and advancements in the product technology. Catalytic converters a component used in automobiles to convert harmful emissions comprising carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and hydrocarbons into less harmful gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen or water. Generally, the product consisting of a core made up of a ceramic honeycomb structure coated with the catalyst metal is installed in the emission mechanism of the vehicle.
Stringent regulations imposed in several North American and European countries mandating the use of converters in all vehicles are expected to elevate their demand. Growing number of automobiles, light weight as well as heavy duty vehicles in emerging markets such as China and India are expected to play an important role in shaping the market dynamics in these regions. Innovation & development of technology in the segment is fast paced, effectively catering to the requirements.
Increased hybrid & electric vehicles’ demand is expected to challenge the automotive catalytic converter market over the forecast period, as these vehicles do not use an inbuilt converter on account of the absence of any form of emission. The discovery of bio fuels which has consequently reduced emission problems is expected to hamper the growth rate over the next few years. Raw materials used for production primarily comprise metal catalysts which are usually costly and undergo frequent price fluctuations consequently introducing uncertainty in achieving demand consistency, optimal operations and profitability.
Automakers also face the challenge of reducing the negative effect of these components on the automobiles’ fuel efficiency. Some catalyst converters lead to unwanted chemical reactions producing by-products such as sulfur oxides that prove to be environmentally harmful, thus challenging product quality. Mining techniques used in the extraction of raw materials such as palladium, platinum, rhodium result in a considerable amount of environmental pollution. Regulations for emissions limits as well as jurisdictions are not uniform across different countries as a result of which design of catalytic converters and production processes cannot be standardized.
Manufacturers are constantly bringing about innovations in the design of these converters for improving the efficiency and applications in new automobile segments as well as across a wide array of engines. There are a lot of scope in eco-friendly technologies of production, catalyst conversion reactions and emissions control. Companies are innovating in the direction of four-way catalytic converters with enhanced performance, quality and compatibility with advanced engines.
The product can be segmented by product, material and technology. On the basis of product, these converters can be segregated into three-way catalysts (TWR), selective catalytic reduction (SC), diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), lean Nox catalyst(LNC) and lean NOx trap (LNT). Two and three-way oxidation and diesel oxidation catalysts are expected to capture a sizeable market share on account of their inherent reduced emission feature.
Based on material, the market can be sub-divided into palladium, platinum, rhodium and others. Platinum components are predominantly used but owing to the price rise in this type palladium and rhodium catalysts are expected to gradually capture the market share. Converters can use two techniques for conversion of harmful emissions, namely coil on plug ignition and simultaneous ignition.
Developed markets such as the U.S., Canada, Germany, France and UK are at a maturity stage. However, prominent automotive companies as well as Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are located in these countries. Collaborations between these companies and converter manufacturers are expected to maintain a steady demand for the components and technology development in the sector.
Emerging economies China, India, South Korea and Japan are anticipated to grow at a high rate. This can be attributed to growing number of manufacturing facilities in Asia on account of low production costs, availability of skilled labor, and increasing capabilities of the units and rise in demand.
Key players in catalytic converters are Tenneco Inc., Faurecia SA, Benteler International AG, BASF Catalysts, MagnettiMarelliSPA, Calsonic Kansei Corporation, Clean Diesel Technologies and Katcon. Other vendors include Sango, Yutaka, Bosal International. Companies are enhancing their offerings in a bid to meeting global emission standards across different countries, thereby maintaining their competitiveness. Strategy focus is oriented towards acquiring expertise in global regulations compliance, cost effective solutions and optimal vehicle performance.
In order to deal with the fluctuating prices of raw materials, manufacturers are using inventory management strategies, entering into partnerships by backward integration with raw material suppliers. As the industry is at different stages of growth in different regional markets, companies are adopting strategies accordingly. New product development is their focus in mature markets, whereas high volume market penetration is their aim in emerging regions.
Automotive Catalytic Converter Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2014 - 2024)
• Two-way oxidation
• Three-way oxidation-reduction
• Diesel oxidation catalyst
Automotive Catalytic Converter Material Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2014 - 2024)
Automotive Catalytic Converter Regional Outlook (USD Billion, 2014 - 2024)
• North America
• Asia Pacific
Research Support Specialist, USA