CLEVELAND - U.S. demand for coatings, adhesives and sealants used in the automotive industry is forecast to expand 9.4 percent annually to $5.6 billion in 2014. This healthy rate of growth represents a significant rebound from the declines of the 2004-2009 period, when the market was adversely impacted by the global economic downturn. The U.S. motor vehicle industry was particularly hard hit by the weak global economy. As a result, vehicle output was cut in half between 2004 and 2009, reducing demand for coatings, adhesives and sealants at the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) level. Through 2014, however, this segment of the market will drive overall gains as vehicle production expands rapidly from a depressed base. These and other trends are presented in Automotive Coatings, Adhesives & Sealants, a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

The OEM segment has historically dominated the automotive coating, adhesive and sealant market. In 2009, however, vehicle output had fallen so low that the aftermarket accounted for nearly three-fifths of demand. Going forward, the OEM segment will expand at a double-digit annual pace and once again take its place as the leading outlet for coatings, adhesives and sealants. The aftermarket generally provides more stable growth than its OEM counterpart, as it is largely dependent on the size of the nation’s motor vehicle park, a much less volatile indicator than vehicle output. Demand in this market will also accelerate through 2014.

Coatings will remain the leading product type, accounting for more than three-quarters of market value in 2014. Water-based, powder and radiation-curable coatings will provide the best gains, as their good environmental profile enables users to meet stricter VOC requirements. However, overall demand will advance at a below-average pace as efforts to improve paint shop efficiency, reduce costs and limit waste will restrict gains in market volume. Sales will also be impacted by greater competition from alternative materials, such as in-molded colored plastics and paint films.

More rapid growth will be achieved by the smaller adhesive and sealant segments. Advances will be promoted by cost-cutting measures and efforts to increase fuel efficiency by reducing vehicle weight, both of which favor the use of adhesives and sealants over welded joints, mechanical fasteners and gaskets. Adhesives will benefit from the rising use of plastics in motor vehicle manufacture, since plastics are compatible with adhesives and cannot be welded.

Automotive Coatings, Adhesives & Sealants is available from The Freedonia Group Inc. For further details, visit