Strict emissions regulations leading to lighter cars worldwide

09.11.2015

 

For the past few years, carbon fiber materials have been regarded as the top of the line for German automobile manufacturers. Newer trends in Germany are seeing a switch to aluminum, echoing developments in the USA.

A comparison of the different materials used in today's cars shows that manufacturers in Germany and around the world are following different strategies. So far, no uniform approach has emerged as the front-runner. All approaches do however show that there is a tendency for the number of products produced and the price that end customers pay in the end to have an influence on the choice of materials. The premium car segment with a relatively low number of high priced cars manufactured appears to opt for carbon fiber. For larger series productions and their comparatively lower priced vehicles, manufacturers will stay true to metal for the mid to long term.

Materials will continue to compete with each other for quite some time. At the same time, there appears to be a trend in lightweight technology away from a “battle of the materials” towards intelligent production and functional conception. The automotive industry has already put some early examples on the road, and more are sure to follow. Lightweight technology may well prove to be vital for meeting stricter emissions regulations.

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