It is estimated that nearly 4,000 foundries have closed in Europe and the United States, and demand has shifted to countries such as India, China, and Brazil. New vehicle production is cyclical and hence demand for iron from the automotive industry varies. With the heavy commercial vehicle and tractor segment shifting focus toward higher horsepower engine, the components, such as cylinder block and cylinder head, manufactured from iron will increase. The passenger car and utility vehicles segment is expected by grow at a CAGR of 10.0 percent, which bodes well for the automotive ferrous castings market.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (automotive.frost.com), Strategic Assessment of the Automotive Ferrous Castings Market in India, finds that gray iron (GI) casting accounted for 59.6 percent of the total production in India and the demand for 2007 was 336,049 MT. Spheroidal graphite (SG) iron castings accounted for 40.4 percent of the total production and the demand for 2007 was 227,959 MT for automotive components in the country.
The Indian forging industry is estimated at approximately $1.98 billion and it is expected to grow at a CAGR 8.3 percent. Foundry clusters in India are located in Rajkot, Agra, Chennai, and Kolhapur adding up to over 5,000 recognized foundries both big and small. The industry employs about 500,000 workforce directly and 150,000 indirectly.
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Properties of GI, such as good machinability, high damping, and dimensional stability, increase the scope for application in vehicles across segments. Majority of the demand comes from medium to heavy commercial vehicles for components such as cylinder block, cylinder head, and wheel hub that are manufactured from cast iron.
"As the diesel engine cylinder blocks operate on very high temperature when compared to cylinder block of petrol engines, SG iron used in manufacturing the cylinder block of the Diesel Engine is twice as much required in comparison with the manufacturing of the cylinder block of Petrol Engine. The increasing demand for Diesel Engines specially in Indian Passenger car segment would consequently create additional requirement for SG Iron in Indian Automotive Industry", notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Amit Punjani, Automotive & Transportation.
SG cast iron is used in various applications in the Indian automotive industry, such as axle housing, brake cylinders due to its high-tensile strength and high ductility. With the introduction of components such as double axle in commercial vehicles, rear disc in the passenger car segment, the demand for SG iron is likely to increase.
Strategic Assessment of the Automotive Ferrous Castings Market in India is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: Indian automotive and auto components market covering passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and two wheeler markets. Components include fuel injection systems, forged components, tires, batteries, sensors, telematics and vehicle tracking systems market. Other research includes analysis of new technologies, export markets and research on the Middle East automotive and components market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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