AutomotiveThe automotive sector saw some growth in 2015 spurred on by low oil prices. However, recent economic uncertainty in China, the largest automotive market, and softness in Europe negatively impacted the general market, which is likely to continue in 2016. All three Oerlikon Segments deliver products and services directly and indirectly to this sector. In 2015, the Surface Solutions and Drive Systems Segments generated 26 % and 14 % of their sales, respectively, in this sector.
Fueled by long-term growth motors such as urbanization, a growing middle class and the desire for more mobility, the automotive sector remains attractive, and Oerlikon estimates the size of its targeted market in this sector to grow at a CAGR of 2.2 % over the next three years.
The demand for higher fuel efficiency, smaller engines and lower emissions are key drivers behind automotive technologies. Oerlikon’s surface solutions allow the use of new and lighter materials, improve key components’ efficiency and increase the resistance and durability of ever smaller parts. In the newly opened automotive competence center in Slovakia, the Surface Solutions Segment aims to coat 28 million engine parts for the European automotive industry by 2018. It also plans to invest in two new automotive competence centers in the USA and one in China. Winning Zanini Auto Group, an automotive exterior and interior parts’ supplier, as a customer for its eco-friendly chrome-replacement ePD technology has opened up further opportunities for the Segment in this sector.
The Drive Systems Segment, a strong partner in delivering technologies for high-performance cars, sees opportunities in e-vehicle and hybrid solutions. The Manmade Fibers Segment delivers technologies for the production of technical textiles used in vehicles, such as tire cords, airbags, seat belts, upholstery, carpets and interior trim.