Find us: China
Huixin Industrial Park, Daxing Rd
Yangwu,Dalingshan Town
Dongguan, 523839
[email protected]
Find us: Europe
The Chapel, 58 London Street
Whitchurch, Hampshire
UK, RG28 7LN
[email protected]

The role of plastics in the automotive industry

Immetech / News  / The role of plastics in the automotive industry

The role of plastics in the automotive industry

Where does the future lie for plastics in automobiles? 


There are currently 39 different types of basic plastics and polymers that are used in vehicles according to a published 2020 report by EuRIC. 32% of plastic used is polypropylene which is commonly applied to vehicle bumpers and cable insulation. 

It is clear that the role of plastic in the automotive industry is just as integral as structural metals it uses, but where will it go from here? Will technological advancements in plastics and their increased strength and variations mean more will be used, or will there be a shift in materials used in automobiles down the future assembly line? 

To understand the future one must look at the past. The first modern car is recognised to have been invented by German inventor Karl Benz in 1886, a legacy carried on by his successor company Mercedes-Benz. However, it was the launch of the Model T in 1908 by Henry Ford & Co. that automobiles became an affordable transport option for the average citizen. 


Cars produced in the early days mostly used steel for the frames, rubber for the tires, and wood for aspects such as the transmission band and artillery wheels. Plastics, in general, did not start to see mass production levels up until the 1940s, and it wasn’t until the 1970s that plastics were seeing general usage in cars for interior skins, coverings, and woodworks. 

Fast-forward to the 21st century where more vehicles demonstrate a switch to plastic over aluminium and other metals for body panels, and now on average make up 50% of a car’s interior materials. 

An example of the transition is the windshield of the car; generally, glass is used to protect the driver from external forces. However, more recently acrylic (PMMA) is being used as an alternative shatter-resistant windshield. Plastics have, however, been used in vehicle light sets for much longer. 

There are plenty of good reasons why automotive manufacturers have implemented more plastic into their finished designs, such as longer vehicle life, dramatically reduced weight, freedom of design, consistency, flexibility, and recyclability. Vehicles are becoming lighter with more recycled parts and components that are more environmentally friendly than their predecessors. 

Immetech has long been a driving force in the automotive manufacturing sector, working with blue chips such as Audi, BMW, and Honda since our inception. Taking a look towards the future, for electric vehicles we have worked with clients on developing plastic-molding solutions for battery packs, charging piles, and EV chargers. 

Additionally, we have extensive experience optimising double-shot injection molding technology that is used to create door panels and other parts for cars. This process brings increased stability and a high yield with a short cycle time. To put it into context, when compared to over-molding, the double-shot process manufacturing costs are 20-30% lower, plus the additional benefits make it a clear win-win. 

Overall, the relationship between plastics and cars is deeply intertwined, in the same way, that component manufacturers and automotive companies co-exist. Immetech always looks to innovate and implement high-end technology in the industry, remaining committed to “serve products to the world, build molds to the globe”, for today and the future of plastics.