Automotive Material Solutions Enabling 2021 Industry Trends

Automotive Trends - Avery Dennison

The automotive industry is expected to see double digit growth in 2021, according to an industry report by the Economist, but markets will need to review operation processes and seek out growth pockets to fully bounce back from the slump seen in 2020. 

In the recent virtual event, Enabling the Cars of Tomorrow, Avery Dennison looked at the key trends automotive manufacturers and OEMs are focusing on to drive growth. A panel of material experts shared insight into the latest innovation in adhesives, films, fasteners, RFID technologies, and other labelling solutions making these trends possible.

Electric vehicles go mainstream 

Global electric vehicle (EV) sales are expected to grow 50% or more in 2021, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley, while sales of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles are expected to grow 2% to 5%.

EVs are especially seeing accelerated sales in Europe, with government incentives, expanding charging infrastructure, and a rapidly growing list of Lithium-Ion factories across the region. In the first half of 2020, while the total European automotive market fell by 37%, EV sales increased by 57% and over half a million battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were sold in Europe in 2020.

“2020 has, of course, been challenging but at the same time it has opened new opportunities.” says Martin Dolezal, Product Manager Automotive & Transportation Labels at Avery Dennison, “Faster adoption of electrification is one of them, and we are investing time and money in new developments in this area.”

Adhesives and materials for high voltage systems 

Pressure sensitive adhesives play a role in many stages of producing the final battery packs for EVs. Such as cell bonding, attaching battery pads for cushioning and thermal insulation, attaching foams to cells and modules, bonding isolating PET films, attaching cooling elements, and securing flexible printed circuits.

Due to the high voltage systems of EVs, these solutions also need to hold up under high temperature peaks over the extended lifetime that the latest battery developments are promising. “We see a need for different types of materials.” says Michael Sanders, Sr. Director Marketing HVS Label and Graphic Materials at Avery Dennison. “Higher end materials from a performance perspective when you think about flame retardants, chemical resistance, and insulation capabilities.” 

Avery Dennison has a full range of EV solutions with fasteners, labels, and tapes designed and tested to perform well in high voltage systems. 

Lighter cars for better efficiency 

As regulatory pressure around CO2 emissions increases globally, advances in plastics are being leveraged to reduce the weight of vehicles. Whether to improve the fuel economy of internal ICE models or to increase the battery range of EV vehicles, manufacturers are looking for cost-effective ways to lightweight their automobiles. 

Premium look for alternative materials 

“In the graphics division the key trend is definitely lightweighting as it requires the development of durable and high performance self adhesives that can stick onto low surface energy plastics.” says Hélène Gobry, Sr. Product Manager Graphic Solutions at Avery Dennison. 

As plastic components replace heavier materials, Automotive Graphic films can help recreate the appearance of heavier materials or provide a unique look and feel. A typical example, says Hélène, is the use of Avery Dennison’s wide range of graphic materials for ABC pillars of various structures. With premium films, lighter materials don’t mean that drivers have to compromise on aesthetics. 

Shift from horsepower to computing power

The past year has rapidly increased the adoption of digital technology in nearly every aspect of life, from work to shopping to socializing. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella put it, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” 

As consumers become more digitally fluent, the automotive market is charging forward with digitalization of cars. OEMs are adding more hardware, sensors, and touchscreens to support driver assistance and autonomous driving. As well as using digital to create new channels of regenerative revenue, such as partnerships with in-car entertainment providers, predictive maintenance services, networked parking, or in-car commerce that allows switching features on and off with the push of a button. 

Broad portfolio and R&D support for unique needs 

“We know that in the future personalization and customization are going to be in ever increasing demand.” says Michael Sanders, “Being able to confirm that you have those customer requested options in the car can be a complicated task.” 

“Sensor integration means you need to secure more electromechanical systems.” explains Michael, “The expansion of those systems throughout the car means you need different and new solutions. To properly function and be reliable, the systems need to be routed and securely fastened throughout the vehicle, often in tight spaces.”

Avery Dennison works with innovative OEMs and manufactures to design creative solutions to support these systems. Such as adhesive designed to secure the different layers in a hands-off-detection steering wheel, sensor bonding, and fasteners to attach and organize components and cables. 

Connectivity enables more transparency and safety 

Leaders in the automotive industry are working to automate and track their supply chain, such as the recent announcement that all Michelin tyres will be RFID enabled by 2023 to improve tyre management from factory to end-of-life. 

Leveraging new technologies to capture and store information allows OEMs to track and trace every component in the value chain, create an accurate bill of materials for vehicles, enable end users to check the origin of parts, and improves management of emergency situations such as market recalls. 

Intelligent labels 

“Avery Dennison is the largest producer of inlays in the world and our belief is that every item, every product, will have its own digital identity.” says Michael Sanders. “RFID gives you greater visibility of your parts and your components. It allows you to give each of those components a digital identity so they can be properly tracked and traced.”

Avery Dennison’s leading RFID and NFC labelling solutions are helping OEMs create efficient supply chains that offer full transparency into the history of components. Providing valuable data that can help automate processes, prevent counterfeiting, and guide strategic decisions. 


Learn more 

If you’re interested in learning more about the trends impacting automotive manufacturing, or would like to learn more about Avery Dennison’s portfolio of solutions from bonnet to boot, you can access the on-demand version of the online event: Enabling the Cars of Tomorrow. Automotive Solutions from Avery Dennison. 



For more in depth information about automotive materials, check out the breakout sections that take a deeper dive into key areas: 

Watch the breakout session on Performance Tapes →

Watch the breakout session on Automotive Graphic Films →

Watch the breakout session on Fasteners →

Watch the breakout session on Labels & Intelligent Labelling →



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Automotive Trends 2021