"Chemicals are so reliant on the auto and housing industries … and having auto on the upswing means having more chemicals go into the cars," says Mike Shannon, Global Chair, Chemicals & Performance Technologies at KPMG.
Because plastics make up about 15 percent of materials in a mid-sized car, KPMG estimates that growth in autos could translate to higher plastics demand to the tune of 11.3 million tons by 2018, at an expected growth rate of 8 percent annually. Other common chemically derived components for cars include films, coolants, insulation, batteries, tires and fuel additives.
What's driving up demand?
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