In the last survey at the beginning of 2020, the current key figures on the market for fiber-reinforced plastics were already rather reserved. This trend is also reflected in the 15th market survey by Composites Germany, Berlin. Once again, the survey covered all the member companies of the 3 biggest umbrella organizations of Composites Germany: AVK, Composites United and the VDMA Working Group on Hybrid Lightweight Construction Technologies.
Partly due to the current impact of the corona virus pandemic on numerous business segments and areas of application, many companies are facing negative circumstances. The general economic situation has been deteriorating further in recent weeks and months, and this is reflected in the negative ratings given by respondents. Ratings have reached the lowest figures since the surveys were started in January 2013 (Fig.).
However, not only did companies give rather unfavorable assessments of the general business situation; they also continued to be pessimistic about their own situations.
Although the tense situation is beginning to relax, e.g. in the automotive industry, and although the crisis has not yet taken full effect in other sectors, e.g. construction, many companies are nevertheless full of uncertainty. There has been a variety of opportunities and measures to stimulate industry and the economy in general, but it seems that they have not yet had the desired positive economic impact.
Like expectations for the development of the business situation, expectations for selected areas of application have also turned out to be extremely diverse.
The automotive and aviation industries are the main areas where respondents are expecting to see deterioration in the market environment. However, other sectors, such as sports and leisure and infrastructure/construction, are expected to develop far more positively
Whereas, in the first 13 surveys, respondents always believed that the composites segment would receive its prevailing growth stimuli from carbon reinforced plastic (CRP) as a material, the current survey is now the second one where respondents have mentioned glass reinforced plastic (GRP) as the most important material. Considering the number of times it is mentioned, this trend is in fact increasing.