The evolution of paint protection film has been exquisite and surprising making giant leaps over the course of last two decades. It all started during Vietnam War, where paint protection films were developed for rotor blades and other exposed parts of military transports. However, the automotive industry emerged as leading consumer over the years, with luxury and sports car segment dominating the overall market share.
It is widely referred to as PPF, clear bra, clear film, and clear paint film. The film is made up of thermoplastic urethane and uses polymeric calendered PVC film, adhesives and clay coated paper. It performs the function of protecting exposed exterior parts of the car such as vehicle hood, door edges, bumper, mirrors, and fenders. The film provides resistance from stone chips, debris, keying, insects, gravel, tree sap, and color damage.
Rising consumer awareness in developing countries such as India, Russia, Brazil, and Thailand about the benefits offered by paint protection film is also anticipated to uplift the industry growth. Previously, luxury and sports cars were the major customers. However, these films are now being OEM approved by almost all car manufacturers.
Companies have put in extensive R&D and innovation to come up with thin, flexible, and improved adhesion quality. Previous concerns regarding these films were thickness, color, and price. Industry leader, 3M Company has developed films that provide protection against abrasion and weathering but offer ease of installation along with more flexibility, durability and aesthetics.
The automotive industry was the largest consumer in 2016 and accounted for over 70% of the overall revenue in 2016 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 5% from 2017 to 2024. Increasing demand from automotive application segment due to growing consumer consciousness, snowballing affordability, and OEM approval by mainstream car producers. Broadening application space in airplanes, cell phones, motorcycles, defense and RV’s is set to boost overall industry growth.
Asia Pacific is the leading regional market owing to shift of key automotive manufacturers coupled with an increase in number of car sales in countries such as China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam. Conventionally, North America and Europe were the major markets, however strong economic growth along with large untapped potential has resulted in strong growth of emerging economies in Asia Pacific and Latin America.
Major players operating in the global paint protection film market include 3M Company, Xpel Technologies Corp., Premium Shield, SolarGard, Avery Dennison, Llumar, Suntek Films, Argotec, Himark Paint Protective Film Ltd., and Vanzetti Engineering S.R.L.