The Automotive Films Market

Apr 4, 2011

Paint protection and window film products are part of a mix of aftermarket accessories that contribute to value, performance and/or vehicle aesthetics. Manufacturing and installation technologies are changing as the use of automotive films increases.

  • Film markets are expanding and interconnected: window films are a natural progression from paint protection films; paint protection films are a natural progression from window films.
  • Films are not limited by variations in consumer tastes or by genres of vehicles. Tint demand varies by region but is consistent.
  • Paint protection film is used most frequently to protect vulnerable painted areas on vehicles from rocks, bugs and road debris that causes chipping:
  • Bumpers and leading edges of hoods and fenders, mirror backs, air dams, body kits, door handle grab areas, keyholes, doorsills and edges, and wings

Developing markets for paint protection films:

  • Recreational vehicles
  • Trailers, off-road vehicles, ATVs
  • Personal watercraft
  • Racetracks
  • Commercial and fleet
  • Emergency vehicles

Window film benefits:

  • UV screening
  • Improve driver and passenger comfort
  • Reduce glare
  • Shield passengers
  • Reduce heat build-up

Consumer needs:

  • Color/shade/tint
  • Warranty
  • Heat reduction
  • Safety
  • Security

Window film types/characteristics:

  • Dyed, non-metalized: economical; protects from glare and UV damage; subject to color change; does not interfere with GPS or cell phone signals.
  • High-Performance hybrid: dyed polyester and metal; offers better heat rejection than metal-free films.
  • All-metal: strong heat rejection; protection from glare and UV light; reflective appearance; may disrupt some radio signals.
  • Spectrally selective: allow most light into the car, but reject infrared; generally do not interfere with GPS/cell signal.
  • Ceramic: contain metal oxides; heat rejection properties similar to hybrids; no signal disruption.
  • Nanotechnology; nanoparticles selectively transmit visible light and block infrared.

Film Material Supply Chain:

  • Pre-cut paint protection and window film kits for specific models from various vendors
  • Custom plotter cut templates from bulk film stock
  • Custom hand cut from bulk film stock

Pre-cut kit suppliers:

Solar Gard / Bekaert Specialty Films
Solar Gard Clearshield

3M
Scotchgard Paint Protection Film

Husky Liners
Husky Shield

Performance Tools Distributing
Lamin-x Protective Films

Marklyn Group Inc.
Moonraker Professional Installer film

Topline USA
LEADINGEdge

Star Shield Armor

Plotter/cutter manufacturers:

  • Roland DGA
  • Mimaki USA
  • Mutoh America
  • Graphtec America
  • GCC
  • Gerber Scientific Products
  • Summa

Film Pattern Software:

3M Digital Designs
(Designed for 3M Scotchgard Paint Protection Film & includes patterns for VentureShield Paint Protection Film)

Roland DGA

Film Designs Pro

Tint Tek 20/20

Window FilmCutting Software

Solar Gard

ComputerCut

Xpel

Design Access Program

Venture Tape

Invisible Pattern 

Mimaki USA
The Bad Wrap
Solutia/CP Film
PrecisionCut