5 of the Most Common Materials Used in Car Manufacturing

Cars require a variety of raw materials for their production, including aluminium, iron (for steel), and various other petroleum products used in the manufacturing of rubber, plastics, and special fibers.

These raw materials are mined by an individual production company, turning them into auto manufacturing components, which are then sold directly to auto manufacturers or auto part suppliers.

1. Steel

Made from mined iron ore, steel is probably the most widely used material in the auto manufacturing industry.

This material accounts for around 80% of the weight of an average car. It is used to manufacture a vehicle’s body and chassis, including the body, roof, door panels, private number plates, and many more.

Steel is also used in the manufacturing of exhaust pipes and mufflers. Technological advancements over the years have allowed auto manufacturers to utilize several types of steel with varying degrees of rigidity.

2. Plastic

This is one of the most commonly used materials in the automobile manufacturing industry primarily because of its flexibility and durability.

Today’s cars use a tremendous amount of plastic starting from their dashboard, to the dials, gauges, personalized registrations, and even switches. Even their airbags and seat belts are made from some sort of modern plastic.

3. Rubber

Rubber is an essential material for cars.

In addition to tyres, rubber is also used for making numerous hoses, belts, and seals that play a crucial role in the functioning of a car engine.

Like plastic, rubber is durable and can be easily molded into various shapes as per requirement. The demand for rubber in the auto industry accounts for around 80% of the world’s total rubber production.

4. Aluminium

Even though aluminium is relatively new in the auto manufacturing world, it is become increasingly popular because of its lightweight nature.

The material is used for creating body panels of lighter and more performance-oriented vehicles like the Audi R8 and the Acura NSX.

Compared to plastic and rubber, it is not as durable, but when it comes to performance, it guarantees a big boost.

5. Glass

Last but never the least, let’s never forget glass.

It is one of the most unsung heroes of the auto manufacturing industry. Without this component, it would be simply impossible for us to see the surroundings during the operation of our vehicles.

You will also find it, being heavily used in the navigation screens of recent car models.

For more information on the number of materials used in the auto manufacturing industry, refer to the infographic below.

[Infographic created by Plates4Less]

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Kent Charlie is associated with a vehicle registration agency that also deals with the personal number plate design. He has also been writing for many online publications on a freelance basis. Kent loves travelling and adventure riding, which he often does alone. Collecting heritage car number plates is one of his favorites and he takes pride of that. He takes inspiration from Plates4Less which sells number plates for vehicles.


  1. Steel manufacturing for cars are not like what they used to before, car frames are much thinner nowadays unlike before.

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