Applications for injection molded thermoplastics in automobiles have increased markedly in the last five years. A study of the growth of plastics in the auto industry traces the various factors that have influenced this expansion.The economy of thermoplastics is perhaps the major consideration for their increased use, but more styling flexibility and better performance in specific applications have also helped to promote them into new uses. The entry of the auto industry into the large scale processing of plastics has introduced new concepts, and opened the eyes of auto engineers to the versatility of the injection molding process.Trends in the auto industry indicate that plastic parts will play an increasingly greater role in the design of future vehicles. The demands of the auto safety legislation, the cost-price squeeze, and competitive pressures are some of the factors influencing these trends. The plastics industry faces a challenge and an opportunity in the auto industry. A forecast of the automotive plastics market for the next five years suggests how the various polymers will fare in this area.