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1.1 Definition and scope of the study

Flat glass refers to glass in sheet form, which is mainly used for the production of glazing and mirrors. The flat glass market is part of the overall glass market and is one of the main glass groups together with hollow glass, cellular glass and glass fibers.

The flat glass market includes the production, shaping and processing of flat glass into various processed products, such as window glazing, shower enclosures, refrigerator shelves, glass ceramic panels, windscreens and mirrors. These processed products are mainly destined for the construction industry, which represents 80% of the end markets, and for the automotive industry (15%).

The main players in the flat glass market are the suppliers of raw materials (minerals or recycled glass), the manufacturers of raw flat glass, the manufacturers of processed flat glass, the distributors of flat glass (commercial subsidiaries of manufacturers, traders) and the customer markets (building joinery manufacturers, car manufacturers, furniture manufacturers etc.).

Flat glass production is growing steadily worldwide in terms of both volume and value, and this trend is expected to remain stable in the coming years, driven by the automotive and construction markets in emerging countries. In Europe, Germany, France and Poland are the three leading flat glass producers.

The French market declined by 3.2% in 2019, after uninterrupted growth since 2015. Slower growth in the construction market combined with lower automotive production have indeed pulled down demand for flat glass. The Covid-19-related epidemic also penalized the flat glass industry, particularly through the negative effect it had on its customer markets. On the other hand, thermal and energy renovation projects, encouraged by the public authorities, as well as the development of the photovoltaic sector, are growing and having a positive impact on the flat glass market. Innovation is also a significant growth driver in this market.

In France, the main players in the sector are Saint-Gobain, AGC, Riou Glass, Devglass, Ficosa and SMR. While most of them manufacture only processed flat glass (Devglass, Ficosa, SMR, Calorivier or VIT), some players also manufacture raw flat glass (Saint-Gobain, AGC, Riou Glass or Glas Trösch).

The manufacture of raw flat glass is thus more concentrated than glass processing, since in 2018, 12 companies manufactured raw flat glass in France, while 357 companies had as their main activity the shaping and processing of flat glass






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The stationary toilet market - France

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