Automotive LED modules to drive future LED market

September 21, 2016 // By Julien Happich
Modules are key technology and the best bet for future developments in the automotive lighting market segment, according to Yole Développement, the next big challenge being headlamp systems as LEDs have already found their place in interior lighting and exterior back lighting applications.

Today, Yole sees the automotive lighting industry controlled by five main players. In 2015, the top 5 industry players (i.e. Tier-1s) held about 80% of the total automotive lighting revenue. These included Koito (JP), Magneti Marelli (IT), Valeo (FR), Hella (DE), and Stanley (JP). The remaining revenue was distributed across a very fragmented industry with more than 20 players.
But this situation could change in the future due to the rapid evolution of the automotive lighting market, according to the market research firm.

Emerging players including Xingyu (CN), Olsa (IT), Ta Yih (CN), and Grupo Antolin (ES), have already exhibited a very high growth rate, more than +10% between 2014 and 2015 compared to the total market’s average of +5.4% growth.

To effectively differentiate from market leaders and gain additional market share, these players mainly focus on innovative systems and/or lower-cost solutions and/or emerging markets like China.
Analyst Pierric Boulay describes the situation in these words: “Also, it is important to understand that the introduction of new technologies/functionalities will push OEMs to be closer to device/component developers (i.e. Tier-2s and Tier-3s) and new suppliers. As a result, they will probably bypass more and more Tier-1s for development and production in the future, and therefore create a new supply chain.”

At the LED module level, the story is different. The attractiveness of this part of the LED supply chain has been full demonstrated. Today, value is mainly located at module level, according to Yole.
Indeed, depending on the application and its requirements, players select and develop the most appropriate LED solution. And with LED modules, lighting integrators gain numerous benefits: faster product development cycles, less complexity for integration and accurate management of high-level parameters. However, selecting its LED module is not easy. It requires thorough knowledge and understanding of the three areas: application, technology, and system architecture.

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