Osram swallows U.S. automotive lighting startup

July 22, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
As part of its three-pillar strategy announced last November, lighting company Osram is expanding the position of its Specialty Lighting (SP) business. The company has agreed to acquire Novità Technologies, a U.S.-based manufacturer of automotive LED modules which are used particularly in tail lights, fog lights and daytime running lights.

Novità Technologies, based in Hendersonville, Tennessee, has annual sales of over 40 million euros, with around 100 employees and ships mainly to headlight and tail light manufacturers in the United States. “The purchase of Novità Technologies is an outstanding addition to our project and system business and at the same time strengthens our position on the important U.S. market”, said Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO of Osram's Specialty Lighting business unit.

As technological changes continue to take place around LEDs, the requirements of manufacturers in the automotive industry are also changing with regard to the design and functionality of light. As a result, the demand is shifting from “naked” light sources to complete systems and modules. An example is the Ford F-150, for which Osram has developed a complete LED-based front lighting system comprising low and high beam, turn indicators, parking light and control module. By purchasing Novità Technologies, Osram is complementing its LED module business with regard to the tail light and forward auxiliary lighting such as fog lights and daytime running light.

The global market for LED modules for front and rear lights is forecast to increase by an average of 20 percent per year by 2020, Osram said in a release. According to Osram, Novità Technologies is well positioned in this sector, particularly in the USA. The acquisition therefore is regarded an excellent addition to Osram in terms of both the regional market and the LED automotive portfolio for project and system business.

The company, which was founded in 2007 as an asset management buyout, has grown rapidly in the last three years and has a high level of engineering and manufacturing know-how specifically in the LED module business. Financial terms of the transaction, which is planned to be completed by October 2016, have not been disclosed.


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