According to the newest 2019 Global Automotive LED Market Report- Passenger Car and Box Truck report by LEDinside, a division of TrendForce, the global automotive market has been showing declines since 2018 amid global trade frictions and economic recessions, but the penetration rates of LEDs in various major automotive lighting products continued to rise. Furthermore, new energy cars have a greater demand for LEDs than traditional cars do while boasting a faster growth in shipments. As per the report, this will cause the volume and revenue for automotive LED products to maintain modest growth in future years, with global automotive LED revenue forecast to arrive at US$3.17 billion in 2019 and to register a CAGR of 7 per cent during the forecast period 2018-2023.
Automotive LED revenue declining for European and American suppliers, with Asian suppliers performing brilliantly
“Looking at the automotive LED revenue rankings for major LED package suppliers worldwide, we see OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, Nichia and Lumileds still taking the top three in 2018,” says TrendForce Analyst Terri Wang. “However, we may find that amid declining car markets in both China and the US, OSRAM, Lumileds and other suppliers registered flat growth or small declines in revenue from automotive LED products, 2018. Japan’s vehicle market gave a rather brilliant performance in 2018, allowing Japanese LED suppliers to post continual revenue growth. Seoul Semiconductors stood out among Korean suppliers by eagerly meeting the demands of customers for high power and reliability in the automotive exterior LED lighting sector, giving steady revenue growth for automotive products.”
TrendForce also observed that Everlight, CREE and other suppliers are actively establishing their place in the OE market and posted significant growth in revenue. Everlight’s automotive LED products earned a revenue of around US$48 million, putting the company at eighth place globally and making it the only Taiwanese supplier among the top ten. Everlight has currently mass-produced headlight LEDs, which are poised to penetrate the market consisting of top tier European and American vehicle manufacturers. It also has plans of developing matrix LED headlights in collaboration with German manufacturer Hella, which are to be used in new car models for 2019. Everlight has also released taillight mini LED concept products, manufactured through the use of its own small-pitch display components and poised to find actual application in 2020.
Furthermore, Everlight plans to extend its business to automotive modules, and is already scheduling the construction of a module production line in its Suzhou plant. TrendForce anticipates that Everlight may grab a bigger portion of the automotive lighting market in the future.
Headlight is experiencing strong growth, with ambient light seeing larger penetration rate in the high-end market
For product development, an increasing variety of LED headlights in the market is being found, with mainstream suppliers releasing mono-chip or double-chip LEDs for use in low beam applications. As LEDs move towards smaller sizes, headlights are being designed with increasing flexibility as the range of features in demand go beyond lighting to include intelligent systems and even projectors. Revenue and penetration rates for LED headlights are expected to keep growing in the future years to come.
For automotive interiors, some suppliers are releasing LED products with RGB or better specifications for use in ambient lights within cars in an attempt to go along with the current intelligent lighting trend. This allows them to realise effects such as full colour mixing and dynamic ambience. Suppliers of ambient light LEDs mainly consist of Dominant, OSRAM, Everlight, Lite-On, Brightek etc.
Everlight, for example, released its new 0.2W 2525 LED for use in ambient lights and allows customers to decide which chip combination (eg RRYY or RGBB) is most suitable for the interior of their cars. These products boast a richer range of colours than that of RGB LEDs.
The emergence of ambient lights may also bring up revenue for LEDs used in decorative lights for car interiors. Currently, full-colour LED ambient lighting products are being introduced into high-end car models in the OE market. As product specifications continue to develop and market demand rises, these products are expected to find widespread use in mid-range cars in the future.