Car LED prospects: a high-profile new blue ocean

In 2010, the application of LED lights became a new selling point for car sales. From about 50,000 Chery qiyun 2 to more than 2 million Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro, all of them have been equipped with LED lights. In addition, major manufacturers have also accelerated their investment in automotive LED lighting. In April, Sanan Optoelectronics [48.31 -2.25%] established a joint venture with Chery Automobile to invest 80 million yuan to produce automotive LED and other LED applications.

As a large number of manufacturers flood into the display backlight LED and public lighting LED market, the overcapacity that may result from disorderly competition is worrying. LEDs for vehicles will be accompanied by the development of China's automobile industry and become a high-profile new blue ocean.

LED boosts car value

In addition to energy saving and environmental protection, the popularity of automotive LEDs is more important to enhance the use value of automobiles.

Improve driving safety: Taking LED lights as an example, the reaction time of LED lights is much faster than that of traditional lights, which has gained more reaction distance for the brakes and more stable light.

Intelligentization is easier to achieve: LED's electroluminescent properties make it easier to implement electronic control than traditional gas discharge and incandescent lamps. For example, different interior and exterior lighting modes are automatically set depending on the driving environment of the car. LEDs can also be used in a variety of automotive sensing devices, such as reversing radar.

Highlighting the brand of the car and the personality of the user: LEDs are rich in color and small in size, making it easy to design various shapes and color combinations to convey the personality of the car and the owner. The use of LED lights has made the Audi's exterior design free from the "lack of personality" criticism. Today, the distinctive LED lights have become the new recognition symbol for Audi cars.

The market is ready to go

At present, the application of LED in automobiles has just started and has great potential. Among the various LED downstream applications, the proportion of automobiles is only 2%, and from a global perspective, the proportion of LEDs in automobiles has exceeded 10%. In 2009, China became the world's number one automobile production and consumption country. In the same period, the scale of China's automotive LED lighting market has exceeded 1 billion yuan. The potential of the automotive LED market is self-evident.

The development of new energy vehicles will also drive the development of the automotive LED lighting market. LED lighting is environmentally friendly, and the power saving performance of LEDs reduces the burden of car charging. Nissan's pure electric car LEAF uses LED headlights, which consume only 10% of the power of traditional lights. The Audi E-tron, which was launched in 2010, also uses C-shaped LED headlights.

LED lighting applications in the interior of the car have been relatively mature. In the future, the application of LEDs on external lights is a new growth point. According to the statistics of the China Association of Automobile Industry, the sales of domestic lights in 2009 reached more than 15 billion yuan. At present, the ratio of LED lights is less than 5%, but the annual growth rate is about 10%.

Industry chain dilemma

The LED lamp industry has a long industrial chain, from LED chip design and production, to LED light source for vehicles, LED lamp product assembly, and then to automobile production. A large number of domestic enterprises are restricted by chip manufacturers in the upstream, and are restricted by the procurement of assembly manufacturers and automobile manufacturers in the downstream.

At present, there are no fewer than one thousand LED lamp suppliers in China, but almost all of them are component manufacturers. The products include LED lamp bulbs and LED car trim strips. The products are mainly low-end products, which are difficult to meet the high requirements of automobile manufacturing. Jilin Dongguang Ruibao Auto Lamp Co., Ltd. and other small assembly lights companies have already launched LED headlights, but the scale is relatively small.

From the upstream, the production capacity of domestic automotive LED chips still needs to be improved. From the perspective of the entire domestic LED industry, most manufacturers mainly focus on packaging and application products, and the yield of chip countries is only about 50%; and the existing domestic chip manufacturers are mostly aimed at LED display backlights and outdoor lighting, and lack of products for vehicles. International manufacturers such as OSRAM and Philips Lumileds have strong chip technology and the product segmentation is even better.

From the downstream, the domestic assembly lamp suppliers are mainly joint ventures, and they purchase more international brands of LED light sources. The assembly lamp manufacturer has a stable cooperative relationship with the car manufacturer. In addition, many car lights use the integrated mix of LED and traditional lights, making the traditional lamp manufacturers still have the advantage. For a variety of reasons, such as patents, markets, etc., these joint venture manufacturers have fixed LED light source partners. As early as 2007, Nichia, a Japanese LED manufacturer, and Stanley Electric, a manufacturer of automotive lamps, announced that they would provide a patent for white LEDs, enabling Stanley Electric to produce ultra-high brightness white LEDs. Car lights.

Further downstream, the models with large LED usage are mainly mid- to high-end automobile brands, mainly based on joint venture brands, and they also tend to use their own international partners' products.

As a result, a closed industrial chain has formed between international manufacturers, making it difficult for domestic manufacturers to enter. For example, the Audi R8 is equipped with all-LED headlights from Automotive Lighting, which are supplied by OSRAM and Philips Lumileds. Lack of downstream procurement, coupled with product quality is difficult to obtain certification, many domestic small LED lamp manufacturers can only sell products through the car modification market.

Seize the opportunity

During the "Eleventh Five-Year Plan" period, China has carried out key deployment and research and development of LED car lights. The National 863 Program "Semiconductor Lighting Project" has arranged three related research and development topics: "Development of LED Light Source System for Vehicles", "Research on Integration Technology of Headlights for Cars" and "Research and Large-Scale Application of High-Power LED Lamps". Some results have been achieved so far. How to seize the opportunity?

Mastering the core technology can enhance the right to speak. If domestic manufacturers can improve their innovation capabilities, they can still get opportunities through cross-licensing. In addition, the production process can also be innovative. In early 2010, OSRAM awarded Yiguang the patent for its automotive and general lighting, while OSRAM used the billion-light LED packaging patent.

Strengthen cooperation in the domestic automobile industry chain. The LED lamp is still in the research and development stage in China, and it requires the joint efforts of upstream and downstream enterprises. As early as 2007, Taiwan established the "Advanced Lighting Alliance for Vehicles". Headed by the lamp factory, the company has Yuhuang, the LED packaging factory, Yuhong and Yiguang, the LED chip factory, Yuanyuan and Dingyuan, the heat-dissipating company and the photovoltaic power plant Honghui.

Work hard on supporting technologies such as driving, heat dissipation and optical design. Reasonable optical design optimizes LED lighting and reduces the number of LEDs used, thereby reducing production costs. LEDs are paired with other types of light sources to create a distinctive visual experience. There are also business opportunities in the accessory products, such as lenses. High-efficiency cooling technology is the guarantee for the smooth operation of LED lights. In the future, the cost and weight of heat-dissipating materials need to be further reduced. Driving is an important role in improving the efficiency and reliability of electro-optical conversion. The growth of the automotive LED market will inevitably drive the development of these related supporting industries, and these industries should be transformed from weak points to advantages.

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