According to the latest report from LEDinside, a division of the market research firm TrendForce, 2017 Chinese Automotive Lighting Market Report, the conventional passenger car in 2016 in China hit 22.50 million cars and by 2017 the number is expected to have reached 23.80 million with a hike of 5.8% YoY. The market was mainly under the control of joint ventures before 2016, whereas after 2016 the sales of domestic automobile brands rose annually when Chinese automakers advanced their production quality. The passenger car market is anticipated to increase with more and more emerging cities showing up. Furthermore, as for new energy passenger car market, considering about aesthetic design and energy saving, LED automotive lighting market demand is increasing, which has received much market attention.
LED Penetration Rate in Conventional Passenger Car Market
High /Low Beam- Despite high prices, major international automotive lighting manufacturers are keenly developing mid/low range LED headlamps in China to not only cater to the demand of local market but to reduce the development and production cost. However, at this moment in China, noticeable LED headlamp use can only be witnessed in the high- and mid-range auto market. Compared with the average LED penetration rate of 12% in the global headlamp market, that in China is only 2% in 2017.
DRL- Since the daytime running lamp is yet to be standard equipment in China, many installed on mid-range cars function as position lamps and they do not usually perform as well as their equivalents in Europe in terms of luminous efficacy and other specifications. Yet daytime running lamps are commonly seen on mid-range cars in China. The introduction of LED to daytime running lamps in China reaches a penetration rate of 40%. (Comparison: the average in the global market is 24%.)
Fog- As front fog lamps serve a certain purpose and need to provide a sharp lighting, their thermal and optical designs are the second hardest following those of high and low beam lamps. Therefore, the LED penetration rate in the front fog lamp market in 2017 only marks a percentage of 7%. (Comparison: the average in the global market is 16%.)
LED Penetration Rate in New Energy Passenger Car Market
Regarding to electric vehicles (EV), most of their tail lights have been designed in uniform lighting effect. To create aesthetic visual effects, more and more LEDs are necessary. Thus, LED penetration rate in EVs' tail light segment has stayed higher than that in general gas vehicle. Take the year 2017 as an example, LED penetration rate in EVs' tail light segment reached 75% while that in conventional passenger vehicles' came to 44%.
High / Low beam as the major vehicle lighting requires LED power to reach about 15 watts, or requires a 40~60-watt conventional lamp. The difference of light source energy consumption between the two types is huge from the perspective of EVs. Therefore, EV industry accelerates its adoption of LED high/low beam, and LED penetration in high/low beam segment will rapidly grow in a short run. LED penetration rate in high/low beam segment arrives at 8% while that rate merely approaches 2% in the conventional vehicle segment in China in 2017.
Chinese Automotive Lamp Manufacturers
Joint-venture and Chinese local auto lamp are in the Chinese market. The largest joint-venture automotive lamp manufacturer is Shanghai Koito, which is the joint venture between Japan Koito and Huayu Automotive Systems. Shanghai Koito has a revenue of more than RMB 10 billion. Xingyu is the largest local automotive lamp manufacturer with the revenue of RMB 2.5 billion in 2015. In addition, the main joint venture and foreign auto lamp manufacturers in Chinese market also contain Hella, Koito, Valeo, Magneti Marelli and Varroc TYC. The local OE lamp manufacturers include Jiangsu Tong Ming, Jiangsu Wenguang, Zhejiang Jiali, Zhejiang Tianchong, Forda Signal, Ludebei and Liaowang.
Chinese Automotive Module Manufacturers
Chinese auto lamp module brands with high visibility and universality are Sunlight and Laster. Most foreign-funded and joint-venture auto lamp manufacturers cover module business. Xingyu and Tong Ming are the few Chinese manufacturers extending the business scope to module. But because the entry barrier of module production is not high, many other Chinese lamp manufacturers also plan to invest the module production line. It is expected that the proportion of Chinese auto lamp manufacturers with self-production module will substantially increase in the future.