Regensburg, Munich, November 7, 2017
Technology companies Continental and Osram have announced that they intend to establish a joint venture with the aim to combine innovative lighting technology with electronics and software to develop, manufacture and market intelligent lighting solutions for the automotive industry.
The global joint venture would operate under the name Osram Continental GmbH and has its registered office in the Munich region. Continental and Osram will each have a 50 per cent stake in the joint venture. The joint venture is scheduled to start in 2018 subject to agreement on the binding contracts, prior consent of each party’s supervisory board and antitrust approvals.
Osram will transfer its automotive solid state lighting (SSL) module business over to the joint venture while Continental incorporates its light control business from the Body and Security business unit. This would lead Osram Continental to combine semiconductor-based lighting modules, advanced electronics, optics and software expertise with access to sensor technology and innovative light sources. The JV would be able to offer a broad range of end-to-end, innovative lighting solutions, designed especially for headlight and tail light applications, operating as a standalone company.
“The pace of innovation in the automotive industry lighting segment is rapid, and software is strengthening this dynamic,” explained Helmut Matschi, member of the Continental Executive Board. “While conventional lighting expertise remains important to our customers, the addition of electronics to enable new light functions is taking on increased significance. The joint venture would systematically combine these two areas and raise them to a new level.”
The automotive industry lighting market is in the throes of a technological change as the market is moving towards semi-conductor based lighting solutions. Semiconductor-based technology is gaining importance now, thanks to increasingly intelligent light functions in vehicles as well as new light-based design and application options, semiconductor-based technology, software and electronics are gaining progressively in importance. Market studies indicate that by as early as 2025 more than half of new cars worldwide could be fitted with semiconductor-based lighting solutions.
Intelligent lighting solutions also allow vehicle manufacturers a greater degree of flexibility when it comes to design, and help them to optimise development costs.
“Digitalisation is bringing about new potential applications in automotive lighting and hence tremendous opportunities that we want to take advantage of with Continental. Thanks to our combined offering of lighting and electronics solutions, we will be able to offer automotive sector customers cutting-edge products from a single source,” explained Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO Specialty Lighting Business Unit, Osram.
“By joining forces, we will be in an even better position to drive forward innovations by working closely with the automotive industry to integrate lighting, sensor technology and electronics seamlessly in a single application. This will allow us to drive forward new intelligent light functions, such as the combination of lighting and sensor technology in a module or light-based communication between the driver, other road users and the vehicle surroundings,” added Schwabe.