Taiwan companies to benefit from auto industry LED demand

Automotive sector is expected to boost the overall LED industry's market value by 14% in 2017

(By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwanese LED manufacturers are set to benefit from the global automotive industry’s demand for LED lighting, according to a report by LEDinside, Trendforce’s LED industry data and analysis publication.

The company’s report states that the automotive LED industry will benefit from stable prices and rapid growth, which will boost the market’s value by over 14 percent to US$2.817 billion (NT$86 billion) this year. The sector will outpace the overall LED industry, which will record a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of only 3 percent in 2016-2021, as the LED uses in panel backlights will be replaced by OLED.

The niche automotive lighting subsector will help related manufacturers grow as the LED home lighting industry has slowed due to market saturation and competition.

LEDinside notes that while auto sales in North America and Europe have declined recently, the Asian market, particularly China, has continued to improve, albeit at a slower pace than in previous years. While more mature markets have declined, however, the LED penetration rate in the auto industry has improved but remains low at 12 percent for headlights and 16 percent for fog lights. The publication expects the production value CAGR to reach 18 percent and 15 percent, respectively, in 2015-2020.

While the panel industry will gradually replace LEDs with OLEDs, the growth of technology in vehicles indicates that more LEDs will be needed for dashboard panels, as well as other applications, in vehicles.

The expectations could boost revenue and profits of domestic LED manufacturers, such as Lite-On Technology Corp. (光寶科技), Everlight Electronics Co., Ltd. (億光電子工業股份有限公司) and EPISTAR Corp. (晶元光電), the former of which posted a record net profit of NT$9.42 billion in 2016. Lite-On noted in its earnings announcement that automotive electronics was one of the keys to its growth.

Taiwan’s LED industry recorded 14.8 percent year-on-year growth in production value to NT$7.6 billion in the first nine months of 2016, according to data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) released in November.

According to customs data, the U.S. imported the largest share of Taiwan's LED lighting products in the first 10 months of 2016, at a total value of US$172 million and accounting for 48.1 percent of Taiwan’s total exports in the period. While the volume of LED lighting products exported to the U.S. increased, the value decreased 12.9 percent due to the prices of low-end products.

Following the positive outlook for the automotive LED industry, the theme will likely be a focus of attention at LED Taiwan next month in Taipei, which will feature 340 global LED industry exhibitors. The LED Components Pavilion at the conference will be led by Lite-On.