Auto Technology

LED industry to grow with auto applications

World's largest exporter, Taiwan, may be poised for double-digit growth

VW Concept SUV side

Taiwan is set to cash in on the auto industry, with the country’s LED manufacturers in huge demand by an industry that is adding Light-Emitting Diodes inside and outside, front and rear.

LED used to be mainly used in things such as televisions or other display monitors, and cell phones or other mobile devices. But as the electronics industry moves toward Organic LED (OLED), the lighting industry has taken top spot in LED use. The overall LED industry is growing at about 3% per year since 2015 and through 2021. However, the growth for auto applications for 2017 is expected to rise nearly 15% from 2016 to top $2.8 billion US, according to a report from LEDinside.

That’s welcome news for the industry that has seen home LED lighting applications flatten out (particularly in North America and Europe) due to increased saturation and competition. The main reason for the increase is that although LED use is becoming more widespread, it still accounts for less than 20% of applications — reportedly just 12% for head lights and 16% for fog lights. The LEDinside report expects compound growth rates to reach 18% and 15%, respectively, in through 2020.

LED use is also expected to grow in instrument panel and instrument cluster applications, though that is also expected to go the OLED route eventually.

That lead the Taiwan News to report that Taiwanese companies are well positioned to take on the bulk of LED orders, recording a production increase of 14.8%, year over year, over the first nine months of 2016.

And the biggest consumer is the US market, which accounted for nearly 50% of Taiwan’s exports over that same period. Of note, though, is that the value of US exports over the period fell by nearly 13%, due to the influx of low-end products, reported Taiwan News.

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