Munich-based technology company Osram and automotive supplier Continental, which operates its North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, have planned a joint venture to combine lighting technology with electronics and software to develop, manufacture, and market intelligent lighting solutions for the automotive industry.
The joint venture is scheduled to start in 2018 subject to a final agreement on the binding contracts and antitrust approvals.
The global joint venture will operate under the name Osram Continental GmbH and have its registered office in Munich. Both companies will have a 50 percent stake in the joint venture and the aim is to generate annual sales in the mid-triple digit million-euro range with a workforce of 1,500 employees at 17 locations.
“The pace of innovation in the automotive industry lighting segment is rapid, and software is strengthening this dynamic,” says Helmut Matschi, a 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 will systematically combine these two areas and raise them to a new level.”
Similar to the situation with general lighting, the automotive lighting market is moving toward semiconductor-based lighting solutions. Due to increasingly intelligent light functions in vehicles and new light-based design and application options, semiconductor technology, software, and electronics are projected to grow by double digits annually. Market studies indicate that by 2025, more than half of new cars worldwide could be fitted with semiconductor lighting solutions.
“Intelligent lighting solutions allow vehicle manufacturers a greater degree of flexibility when it comes to design, and helps them to optimize development costs,” says Andreas Wolf, head of Continental´s body and security business unit. “The global presence of the Osram Continental joint venture is allowing us to cooperate closely with our customers in order to develop solutions exactly tailored to their needs. In the case of Continental and Osram, we have two technology companies combining their complementary expertise in the context of a joint venture to offer customers a unique range of solutions.”
Founded in 1871, Continental employs more than 230,000 people in 56 countries and generated revenue of $40.5 billion euros in 2016.