Innolux Corp (群創光電), the nation’s largest LCD panel maker, became the world’s top supplier of automotive LCD panels last year, overtaking Japan Display Inc, market researcher NPD DisplaySearch said yesterday.
Last year, Innolux garnered 23 percent of the automotive LCD market, followed by Japan Display’s 21 percent and Sharp Corp’s 18 percent, according to NPD DisplaySearch’s tally.
“Until last year, Japanese makers led the automotive TFT LCD market because of the quality and reliability of their automotive display products,” NPD DisplaySearch analyst Hiroshi Hayase said in the report.
Innolux said in March that LCD panels for vehicles accounted for 3 to 5 percent of its total revenue.
“However, increased demand for standardization of automotive TFT LCD panels from multiple suppliers, along with the desire to lower costs, helped TFT LCD panel manufacturers in Taiwan and [South] Korea increase automotive display shipments after 2011,” Hayase said.
Hayase attributed Innolux’s rapid growth to the company’s fast expansion into China’s aftermarket, where navigation systems and other automobile displays are installed after a car is sold.
Another Taiwanese firm, AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電), grabbed an 11 percent share, ranked No. 5 behind LG Display Co’s 13 percent, the tally showed. AUO last month told investors that it expects shipments of its automotive displays to grow 30 percent annually this year.
“Like the more mature PC and TV panels, the automotive TFT LCD panel has evolved from a customized item to a commodity that is easier to mass produce, and Taiwan TFT LCD makers now have the edge in pricing and production capacity,” Hayase said.
Global automotive TFT LCD shipments have nearly tripled over the past five years and the demand is expected to exceed 100 million units by 2017, driven by the growing popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles and on-screen navigation systems, the research firm said.
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