Tue, Dec 26, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Lite-On unveils capacity expansion plan

PROXIMITY:Lite-On is to build a plant in Europe in 2019 to be closer to its clients and increase the penetration of autonomous driving there, a company official said

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) is expanding its production capacity for automotive electronics components at its plants in Mexico, China and Taiwan, and plans to build a new plant in Europe to meet the surging demand for autonomous driving and electric vehicles, company executives said yesterday.

“We forecast the automotive electronics segment will be a major growth catalyst for Lite-On’s operation in the long term. The company will step up investments in research and development, and production capacity,” Lite-On chief marketing officer and general manager of new business development Tony An (安志東) told a media gathering in Taipei.

Lite-On’s automotive electronics products range widely, from automotive LED lighting, heads-up displays, sensors, camera modules, telematics boxes, electronic control units (ECU), to the Qi wireless charging solution, according to Lite-On.

Its client base consists of global tier-one car and electric car vendors from the US, Europe, Japan, South Korea and China.

Lite-On’s new plant in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, is expected to begin trial production from March, An said.

The company in September said it will spend US$35 million on building the facility.

The plant will initially supply products to Lite-On’s Japanese and Chinese clients next year and will begin supplying components to its European clients from 2019, when it expects to obtain ISO/TS 16949 specification, Lite-On automotive electronics SBU general manager Michael Wang (王明仁) said.

Meanwhile, Lite-On is increasing production capacity at its Mexico plant in an effort to meet demands from the US car market, Wang said, without disclosing the investment amount.

Lite-On is also to build a new plant in Europe in 2019 and begin production there by 2020 to be closer to its clients there and increase the penetration of autonomous driving in the region, Wang said, declining to disclose the plant’s location.

Based on order forecasts, Lite-On expects to seize 15 percent of the global automotive LED lighting market next year and 10 percent of the global automotive ECU market by 2020, Wang said.

The automotive electronics business accounted for a single-digit percentage of Lite-On’s combined revenue of NT$196.55 billion (US$6.56 billion) in the first 11 months of this year, Lite-On said.

The company forecast that revenue from the automotive electronics segment will contribute between 10 and 15 percent of the firm’s total revenue by next year at the earliest, chief executive officer Warren Chen (陳廣中) has said.

As part of Lite-On’s strategy to accelerate the growth of its automotive electronics business, it will participate in the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for the first time from Jan. 9 to Jan. 12 to showcase its telematics box, heads-up display and advanced driver assistance systems, as well as wireless charging solutions, the company said.

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