Market overview

Electronic and digital technologies are transforming the automotive lighting industry, offering more design flexibility, increased efficiencies and new functionalities for manufacturers and consumers alike.

These trends are translating into significant market growth which is only set to intensify further over coming years. In particular, manufacturers of mass market vehicles are set to take full advantage of the improved performance, safety and environmental benefits that new technologies can bring – features which until now have largely only been used in luxury, premium vehicles.

For instance, the market is starting to see huge growth in China and India, while Asia as a whole remains the largest region for automotive lighting with forecasts that the market will be worth $15.9bn by 20201.

However, European and Japanese companies together still supply more than 80% of the market. Hella, Osram, Magneti Marelli, ZKW Lighting Systems and Valeo are among the leading names in Europe, while Koito Manufacturing, Ichikoh Industries and Stanley Electric are major players in Japan.

Supply chain

These trends are having a huge impact on the supply chain. Advances in LED (Light-Emitting Diode) technology are reducing the cost of lighting, while an increasing emphasis on design and performance of exterior lighting brings new players into the sector. These changes also impact the mould and injection moulding industry and as manufacturers adapt designs to cater for the next generation of lighting solutions.

The global lighting market is forecast1 to be worth $27.7bn in 2017 and is expected to reach $34.8bn in 2020, growing at a CAGR of 7.3% between 2014 and 2020.


The market is being driven by the following key trends:

  • more energy-efficient LED technology penetrating into different automotive lighting applications and systems
  • the integration of OLED (Organic Light- Emitting Diode) and laser systems, and development of AFLS (Adaptive Front Lighting Systems)
  • demand for increased safety features
  • demand for vehicle design differentiation
  • customised interior lighting driven by changing consumer tastes
  • wireless remote control of interior ambient lighting

The exterior lighting market remains by far the biggest segment within the industry. In 2016 it was worth $24.7bn, compared to interior lighting being worth just $1.1bn.

It is forecast that by 2020 the exterior market will be worth $33.5bn1. Meanwhile new technologies are taking increasing market share. For instance, by 2020 it is estimated that the LED market will be worth $7.3bn1, although this will still only be half the size of the halogen market.

1 Technavio, Global Automotive Lighting Market 2016-2020

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