Osram and Continental have announced that they intend to set up a joint venture that will use Osram’s expertise in innovative lighting technology and Continental’s leadership in the field of electronics and software to develop, manufacture and market intelligent lighting solutions for the automotive industry. The global joint venture will be named Osram Continental GmbH and will work out of its registered office in Munich. Both companies will have a 50 percent stake in the joint venture. Long range plans include having a presence in 17 locations across the globe, a workforce of 1500 employees and annual sales amounting to mid-triple-digit-million-euros. Dirk Linzmeier (CEO) from Osram and Harald Renner (CFO) from Continental have been designated as managing directors from the respective companies. The joint venture is slated to start in 2018 with the conclusion of the deal being subject to final agreement on the binding contracts and antitrust approvals.
Osram will transfer its automotive Solid State Lighting (SSL) module business over to the joint venture, while Continental will contribute its light control business which currently belongs to its Body & Security business unit. Thus Osram Continental will be able to combine semiconductor-based lighting modules, advanced electronics, optics and software expertise with access to sensor technology and innovative light sources. The new company will be able to offer customers a broad range of end-to-end, innovative lighting solutions meant specifically for headlight and tail light applications. The intention is for both companies to use the skill in their respective domains to design perfectly coordinated and innovative products and solutions, and commercialize them more quickly. The joint venture will operate on the market as a standalone company.
Commenting on the deal, Stefan Kampmann, CTO of the Osram Licht AG said that the joint venture is a sign that Osram is focusing its efforts consistently on digitalization. He added that Continental’s expertise in software and electronics perfectly complements Osram’s technology leadership in automotive lighting. The end result will be a company that focuses on digital automotive lighting.
Helmut Matschi, member of the Continental Executive Board said that the pace of innovation in the automotive industry lighting segment is rapid, and software is playing an increasingly important role.
He added, “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.”
The automotive industry lighting market is undergoing significant changes from a technological perspective, with the market is moving toward semiconductor-based lighting solutions. Software and electronics have become increasingly important with the advent of increasingly intelligent light functions in vehicles as well as new light-based design and application options. Market studies indicate that by as early as 2025 more than half of new cars worldwide could be fitted with semiconductor-based lighting solutions.
Andreas Wolf, head of Continental´s Body & Security business unit said that intelligent lighting solutions will give automotive manufacturers greater leeway when it comes to design, and help them to cut development costs. Osram Continental joint venture will have a global presence that will allow it to work closely with its customers to develop solutions that will cater to their needs.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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