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October 2007

Interest in xenon lighting is growing

Philips Automotive Lighting is a leading manufacturer of bulbs and other lighting components in the global automotive market. Owned by Royal Philips Electronics of The Netherlands, the company's products are marketed under the well-known Philips brand through major automotive retail stores. Philips is also one of the leading original equipment suppliers of lighting systems to the automotive industry. Hans De Jong, Global CEO, Philips Automotive Lighting discusses the Indian market.

What is your assessment of the Indian market?

Today, India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the whole world has set its eyes on this nation. There have been some interesting developments in the automotive industry. Philips has been in India for more than seventy years now and views India as a crucial market. The Indian auto industry (including cars, trucks, buses and three-wheelers) is growing at a rate of 14%.

The global giants in the auto industry are investing heavily in India and are watching this market closely. My India visit is to understand the kind of adaptations we need to make as the leader and keep myself abreast of the developments taking place in the country and the auto sector.

What are the trends in the automotive lighting market in India and world wide?

Today, continuous upgrades are being done in the quality of lighting systems. Worldwide, we see a very large penetration of xenon lights, with Japan leading and Europe following, not only in high end but also mid segment of automotive.

Other trends in the global market include the increasing penetration of LED lighting in the rear and front lighting applications. There is a growing appreciation of the high quality car lighting systems and products because of their proven efficacy in preventing accidents, thus enhancing the safety and comfort of car driving.

Through these systems consumers can identify objects earlier and move accordingly. Additionally, we see government regulating new type of lighting systems such as day time running lights (DRL), and other such systems.

In India, there is an increasing trend of market moving from single to double lighting systems that improves the beam significantly. We see a gradual increase in interest of the xenon lighting systems in India, which offers 2-3 times the light of the conventional lights. Latest technology such as LED lighting, is also entering the market.

The Indian market is adopting new applications such as daytime running and advanced front lighting systems. For instance, light moves in the direction as the car moves (this is adaptive intelligent lighting systems).

What are your plans for Philips vis-a- vis automotive lighting - are you proposing to set up manufacturing units in India, or outsource design?

Automotive lighting market is a volume market. Due to stringent quality control measures and mass production, we have very large manufacturing plants though few in numbers to meet the global demand. We are looking at the possibility, but so far we do not have any such plans. Though we continuously keep assessing our options to start in India.

Is Philips looking at making increasing investments in India, in this particular sphere of the business?

Our investments are mostly in human capital, training, engineering capabilities with local organisations. We are committed to India and have been in this country for a long time.

What is Philips' strategy for automotive lighting in the Indian market?

We are the market leaders in India and globally in the automotive space and hold around 30% of the marketshare in both the markets.

We don't want only to be a supplier but want to be a part of the total industry and the ecosystem. We are looking forward to bring in more innovative products to find applications. We closely work with car manufacturers, set makers and government bodies and share our knowledge in effective car lighting to help India benefit from our international experience.

Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Interview/Interest_in_xenon_lighting_is_growing/articleshow/2487808.cms


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