Osram and Continental have announced their intention to establish a joint venture. The idea is to combine innovative lighting technology with electronics and software to develop, manufacture and market intelligent lighting solutions for the automotive industry. The global joint venture will operate under the name Osram Continental GmbH and have its registered office in the Munich region.
Osram and Continental will each have a 50 percent stake in the joint venture. The aim is to generate annual sales in the mid-triple-digit-million-euro range with a workforce of around 1,500 employees and 17 locations worldwide. Dirk Linzmeier (CEO) from Osram and Harald Renner (CFO) from Continental have been named as designated managing directors. The joint venture is scheduled to start in 2018 subject to final agreement on the binding contracts and antitrust approvals.
Osram will be transferring its automotive Solid State Lighting (SSL) module business over to the joint venture. Continental will be incorporating its light control business from the Body & Security business unit. This will lead Osram Continental to combine semiconductor-based lighting modules, advanced electronics, optics and software expertise with access to sensor technology and innovative light sources. Osram Continental will therefore be able to offer a broad range of end-to-end, innovative lighting solutions, designed especially for headlight and tail light applications. The intention is to work together to design perfectly coordinated and innovative products and solutions, and bring them to market more quickly. The joint venture will operate on the market as a standalone company.
The automotive industry lighting market is in the grip of technological change. Similar to the situation with general lighting, this market is moving toward semiconductor-based lighting solutions. Thanks to increasingly intelligent light functions in vehicles as well as new light-based design and application options, semiconductor-based technology, software and electronics are gaining progressively in importance. Each year, growth in the market for semiconductor-based front lighting solutions is somewhere in the double-digit range. Market studies indicate that by as early as 2025 more than half of new cars worldwide could be fitted with semiconductor-based lighting solutions.