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Taiwanese FPD Makers Continue Developing Automotive Application Market

Jan 26, 2015 | By Quincy Liang

While increasing number of Taiwanese companies in the flat panel display (FPD) industry continue to develop business in the rapidly expanding automotive application market, the latest report released by the international display-market research firm DisplaySearch shows that with more safety features requiring greater level of driver monitoring, demand for multifunction TFT-LCD panels in automotive instrument cluster is accelerating.

In fact, thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) shipments for auto instrument clusters are expected to grow 48% to 30.2 million units this year, and further to reach 50 million units by 2018.

Instrument Cluster TFT-LCD Shipments & Forecast (Source: DisplaySearch)Instrument Cluster TFT-LCD Shipments & Forecast (Source: DisplaySearch)
Another major automotive application for TFT-LCD panels is in-car infotainment systems. Together, industry experts say shipments of in-car monitors are expected to outstrip 100 million units by 2017.

Taiwanese panel suppliers are expected to win a 40% share in the global automotive panel market, making Taiwan the largest producer of such product. As such ever more local companies have been tapping into supply chains of international vehicle manufacturers: TPK Holding Co., Ltd., a touch-panel maker on the island, recently won an order from American electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. for 17-inch touch-control panel for center console.

Other Taiwanese companies in the FPD industry also developing automotive applications include Global Lighting Technologies Inc. (light guide), Radiant Opto-Electronics Corp. (backlighting unit), AimCore Technology Co., Ltd. (film plating) etc.

TPK's touch panels are also to be installed on new French car models in 2015, with Japanese and German automakers having inquired about such product from TPK.

Global Lighting's light-guide panels have been certified by many international companies, and will be soon adopted by Lexus, BMW, Mercedes-Benz etc., through tier-1s Gentes and Bosch. AimCore supplies film-plated glass to Japanese automakers; while Radiant is scheduled to enter the automotive application market in 2015.

Industry sources say automotive application panels have gradually evolved from customized to standardized items; while Taiwanese panel suppliers are winning high global market shares with product quality and price advantages.

Innolux Display Corp. is a major TFT-LCD panel maker in Taiwan, supplier to international automakers and aftermarket customers, original equipment (OE) panel supplier to Mercedes-Benz and BMW. AU Optronics Corp. (AUO), another major panel maker in Taiwan, supplies panels to German automakers and could become a globally top-three automotive-panel supplier in 2014.

After few years of effort, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Ltd. (CPT), another major panel maker in Taiwan, has become the largest supplier in the Japanese car-display aftermarket by winning a 80% market share, having also tapped into supply chains of Japanese, American and Chinese automakers.

If all proceed without glitch, industry sources say Taiwan could soon replace Japan as the world's largest production center of automotive-application panels.


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