cens logo

Promising Growth of Telematics Brings Bountiful Outlook for Taiwanese Electronic Firms

Mar 13, 2015 | By Quincy Liang

The Mobile World Congress (MWC), held March 2-5 in Barcelona, Spain, underscored a new focus--telematics--in addition to different cellphone vendors' new top-end models and telecom technologies.

Gartner forecasts that in 2015, the automotive segment will see the highest growth of 96 percent, among others in Internet of Things (IoT) applications. (photo from Internet)Gartner forecasts that in 2015, the automotive segment will see the highest growth of 96 percent, among others in Internet of Things (IoT) applications. (photo from Internet)

Telematics has emerged as one of the most important development trend in global automobile industry. Gartner, Inc., an information technology research and advisory company based in the U.K., had already indicated that in 2015, the automotive segment will see the highest growth, of 96 percent, among others in Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Another market research firm, Transparency Market Research, also pointed out that by 2019, the annual production value of connected cars will reach US$131.9 billion, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.7 percent between 2013 and 2019.

In fact, industry experts say, the telematics became a obvious new focus since the 2013 MWC, and an increasing number of international automakers participated in MWC events since then to showcase their latest technology and equipment development, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Ford.

According to Gartner, by 2020, there will be a quarter billion connected vehicles on the road, enabling new in-vehicle services and automated driving capabilities. During the next five years, the proportion of new vehicles equipped with this capability will increase dramatically, making connected cars a major element of the IoT. Gartner forecasts that 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, up 30 percent from 2014, and will reach 25 billion by 2020.

Ample Taiwanese Players
The booming telematics, or connected car, market has drawn plentiful Taiwanese companies to jump on the bandwagon. Companies that have already achieved initial success include Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC), MediaTek Inc., Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co. Ltd., Chunghwa Telecom Co., Ltd. (CHT), SerComm Corp., Holtek Semiconductor Inc., Wistron NeWeb Corporation, HTC Corp., Asustek Computer Inc. (Asus), Micro-Star International Co. (MSi) etc.

Driven by rapid development of the telematics market, vehicles are equipped with more and more electronic equipment to create huge demand for suppliers. (photo from Internet)Driven by rapid development of the telematics market, vehicles are equipped with more and more electronic equipment to create huge demand for suppliers. (photo from Internet)

Hon Hai
Hon Hai, reportedly the largest private manufacturer in Taiwan and major international EMS (electronics manufacturing services) provider, has been aggressively developing automotive and electric vehicle (EV) related businesses, as well as key automotive electronic systems and parts, in recent years. The Taiwan-headquartered conglomerate reportedly injected additional investment of 5 billion renminbi (RMB) into one of its Chinese production bases in Shanxi Province of China, where workers have reached some 100,000. Industry insiders said that Hon Hai's new investment in Shanxi is part of the group's plan to produce more affordable EVs.

TSMC
As the fastest-growing segment, telematics semiconductor sales is also playing a vital role to raise the revenue of TSMC, recognized as the largest IC foundry in Taiwan. Industry sources said that TSMC's lead in advanced production processes are unlikely to be surpassed by most  rivals. For example, the sources added, TSMC's capital spending in 2015 is expected to outstrip US$10 billion, 80 percent of which will be utilized to install 16-nanometer production capacity and purchase 10-nanometer production equipment.

Morris Chang, TSMC chairman, specifically mentioned the development of major technologies in 2014, including system-in-package (SiP), micro electromechanical systems (MEMS), image sensor integration and ultra-low power consumption, which are all essential in developing business in the booming IoT and telematics markets.

In addition to acquisition of Qualcomm's plant in Longtang, northern Taiwan, to prepare advanced packaging capability, TSMC has also outsourced to a subsidiary multi-chip and image-sensor integrated packaging, as well as allying with power-management chip companies to develop ultra-low power consumption micro controller units (MCUs) and power management chips to pave the way in IoT- and telematics-related business development.

CHT
As reportedly the largest telecom carrier in Taiwan, CHT has already ventured into the telematics business by cooperating with local partner Hotai Motor Co. Ltd., Taiwan's agent of Toyota and Lexus, which has launched the Toyota Intelligent Driving system for both pre- and aftermarket in a wide range of telematics functions.

In recent years, CHT has also extended its smart Internet connection applications from personal, home and enterprise to telematics. By integrating Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and IoT technologies, the firm launched the smart logistic driving imaging service, a comprehensive fleet-management solution integrated with functions and services as driving-image cloud-end storage, GPS location, 3G mobile telecom, vehicle diagnosis, real-time tele-imaging, real-time thermo- monitoring (for refrigerated commercial vehicles) etc.

Networking & Communication
Networking and communication equipment makers are also eyeing the lucrative telematics application market, as 4G high-speed data transmission enables rapid audio-video downloading; while the 2GHz high-frequency technology is applicable to auto anti-collision radar, a new niche for players.

James Wang, CEO and president of SerComm Corp. pointed out that from 2020 to 2025, total  global production volume of networking/communication equipment will reach 100 billion units, in which automotive smart gateways and sensors will be a major product category, in addition to smart terminals, home Internet equipment etc. SerComm has been aggressively developing telematics related products, which were one of the firm's major exhibits in 2015 MWC.

Wistron NeWeb Corporation, another networking and communication equipment supplier, has been diversifying product lines into non-core fields as  satellite communications. New product categories include smart home, automotive electronics, IoT, vehicle Bluetooth module, vehicle communication module, anti-collision radar etc. Automotive  products now account for about 20 percent of the company's overall revenue.

Holtek has been aggressively developing telematics-related businesses, including automotive Bluetooth, 802.11 wireless transmission etc. The firm's revenue from MCU peripheral devices is expected to remain stable this year; while it is scheduled to continue launching more new application products as smoke sensor, Smart meters etc. The company is also targeting vehicular reverse imaging system and home security system.

ICT Companies
Major information and communication technology (ICT) makers are also targeting telematics related business, such as HTC (recognized as Taiwan's largest smartphone maker), Asus (a leading PC vendor), MSi (major PC and motherboard maker) etc.

HTC set up its automotive business division three years ago and kicked off partnerships with international automakers such as Yulon (Taiwan), Volkswagen, BMW etc. Industry sources say that smartphone makers can help automakers develop in-car infotainment systems with inter-connected and -control features, with such cooperation model packing immense potential for the future.

Asus has been developing the automotive market for many years after setting up a fully-owned subsidiary, UniMax Electronics Inc., which focuses on self-development of automotive electronic systems to supply to international vehicle makers on original equipment (OE) basis. Many of UniMax's products are certified by Japanese automakers.

Automotive products made by UniMax. (photo from company website)Automotive products made by UniMax. (photo from company website)

UniMax focuses on development of car computers with multimedia, navigation, Internet-connection, voice-control etc. functions; while the firm tied up with auto vendor Hotai to develop the Intelligent Driving System. In addition, the firm's digital video recorder (DVR) products have entered the European market, while its smart type, cloud-based navigation system have been installed in Taiwan-assembled Toyotas.

MSi has successfully tapped into the telematics market to have achieved impressive success. The firm has won orders from Japanese home delivery companies, while in emerging markets such as Argentina and Brazil it has become a major telematics equipment supplier. In 2009, MSi set up Funtorro Inc. to focus on development, production and global marketing of vehicle infotainment products. Few years later, its  Funtoro own-brand has gained solid foothold in the international market and won big-ticket orders from customers in the U.S., Japan and Europe. This year, industry sources say, MSi's automotive products are expected to enjoy continued and rapid sales increase.


Industry In-Focus

Photo credit: UDN

February manufacturing index breaks records in consecutive 25-month stretch

Mar 24, 2022

The Ministry of Economic Affairs said today that in February, the industrial production index was 117.49, with an annual increase of 10.01% due to easing supply chain disruptions and chip shortages. This marks the 25-month consecutive positive growth period, also the second-longest in history. The manufacturing index was 119.76, an annual increase of 10.16%, which set a new high for the same ...


Furniture industry to see lasting change in digitalized era</h2>

Furniture industry to see lasting change in digitalized era

Mar 18, 2022

If there's a keyword that can be used to summarize the past two years, it would be “digitalization.” Across different industries, companies and suppliers are seeking ways to tap into the post-COVID market, and the furniture sector is no different. Here are two trends we've identified that would and continue to shape the market in the coming year and more. Going Digital While the typical con...


Semiconductor chip. Photo source: UDN/Reuters

Domestic chip maker sees growing potential in 2022 auto market

Mar 17, 2022

Memory chip maker Mosel Vitelic Inc. is looking to expand business operations into the automotive market by increasing deliveries to 25% from 20% in 2021. Chairman Rebecca Tang and Vice General Manager Deng Chih-da were present at the investor's conference on Wednesday afternoon. Tang said the company enjoyed a steady growth last year due to the global chip shortage, rounding up total revenue ...



Industry Reports

C85690 forgeable lead-free dezincification resistant brass-made plumbing valve spool. (Forged product) Photo credit: MIRDC

Eco-friendly materials continue to trend amid global industry change

Mar 25, 2022

Industries are focusing on new technologies for better environmental sustainability and to promote the overall protection and safety of consumers. The same is trending in Taiwan's hardware and plumbing sector. Companies and consumers are becoming more and more aware of the long-term impact of pollutive materials on natural resources, and as policies and regulations are changed in other crucial ma...


Toyota's new energy vehicle model. Photo credit: UDN/Reuters

Auto brands and chip makers step up alliances in EV era

Mar 25, 2022

Japanese automotive brand Toyota's recent announcement of reducing production in March due to chip shortages is another setback for the company, as this would not be its first time scaling back capacity in the past two years. Earlier, Toyota had also announced that the chip shortages had slashed the group's production goals from April to June. However, Economic Daily News points out that Toyot...


ARTC and industry supplier representatives show the signed MOU, signifying the alliance's creation. (Photo courtesy of ARTC)

ARTC and Automotive Electronic Industry Reps Ink AI Imagery Chip and Smart Cockpit Alliance

Mar 18, 2022

Top automotive electronic suppliers and Taiwan's leading R&D center in autonomous technology and testing, Automotive Research and Testing Center (ARTC), collectively announced the formation of the “Automotive AI Imagery Chip and Smart Cockpit Display Module Industry Alliance" on March 18. Representatives from Elan Microelectronics, AU Optronics, Chimei Motor, China Motor, RAC Electric Vehicles...



Supplier News

Steel Mark well-recognized as reliable supplier of lock products</h2>

Steel Mark well-recognized as reliable supplier of lock products

Mar 25, 2022

Founded in 1981, Steel Mark is specialized in manufacturing locks and other related hardware. The company's product catalog includes padlocks, motorcycle and bike locks, deadbolt locks, digital door locks, door locks, rim and euro profile cylinders, and concerning hardware and parts. The company currently operates modern manufacturing facilities occupying 3,300 square meters with more than 40...

STEEL MARK ENTERPRISE LTD.


Wire Master's quest for quality and innovation puts them at industry top</h2>

Wire Master's quest for quality and innovation puts them at industry top

Mar 18, 2022

In the face of an ever-competitive global market and pressured by rising costs, Wire Master Industry believes the best chance of increasing its competitiveness is improving product quality and investing more into R&D. This allows Wire Master to be in a prime position to stake a good position in the market. Wire Master is looking to develop long-term partnerships with similar values and focus on p...

WIRE MASTER INDUSTRY CO., LTD.


CM-667 children's chair in Pink. (Photo courtesy of Kuang Shin)

Designing Furniture for Children's Future

Mar 18, 2022

Since the founders' humble beginnings in the 1960s, traveling from his hometown in Chiayi County to urban Taipei City to learn a trade, he has dedicated the eventually-formed Kuang Shin Enterprise to providing quality products. Kuang Shin offers children's desks and chairs, computer chairs, furniture hardware, OA office chair and desks, connected chairs, display shelves, chair bases, and parts...

KUANG SHIN ENTERPRISE CO., LTD.



Insiders' Views

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.</h2><p class='subtitle'>Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd. </p>

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.

Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd.

Mar 04, 2021

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd is one of the major manufacturers of automobile friction materials in Taiwan and globally. Chairman Austin Cheng has implemented the double-arrow strategy this year - own brand of “YangPo” is adopted to focus on global channels while the “NHC brand focuses on improving market shares in global markets, such as Europe, America, Asia, Australia, and the Middle E...

NAN HOANG TRAFFIC INSTRUMENT CO., LTD.


OmniEyes CEO and Co-Founder Chun-Ting Chou. (Photo courtesy of OmniEyes)

OmniEyes' AI Technology Paves the Way for Traditional Industries' Digital Transition

Dec 15, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the industries' timeline for implementing digital transformation. However, the how's and what's of applying new technologies and improving the added value to existing products and services can be daunting. Three professors from the National Taiwan University College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science founded the startup company "OmniEyes," basi...


Caption: Pictured from front row, third right, Changhua County Government Economic Affairs Department Director Liu Yu-ping, County Magistrate Wang Huei-mei, Secretary Chen Bo-tsun pose in front of the exhibition booth. (Photo provided by CHCIA)

Changhua County Government Shores up Biz-Matching to Global Buyers

Nov 18, 2019

■Yang Feng-Chun In a bid to assist manufacturers in Changhua County to expand their market reach overseas against severe competition in the globalized market, Changhua County Government has been an active player in pushing for a makeover and innovation of its local small and medium-sized enterprises. This is done in hopes of establishing stronger connection with international markets. An ex...



Exhibition Highlights

Show grounds at the 2022 Smart City & IoT expo. Photo credit: UDN

Smart City & IoT expo kicks off showcasing energy solutions

Mar 23, 2022

The 2022 Smart City and IoT exhibition kicked off on March 22, featuring top Taiwanese brands showcasing related applications in the sector. It is worth noting that in addition to 5G-related extension and other mainstream smart city applications, energy storage has become a highlight at this show, notably, TECO, Far EasTone, and Gogoro all have offered relative solutions. According to statisti...


2022 Smart City Summit & Expo to kick off on Tuesday</h2>

2022 Smart City Summit & Expo to kick off on Tuesday

Mar 21, 2022

With the 2022 Smart City Summit & Expo scheduled to kick off on Tuesday at the Nangang Exhibition Center Hall 2 from March 22 to March 25, and Kaohsiung Exhibition Center from March 24 to 26, exhibitors are quickly rolling out new products for this year, including TECO Group. In the past few years, TECO has exhibited at the show exhibiting the group's subsidiaries, concentrating on AI, IoT, n...


TIMTOSxTMTS 2022 kicks off on Monday's opening ceremony. Photo credit: Chao Ting Yu/CENS

TIMTOSxTMTS 20222 Mega Show kicks off at Nangang with 950-strong exhibitors

Feb 22, 2022

TIMTOS x TMTS 2022, the first international trade show and the first of its kind on the calendar, kicked off this Monday, with Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI) Chairman Larry Wei pointing out that business orders generated from the mega show are expected to hit USD$$1.7 billion (NTD$47 billion). President Tsai said that in the face of the impacts caused by the pandemic, as well ...