OSRAM Continental GmbH, the joint venture (JV) company set up by Continental and Osram, today announced that it has begun operations. Following the successful completion of all negotiations and the issuance of merger control approvals, the JV has been launched, as planned, in the second half of 2018. Continental had first made announcement of forming this equal-share JV with Osram in November, 2017.
The JV company will initially employ about 1,500 people at 16 locations worldwide, with headquarters based in Munich, Germany, with the plan to move the headquarters to Garching, Germany in due course. It aims to generate annual sales in the mid-triple-digit-million-euro range.
OSRAM Continental is planning growth rates of up to double digits annually for the next five years. This is based on strong growth in the market for LED, as well as laser-based lighting modules and solutions, and associated electronics, the companies noted. The first products to be developed by the joint venture are expected to be ready for series production by 2021.
The market for vehicle lighting in the automotive industry is currently in a period of transition as it moves towards semiconductor-based lighting technologies, the company noted. It said that as a result, software and electronics are becoming increasingly important and influential. Continental and Osram are therefore combining their strengths in each of these areas and developing state-of-the-art headlamp modules, and solutions for tail and interior lighting for automotive manufacturers and suppliers.
The OSRAM Continental JV will also utilise increasing digitalisation on an on-going basis in its vehicle lighting solutions in order to produce intelligent lighting functions for vehicles completely from one source. With its optimised approach to combining lighting and intelligent electronics, OSRAM Continental is also said to be striving to ensure the market penetration of LED technology in all vehicle segments.
The company is not only using software-based solutions to create a configurable light distribution system, but it is also developing intelligent lighting functions. In the future, vehicles equipped with these solutions will be able to project warning messages for other road users while driving, using data from the navigation system and sensors.
Dirk Linzmeier, CEO, OSRAM Continental, said the company has laid down a number of markers, which will allow it to create a new company that will rethink the future of automotive lighting. Building on these strong roots, OSRAM Continental will provide a significant boost to the market, he added.
By launching the JV, the company is generating confidence that the market for intelligent automotive lighting will continue to grow and be viable, noted Harald Renner, CFO and Member - General Management, OSRAM Continental. He said OSRAM Continental will increase the speed of innovation, as well as efficiency and integration, with the team comprising of management staff and experts from both companies.