Since establishment in 1999, AL have grown into the global leader in the automotive lighting market.
There are about 12 000 people across 16 sites in Asia, Europe and North and South America; in 2007 AL achieved turnover of about €1.6bn. All major OEMs buy from AL, including BMW, Mercedes, VW, and Ford Group in Europe, GM in North America, and Honda and Mazda in Japan.
AL have a strong position in the European passenger car market, where they derive 75% of their sales, but plan major future growth in the North American and Asian markets. The 2009 target is to derive 33% of sales from outside Europe. In Europe, their core market, the company have streamlined operations and moved part of production to lower cost countries to improve profit. AL forecast organic future growth as a result of expanding market for AFS, where they are already a market leader with 36 programs currently under development or production.
The author explains how AL, after suffering image problems after separation from Bosch in 2004, have in just a few years become one of the key car lighting suppliers by dint of a strategy based on innovation, on a worldwide extension and on qualified and motivated employees. He explains how the mixture between Mediterranean approach and German culture combined with a stable management and a high-class R&D team gives excellent results and a strong image of technology.