Car dealers and buyers are still not aware vehicle safety is increased by high-performance headlamps. This is the current result of a survey among buyers and dealers in Germany, Poland, and France by Puls, a market research institute in Nuernberg, Germany. The study was commissioned by Light.Sight.Safety, an initiative created by the EU automotive lighting companies. The aim of this coalition is to reduce the number of night-time accidents by using advanced car lighting.
Only 6% of the car dealers indicate spontaneously safety (open question) as an advantage of Xenon headlamps in the study. The proportion is even smaller among car buyers: It ranges from one to four per cent within the analysed countries.
However, vehicle safety is one of the most important aspects when buying a car. 61% of the French and 66% of the Polish car dealers indicate safety as an essential purchasing criterion for Xenon headlamps among their customers.
Puls director Konrad Weßner says the little-recognised safety value of Xenon headlamps has created a market situation wherein “few car buyers are willing to pay the premium of about €1 000 for Xenon headlamps.”
Lex Krzyanowski, Light.Sight.Safety chairman, says Xenon headlamps can increase seeing distance by 50 per cent, and the bulbs last five times longer.
Weßner says more buyers will order Xenon lights when they recognise the great effect they have on safety. According to the study results 22% of German vehicles are equipped with Xenon lighting. The take rates are significantly lower in France with 10% and in Poland with 7%.
Volker Merk, Product Marketing Manager for Xenon headlamps at Valeo, says makers must enlighten car dealers, who must educate car buyers about the advantages of new lighting technologies — not only the safety aspect, but also the enhanced driving comfort.