We’ve experienced an overwhelming reaction from our readers concerning the conclusion of our last editorial:
“As far as Xenon option is concerned, we are convinced that we are following a deadly trend: killing suppliers Tier 1, 2, and 3 without helping car makers because the take rate will not increase and might even decrease in the future with the consequence of decreasing safety as several serious studies demonstrate.
The unique solution is to reduce the price of the system to the end user in order to increase the take rate. It requires a deep understanding between the different players both on their mutual interests and on their responsibility on safety”
Most are convinced that the short term “cost-killing” approach of the automotive supply chain has reached its dead end. Ignacio Lopez’s model as a professional buyer at GM killed all innovation and partnering capacities with suppliers.
This does not mean that suppliers share the Utopian hope that pressure on prices will decrease. What they hope is that automotive buyers will understand what biology has been teaching us long ago, which is that no leaving organization can survive in a sterile environment. Only a long term based partnering relationship between car makers and suppliers can provide the strength and the smartness needed to eliminate costs wastes, to remain price competitive and still permanently innovating. Buyers will have to compromise between short and long term targets to create end-user value together with their suppliers.
How else can we explain that Toyota has since long a time been quoted N° 1 as best customer by a panel of worldwide automotive suppliers when GM was quoted last?
As far as Xenon light is concerned, creating value for the end user means for us:
– Working in partnership between carmakers and suppliers to reduce costs and reestablish Tier 1 and Tier 2 margins for Xenon systems.
– Creating through better communication a real awareness of the safety benefits of Xenon light for drivers, especially outside Germany and Japan.
– Extending Xenon light offer to more than Premium car segment through aggressive pricing by car makers.
Creating end user value will be even more challenging between suppliers and car makers when considering future headlamp technology with the necessary camera and sensory technology as outlined in Pr. Khahn’s interview about ISAL Congress. The future of automotive lighting and driver assistance will dependent on the ability to optimize the whole system, i.e. the quality lamps, sensors, sensor fusion and image. processing. At this point, we should see the potential for ISAL-conference to organize the discussion.