DVN are proud to publish this week a report on vehicle lighting in North America. Our ambition is to show how the North American vehicle lighting market is in many ways quite unlike the rest-of-world markets in terms of its structure, culture, regulations, and technical particulars. The report goes into detail about the historic and philosophical underpinnings of the characteristics specific to vehicular lighting in the NAFTA region. These different-to-the-rest-of-the-world underpinnings have caused the American lighting market and the suppliers, consumers, and products it comprises to evolve along technical and philosophical paths very different to those of Europe or the international community of developed and developing countries.
The American market’s tendency to place a high priority on lowest lighting cost is described and illustrated with historic and current examples, and the long-term effects, positive and negative alike, of past policies are discussed.
In the first part, the author presents the evolution of regulations which for over forty years required standard-size sealed beam headlamps, then gradually allowed various types of replaceable-bulb headlamps starting in 1983. The influence of Consumer Reports magazine is explained, as well.
In the second part, the report discusses the relative lack of American-based tier-1 suppliers. Most of the market is delivered by European companies like Hella, AL or Valeo, or Asian companies such as Koito or Hyundai Mobis.
However, there is some indigenous activity, and it is increasing. A worldwide congress is held every year at Detroit and 2 prominent US universities, the University of Michigan and Rensselaer Polytechnic, are doing very important studies of worldwide interest. They are presented in detail. The greater market segments are named and described and a full swath of North American lighting suppliers, tier 1 and tier 2, are enumerated and described in terms of presence, product range, notable specific products, and special talents with respect to the American market.
Finally, recent trends in American automakers’ lighting installations are concisely described with reference to thorough coverage of that subject in other DVN reports.In the report, you will find several exclusive interviews with Christophe Cros (Valeo-Sylvania), Steffen Pietzonka (Hella), John Bullough (Rensselaer’s LRC), and Michael Flannagan (UMTRI). In eighty pages, you will find a great deal of arcane and useful information about the large and simultaneously insular and integrative American market.
DVN General editor