After interesting talks I had at the Shanghai DVN workshop with Korean companies, I decided to visit them in order to better know the Korean market. I was in Seoul and Daegu last week—the weather was brutal; over 30°C and rainy!
I spent the week visiting and talking with the OEM Hyundai; the Tier 1s Hyundai Mobis, SL, AMS, IHL; the Tier 2 Seoul Semiconductor, and KATRI—the Korean regulatory agency.
The talks were challenging because of the language barrier but also different cultures; we needed first to build a comfortable confidence. The effort was worth it; the final results were interesting. I mainly retain:
• The meeting with new companies AML and IHL with new buildings, up-to-date R&D facilities, production close to the designers, and final-stage prototypes;
• Seoul Semiconductor who have the ambition to be the worldwide leader in LED for all lighting applications, presenting interesting data showing best-in-class brightness Lm/mm 2 ;
• SL and Mobis with expert teams developing the latest technologies.
There was a common link between all these lighting players: their strong dependence on Hyundai Motors, which maintains a primary main goal of achieving what Hyundai wants. But their strategy is now changing. I have seen some new trends mainly in Mobis who presented new high-level technologies and mock-ups. They are now perusing new markets oversea. Yesterday they were followers; today they are fast and impressive followers, and it is reasonable to expect pioneering innovations from them soon. For this reason, we should see these lighting suppliers becoming more and more aggressive in the American, Chinese, and even European markets. Already Chrysler buy a lot of headlamps from Korean makers.
So, to bring the DVN community up to date on the state of automotive lighting in Korea. This report will replace the report on motorcycle lighting originally planned for August; that report will be postponed (and as a result, some exciting new motorcycle developments can now be included in it). We continue to strive every day to bring the DVN community all the most important news and analysis of what’s going on in our industry…no matter where it’s happening.
DVN Editor in Chief