This is big: according to Reuters, FCA might be thinking about selling Magneti Marelli to interested private equity groups. An FCA representative, however, says Magneti Marelli isn’t for sale. Marelli’s lighting subsidiary, Automotive Lighting, may well be or become the focal point of a private equity buyer hoping to profit by selling the company on.
Since inception around 15 years ago, AL have made fantastic progress—they are now in a good position in the top-4 lighting tier-1 along with Hella, Koito, and Valeo.
AL have often been first to commercialise new lighting technologies, such as the dynamic bending light on the BMW Cabrio, Full LED rear lamp on the Peugeot 307CC in 2003 just after the Maserati one, IR headlamps for night vision on the Mercedes S-Class in 2005, light guide DRL in the BMW 6 Series in 2007, Full LED headlamps on the Audi R8 in 2008, first LED headlamps with better light than HID in 2010, and recently the matrix LED headlamps of Audi TT ranked the best light this month by the German magazine AutoZeitung. These impressive results have been facilitated by the devoted work of R&D managers including Dr Neuffer and Kamislav Fadel (now at Hella), and technical experts including Michael Hamm (now at Audi), Gerd Bahmuller, Ernst-Olaf Rosenhahm, and others located in Reutlingen.
The vehicle lighting industry underwent a great deal of change before 2000—a long list of venerable brands disappeared, including Bosch, Carello, Cibie, Guide, Lucas, Marchal, Seima, and many others; most of whose works were folded into the larger suppliers. This consolidation brought stabilisation, which paved the way for the launch of numerous innovative technologies with a great contribution by AL.
We sincerely hope AL long cultural tradition of excellence in vehicle lighting will only be reenforced by possible changes ahead.
Whatever happens, we should each and all hope AL are maintained and supported in their ongoing devotion to the expansion of vehicular lighting’s horizons.
DVN Editor in Chief