This year’s Auto Expo is the biggest in its history, with SUVs and crossovers playing a prominent role as manufacturers display their upcoming cars to the Indian market. The crowds were large and vehicles displayed were mostly low-cost models that offer a greater acceptance to this fast growing market.
What was most impressive was the amount of young, passionate visitors whose obvious excitement towards cars and technology was contagious
According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, this year’s Auto Expo saw around 58 auto manufacturers participate, while 80 new vehicles were unveiled. This report highlights some of the notable lighting examples and show some specific technologies and directions OEMs are taking in the India market.
Young buyers were clearly excited and impressed with these cars but many of the comments we overheard were about ” how cool” the exterior lighting was. It was clear that India’s appetite for advance vehicle designs and its desire for more sophisticated styling cues that involved complex lighting designs was very evident at the expo.
The low-cost models showcased had very nice overall body styling. What was clearly evident was the use of what we call simulated DRL’s in headlamps and front body areas even though they are not required for the India market. We saw many interesting designs of headlamps that employed the use of light guides, wave guides, dimensional looks and textures that were innovative and clearly made the DNA of the brand stand out. Most of the headlamps that had design sophistication clearly set the overall tone for the car and it’s personality.
The rear lighting for many of India’s cars that were displayed also benefited from some very nice designs that incorporated accent lighting using light guides and wave guides that incorporated texture and patterns. We werealso impressed with the use of homogenous lighting that was tastefully used within many of the designs.
The use of transparency, textures and dimensional looks is the global trend with lighting, and India’s exploding car market is quickly adopting these styling cues as young consumers grow savvy and develop a taste for styling sophistication.
Interior lighting is also enjoying some growth within this market. It was evident that lighting in the interior is very important to the culture of cars in India. Higher-end vehicles are now incorporating tasteful interior ambient accents within the interior.
Although simple approaches are now being used, common areas are : illuminated door handles, floor areas, upper console glow accents and simple illumination with the cup holders.
As this area of light matures over the next few years and OEMs figure out how to control costs for new materials and designs I expect interior lighting to grow and the color of light, placement and uses will align with the culture and carve out its own design niche for this market.