Koito are a big, important player in the vehicle lighting market. They run R&D units in their home base Shizuoka, Japan, as well as in China, Thailand, the EU, and the US; sensor development is located also in Israel, Germany, and Silicon Valley. Koito have a 20-per-cent worldwide market share for headlamps, net sales of €4.8bn in 2022, and profit of €385m. Impressive data, no doubt.
DVN had the big honour to speak with the designated senior R&D officer (CTO) Takayuki Katsuda, who will soon succeed well-known Kenji Arima, who is retiring. Arima-san himself came to the meeting to say hello and goodbye, a lovely gesture for which we thank him; the whole DVN team wish him all the best for his retirement. Tremendous support for our visit was given by Motohiro Komatsu and Satoshi Tsukamoto.
Mr. Katsuda has been with Koito for eight years; before that he spent 30 years at Toyota. His last Toyota job was the chief engineer of the Lexus RX series.
The open and lively discussion with Takayuki Katsuda started with styling questions. Good styling proposals to the customer are important. Koito have in-house styling designers who work together with the customers in the early phase of a project. The stylists have a good network with the customers because they create many proposals, and they never say no without an alternative suggestion.
Concerning the future of ADB, Katsuda san said ADB will become thinner and simpler. Koito can make ADB electronics and software in-house, and graphic data from the customer can easily be integrated. Synergies to lidar are obvious, because lidar data is visual data, too, and the heat management is similar to other opto-electronical devices. In future, lidar will be integrated into the headlamps, which will make headlamp cleaning systems more important.
About sustainability, Takayuki Katsuda supports weight reduction, the use of recycled material, and of course the reduction of power consumption. He wants to invest electrical power into safety and efficiency; ‘wow-features’ only come on request by the customers.
Enjoy this week’s DVNewsletter, and don’t forget to sign up for the U.S. DVN Workshop to be held in San Francisco the end of August!