Japanese car makers take into account that a majority of their sales are in countries where the cost factor is extremely important, for instance in America where Japanese car makers are realising more than 38% of their sales, or in developing countries, and even in their native country where most driving is done in cities where headlamp performance isn’t as crucial as in Europe and elsewhere. So for generalisation of LEDs, even if technically every car maker or set maker wants to do it, there is no current plan to end the use of halogen headlamps.In the adoption of new technologies, the balance of benefits versus cost is decisive. That’s why some of the latest innovations like high definition matrix beam, laser, and OLED are not yet widely applied by Japanese car makers. However, Japanese industry has developed a lot of innovations for concrete realisations of compact and efficient LEDs systems, for instance the new bi-function modules with no fan developed by Koito for many models of Toyota, or the direct-lens optical system developed by Ichikoh for the Nissan Leaf. Also interesting innovations to propose new style for instance with the double-reflection lenses developed by Stanley for Honda headlamps. Japanese car makers and set makers are in the worldwide race for ADB with a highly performant second generation, with 24 LEDs in two rows for the Toyota-Koito modules, or with the Mazda-Stanley Low beam-High beam ADB recently launched.
In this report, after an introduction to the automotive Japanese industry with its main figures and targets, the facts and figures of vehicle lighting companies are presented, and we describe in detail the leading car makers and their realisation and targets for lighting, and we do similarly for their main lighting suppliers. There’s an interview with each of the big companies, featuring one or more of their leaders in research and development.