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Osram establishes automotive lighting joint venture with Continental

Illumination firm Osram and automotive manufacturer Continental have established a 50-50 joint venture that will combine their expertise in automotive lighting, light control and electronics. The venture will commence in the second half of 2018, led by CEO Dirk Linzmeier from Osram and CFO Harald Renner from Continental.

The join venture will target semiconductor-based lighting modules such as LED modules for front and rear headlights, laser modules and light control units. (Image: Continental AG)

Based in the region of Munich but operating globally to ensure rapid development cycles with customers in their local areas, the venture will offer a product portfolio of semiconductor-based lighting modules such as LED modules for front and rear headlights, laser modules and light control units.

‘Digitalisation is creating new potential applications in automotive lighting and, in turn, tremendous opportunities that we want to leverage with Continental,’ commented Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO of Osram’s Specialty Lighting division.

‘By joining forces, we will be in an even better position to drive forward innovations by working closely with the automotive industry to integrate lighting, sensor technology and electronics seamlessly in a single application,' he continued. 'This will allow us to advance new intelligent light functions such as the combination of lighting and sensor technology in a module or light-based communication between the driver, other road users and the vehicle’s surroundings.’

Hans-Joachim Schwabe (left), CEO of the Speciality Lighting Business Unit at Osram Licht, and Andreas Wolf (right), head of the Body & Security Business Unit at Continental, intend to found a Joint Venture for intelligent light solutions in the automotive sector. (Image: Continental AG)

Osram highlighted its interest in automotive lighting last year by acquiring a 25.1 per cent share in LeddarTech, a Canadian firm developing lidar for self-driving cars and driver assistance systems. Valued in the mid double-digit million euros range, the partial acquisition was designed to augment Osram’s ability to offer sensor lights for autonomous vehicles.

‘We want to actively drive forward technological change in the lighting market within the automotive industry and develop even more innovative and intelligent lighting solutions,’ said Andreas Wolf, head of Continental’s Body & Security business unit. ‘The joint venture will help us to establish the conditions for this since it combines our expertise in software and electronics with Osram’s automotive lighting expertise. As such, we will be able to offer our customers an unrivalled portfolio in the lighting market.’

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