Eyeing high-growth in automotive panel applications, of more than 20% yearly, major thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panel makers in Taiwan are aggressively tapping the segment.
Companies like AU Optronics Corp. (AUO), Chimei Innolux Corp., Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Ltd. (CPT) and Giantplus Technology Co., Ltd. have successfully tapped into supply chains of German, Japanese, American, Chinese and Korean automakers, achieving strong revenue growth in their small- and medium-sized panel business.
Industry sources pointed out that more than two years is needed to pass safety and durability certifications in the automotive panel market, but supplying international automakers is a ticket to the high-growth market.
Supplying products to international automakers such as BMW, Porsche, Jaguar and Ford, CMI in October shipped about 39 million small- and medium-sized panels, up 3.5% MoM (month-on-month).
AUO shipped some 14 million small- and medium-sized panels in October.
In 2011, CPT shipped about two million automotive panels, compared to more than 2.1 million units in the first half of 2012. Thanks to increasing orders from Japanese customers, CPT said, the company expects to ship four million to five million automotive panels in 2012.
After tapping into the supply chains of Korean automakers, Giantplus won orders from two automakers in Japan this year. In addition, the company has been gaining increasing market share in industrial application panel markets in Japan and Europe. Industrial application panels, achieving higher profit margins, accounted for 10% of Giantplus` revenue in 2011, and the ratio is expected to rise to 40% in 2012.
Taiwan's Industrial Economics & Knowledge Center (IEK) pointed out that the automotive panel application market will grow over-20% starting 2013, due mainly to the increasingly popular in-car navigation application market. TFT-LCD panels have generated over 80% of automotive application market revenue, by replacing traditional panels.
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