From digitimes, an article on the vehicle display market. Note that Sharp and Japan Display are the two main suppliers of vehicle displays, a surprisingly large and growing market.
Global shipments of vehicle LCD will nearly double from 2012 to 2016, partly propelled by a US mandate on rear-view cameras that will result in expanding use in both mid-range and economy-class vehicles, according to research firm IHS iSuppli.
Shipments of the LCDs are projected to reach 116.8 million units by 2016, up a 89% from 61.7 million units in 2012. Each year during the forecast period will enjoy double-digit growth ranging from 15-23%, with shipments crossing the hundred-million-unit mark in 2015, said IHS.
"A major driver of growth in the vehicle LCD market during the next few years is a US government mandate requiring all cars to incorporate rear-view cameras by 2014," said Vinita Jakhanwal, director for small- to medium-size displays at IHS. "The mandate will result in an increase in displays used in cars. Most of these displays will find a place in the center stack consoles of cars, causing center stack display market shipments to rise 21% year on year in 2014."
The mandate is mainly expected to affect the economy vehicle segment, which currently doesn't employ in-car TFT-LCD displays to a very large degree. Here, 3-inch displays with their lower average selling cost are expected to be the choice in economy vehicles over larger-size displays. Larger rear-view camera displays sized 6- to 8-inch more likely will be found in mid-range cars, added IHS.
Automotive displays provide a sustainable business opportunity
Compared to other display applications, the vehicle display market is highly customized, requiring different display specifications in order to match the vehicle's brand value. A long life cycle of design and production is typical, as vehicle displays need to support a five-year period of vehicle production, including support warranties and SKUs for another few years. And far from being content to sell screens for consumer electronic items like TVs, mobile handsets, tablets and digital still cameras, display suppliers are now showing increased interest to expand their presence to the automotive market given the 10-year supply chain lifetime for vehicle moving parts.
Japan-based companies such as Sharp and JDI were the main suppliers of automotive displays in 2012. Both companies provide a high degree of customization in their automotive display products, and also are capable of accommodating sundry technical requests from car makers and vehicle display system integrators.
Other panel suppliers are also jumping into the space, enticed by a fast-growing market. Taiwan-based suppliers such as AU Optronics (AUO) and Innolux Corporation, as well as Korea-based display suppliers like LG Display, are dedicating capacity at their fabs to produce more automotive displays.
Competition within the vehicle display market is predicted to intensify during the next five years, and suppliers will need to keep pace with market dynamics and spot key trends to take advantage of emerging opportunities, IHS believes.