LED Lighting


Tesla’s Latest Round of Price Cuts Across Regional Markets Creates After-Burn Effects and Opportunities to Raise Profile in China

Tesla has caused a lot of buzz in the global car market by cutting prices across several regional markets. The US, China, Europe, and Japan have all seen a significant drop in prices of Tesla vehicles, with magnitudes ranging from 6% to 20%. The US, in particular, has seen the largest cut in the average price of Tesla vehicles. The price of the RWD version of the Model Y has come down to USD 13,000, showing a reduction of 19.7%.

Tesla Aims to Increase Market Share and Put Pressure on Competitors

Tesla sold 1.313 million battery-electric vehicles (pure electric vehicles) in 2022 and retained its leadership in this niche segment of the car market. However, its market share for battery-electric vehicles has been shrinking from 24.5% in 2020 to 20% in 2021 and just 17% in 2022. This in part has to do with the rising number of entrants this market as well as the rising number of battery-electric models that are being offered by these competitors. Furthermore, China accounts for more than half of the global electric car market. Therefore, Tesla has found that its sales performance in China significantly affects its overall market share.

In the Chinese electric car market, sales efforts are concentrated on “economical” or affordable models that are priced within the range of CNY 150,000~200,000. Before Tesla initiated its recent price cuts, the starting price of the Model 3 had been at CNY 265,900, which is way above the mainstream price range.

However, the price of the Model 3 has been slashed by 13.5%, with the starting price now arriving at CNY 229,900. Since the price difference between the Model 3 and the competing economical models has shrunk to 15%, Chinese consumers that are mostly residing within the CNY 150,000~200,000 range could be much more receptive to Tesla’s messaging. Also, many Chinese carmakers have lately raised prices on their electric models because of high cost pressure. Tesla is thus expected to benefit by taking the opposite approach for pricing.

Turning to the US, the biggest benefit that Tesla has touted for this round of price slashing is the eligibility of its vehicles in obtaining a tax credit of up to USD 7,500. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 contains a provision that subsidizes the purchasing of a new electric car with a tax credit. Electric SUV or vans that are priced no higher than USD 80,000 and other types of electric vehicles that are priced no higher than USD 55,000 are eligible. In the case of Tesla’s Model Y, the version with three rows of seats (i.e., a total of seven seats) can apply for the tax credit as an electric SUV, whereas the version with two rows of seats (i.e., a total of five seats) can apply for the same benefit as one of the other types of electric vehicles.

For consumers in the US, the price of the Long Range version of the Model Y in 2023 is now 31.1% lower than it was in 2022 because of the price cut and the tax credit. Besides turning consumers’ heads, Tesla is also putting a lot of pressure on its competitors with this undercutting strategy. After all, Tesla’s vehicle models tend to serve as the base standard for carmakers’ electrified offerings.

Tesla Has a Firm Grasp on Fluctuations in Prices of Key Components, Thereby Making Cost Sensitivity a Competitive Advantage

In addition to discussing the effects of Tesla’s price cuts on itself and competitors, and other important issue that needs to be addressed is why Tesla can lower prices when other carmakers are compelled to raise them. To answer this question, we first turn to Tesla’s profit margin. Compared with its competitors, Tesla has a larger room for profit. Therefore, it can lower prices in exchange for more vehicle sales and market share.

This leads to the question as to how Tesla has attained such a large profit margin. The answer is that Tesla is excelled at managing its cost structure and supply chain. With respect to supply chain management, Tesla takes a different approach and has gotten involved more deeply than do other carmakers. For instance, Tesla directly sources components and do not rely on Tier-1 suppliers for system integration.

By contrast, traditional carmakers assemble vehicles with the finished parts provided by Tier-1 suppliers. From Tesla’s perspective, directly sourcing components and doing its own system integration offer some notable advantages. First, this approach facilitates the adoption of the latest technologies at the component level. Second, Tesla is much more aware of costs and also exerts a greater control over them. On the whole, Tesla has a better sense of the price fluctuations in the upstream than do its competitors.

The degree of Tesla involvement in its supply chain is also reflected in its activities in the global lithium market. The soaring demand and the Russia-Ukraine military conflict caused lithium prices to rise rapidly during the 2021~2022 period. Carmakers now recognize that the only effective way to secure the supply of raw materials and control the costs of these materials is to manage the upstream.

However, Tesla is not simply securing lithium supply contracts. It is also thinking about getting involved in ore mining and metal refining. Tesla’s activities in recent years have led to a capacity crunch in the market for mining and processing lithium ores. Since lithium is incorporated into power batteries through multiple phases of additional processing, carmakers tend to suffer the most when it comes to lack of price transparency.

(Image credit: Tesla LinkedIn)


Value of Global Market for Automotive Lighting Products Is Forecasted to Increase by 5% YoY to US$34.314 Billion


The demand situation of the global car market deteriorated in 2022 due to the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine military conflict and the ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks across China. However, the demand for automotive lighting products during the same year was propped up by two developments. First, the penetration rate of LED headlights (headlamps) rose further. Second, there were significant advances in technologies related to smart headlights, marker lights (lamps), and smart ambient lights.

Furthermore, costs surged for plastics during 2022, so suppliers for automotive lighting products had the opportunity to keep their prices steady or raise them. Hence, TrendForce estimates that the value of the global market for automotive lighting products has come to US$32.68 billion for 2022, reflecting a YoY growth of 4%.

Looking ahead, development trends in the automotive lighting market include personalized products, communication displays, solutions for ADAS, and improvements related to safety functions. TrendForce currently forecasts that the market value will scale up to US$34.314 billion for 2023, showing a YoY growth of 5%.

In addition to improvements in adaptive headlights and tail lights (lamps), TrendForce points to several other product categories that have gained greater importance and captured the attention of carmakers, automotive lighting suppliers, LED suppliers, and drive IC suppliers. Examples include marker lights, (smart) ambient lights, and solutions for light-signaling projection. The aforementioned market participants have been proactively developing offerings under these categories. Going forward, carmakers will continue to bring surprising and innovative ideas to the development of automotive lighting. This, in conjunction with the promotion of ADAS and automotive driving technologies, will create limitless market potential for automotive lighting suppliers.


Benefiting from HCL and Smart Lighting, LED Lighting Output Value to Reach US$11.1 Billion by 2026, Says TrendForce


According to TrendForce’s “Global LED Industry Data Base and LED Player Movement Quarterly Update” report, demand for high-standard LED products in the lighting market will enter a growth stage. Generally speaking, the price of lighting LED products is stable. However, due to the recent rise in global raw material prices, the unit price of products looks to trend higher. Coupled with high demand for energy conservation from governments around the world, the output value of the lighting LED market in 2022 is forecast to have an opportunity to reach US$8.11 billion, or 9.2% growth YoY. In the next few years, the scale of the lighting LED market will continue growing due to the promotion of human centric lighting (HCL), smart lighting, and other factors and is expected to reach US$11.1 billion by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.4% from 2021 to 2026.

TrendForce further states, despite the continuing impact of the pandemic in 2022, the pervasiveness of vaccines and the recovery of economic activities coupled with the rigid demand associated with the lighting market as a daily necessity, global “carbon neutrality,” and the growing requirements of the energy conservation agenda, have moved numerous major powers to realize net-zero emissions through measures such as energy efficiency and low-carbon heating in recent years. However, lighting is a leading energy consumer in buildings, accounting for 20% to 30% of total building energy consumption. LED penetration will deepen, driven by the high demand for energy conservation and policies and regulations requiring the upgrade of aging equipment. In addition, smart lighting can also achieve the purpose of timely energy conservation. Therefore, there is strong demand for the introduction of LED lighting and smart lighting upgrades in commercial lighting, residential lighting, outdoor lighting, and industrial lighting, which further drives demand for high-standard LED products including high light efficiency, high color rendering and color saturation, low blue light HCL and smart lighting devices.

The gradual recovery of the lighting market is clearly reflected in the 2021 manufacturer revenue rankings. Lighting LED manufacturers including Samsung LED, ams OSRAM, CREE LED, Lumileds, Seoul Semiconductor, MLS, and Lightning have all posted revenue growth. MLS is still the leading manufacturer of lighting LEDs, ranking first in revenue, with an annual revenue growth rate of 34% in 2021. ams OSRAM, Lumileds, CREE LED, and Samsung LED primarily took advantage of orders for industrial, outdoor, and horticultural lighting last year, posting annual revenue growth of 26%, 18%, and 8%, respectively.

In terms of pricing, as demand in the lighting industry gradually recovered in 2021, facing demand for higher specification terminal application products and the impact of rising overall costs in raw materials and operations, LED packaging factories no longer adopted pricing strategies to capture additional market share, allowing lighting LED product pricing to stabilize and rebound in 2021. In terms of product categories, the average market price of medium and low-power lighting LED products (less than 1 watt, excluding 1 watt) such as 2835 LED, 3030 LED, and 5630 LED, posted an annual growth rate of 2.1~4.4%. For high-power lighting LED products (above 1 watt) such as ceramic substrate LEDs and 7070 LEDs, average annual market price growth was as much as 3.0~6.0%. TrendForce expects lighting LED pricing to further stabilize in 1H22.


Automotive LED Market Value Forecast to Reach US$3.51 Billion in 2021, ams-OSRAM Leads in Revenue, Says TrendForce


TrendForce’s 2020-2021 Global Automotive LED Product Trend and Regional Market Analysis research indicates, the global penetration rate of LED headlights exceeds 60% in 2021 with penetration in new energy vehicles (NEV) exceeding 90%, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. Influenced by growth momentum from increasing automotive market shipments and the rising penetration rate of LED lighting, global automotive LED market value is estimated to be valued at US$3.51 billion in 2021, a 31.8% YoY growth rate. This demonstrates that LED headlights and automotive display LED products remain the main driving force for growth in the automotive LED market.

Although the automotive semiconductor shortage has led to manufacturing bottlenecks among some car manufacturers, since car manufacturers have asked LED producers to continue production, the purchase order status of major automotive LED manufacturers will not be affected before the end of 2021. Among the 2021 revenue rankings of automotive LED manufacturers, the top three companies remain ams-OSRAM, Nichia, and Lumileds. These three account for a combined market share of as much as 71.7%.

In terms of automotive lighting, ams-OSRAM has leveraged stable product quality, excellent lighting efficiency, and cost performance to make it the supplier of choice for the world’s high-end cars and new energy vehicles, including high-flying Tesla among its customers. This year, ams-OSRAM’s automotive LED revenue grew rapidly and has an opportunity to reach US$1.304 billion by year’s end for an annual growth rate of approximately 40.9%. Samsung LED’s PixCell LED has also been successfully integrated into the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, boosting its automotive LED revenue growth to as much as US$121 million with market share expected to increase to 3.4%.

In terms of automotive display backlighting including dashboard and central console displays, not only are more and more car models equipped with automotive display products, the standard is moving towards larger displays with the current mainstream automotive panel product size at 12.3-inches. Further taking into account features popular in the current market such as HDR, local dimming, and wide color gamut shows that automotive LED market demand will maintain a rapid growth trend in the next five years. This will benefit the revenue of Nichia and Stanley with this year’s market share for these two companies expected to reach 23.1% and 6.6%, respectively.

Relying on the high brightness and compact size of their WICOP product, Seoul Semiconductor’s penetration rate of the automotive headlight market has reached 10% and WICOP has been adopted by car manufacturers including Changan Automobile, SAIC-GM-Wuling, and Nio. Revenue is forecast to reach US$155 million with a market share of approximately 4.4%. It is worth mentioning, benefiting from European customer orders, Dominant has the highest annual revenue growth out of the top ten companies in the industry at 46.3%

For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Optoelectronics Research, please click here, or email Ms. Grace Li from the Sales Department at graceli@trendforce.com


Increased Demand on Food Safety Projected to Propel Annual Horticultural Lighting LED Revenue for 2021 to US$399 Million, Says TrendForce


Thanks to favorable policies by governments worldwide as well as massive adoption of horticultural LED lighting products in the medical and recreational marijuana markets in North America, horticultural lighting LED revenue saw an explosive growth in 2020, reaching US$301 million, a 57% YoY increase, according to TrendForce’s 2021 Global LED Lighting Market Outlook – Light LED and LED Lighting Market Trend report. This growth is expected to maintain its momentum throughout 2021, during which the market is expected to reach US$399 million in revenue, a 33% YoY increase.

However, it should be pointed out that horticultural red light LED chips, especially high-end ones, will likely suffer a shortage in 3Q21, as suppliers’ production capacities for these chips are constrained by other products, including automotive and infrared LED products. At the same time, demand for horticultural LED lighting products cannot be fully met due to the ongoing shortage of PMICs. Furthermore, delayed ocean freight schedules and North American governments’ crackdown on illegal indoor marijuana cultivations have also impacted the shipment of these end-products, thereby leading certain horticultural LED lighting suppliers to slow down their production plans and component procurement activities. Even so, LED suppliers are still optimistic towards the current market. Although changes in the global environment are expected to hinder market demand in the short run, LED suppliers believe that such hindrance will likely be ameliorated by the end of 3Q21.

TrendForce’s investigations indicate that horticultural lighting LED package suppliers include ams-OSRAM, Samsung LED, CREE LED, Seoul Semiconductor, Lumileds, Everlight, LITEON, and lightning. On the other hand, horticultural LED chip suppliers include Epistar, San’an, HC Semitek, HPO, and Epileds. The vast majority of the aforementioned companies were able to benefit from the horticultural lighting market and posted remarkable earnings performances in 1H21.

Looking ahead, the demand on food safety will bring about a shortened food supply chain via such developments as indoor farming and build-outs of vertical farms, with a corresponding rise in the global horticultural lighting LED market. In addition, TrendForce believes that, as operators of greenhouses or emerging vertical farms continue to adopt LED lighting equipment in the long run, and LED lighting costs continue to decline, more and more indoor farmers will be convinced to replace their traditional lighting equipment with LED lighting equipment. The replacement demand from these operators will, in turn, become the key driver of the horticultural lighting LED market’s future growth.

For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Optoelectronics Research, please click here, or email Ms. Grace Li from the Sales Department at graceli@trendforce.com

(Cover image source: Pixabay)

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