Mustafa Yesilgoez, CEO Segment APAC, OSRAM Continental and Managing Director, OSRAM Continental India (Bangalore) speaks to Anwesh Koley about the company’s mission to attain 100 per cent localisation levels in Asia.

Q. What are the expectations from the Osram Continental JV formed last year?
Yesilgoez. The Osram Continental JV commenced its journey in July last year and soon after, the Indian operations commenced in Bengaluru. It is also the R&D hub for the company for the whole of Asia Pacific. The key segments for Osram Continental are in the passenger vehicle and two-wheelers segment. We also have a few niche products in the off-highway segment, which we are trying to leverage and make inroads into. This segment is currently dominated by halogen lighting and we believe it is important to educate customers about the benefits of LEDs.

A portion of both Osram and Continental was moved to the JV formed in 2018. The Bangalore unit takes care of the back-end electronic development for light control units. The focus in this R&D unit is more on the development of hardware and software. Software testing systems and other related activities except for mechanical operations are the focus areas. Our mission and vision in India are to be capable of developing everything for Asia, in Asia.

Q. How does the JV company perceive the Indian automotive lighting business?
Yesilgoez. The Indian Passenger Vehicle and two-wheeler segments are still halogen-based. The LED lighting units are slowly but gradually gaining acceptance, with OEMs fast adopting this technology for safety and ergonomic concerns. Today when we talk about alternative lighting, it is LED lighting. This comes from emission standards required for the upcoming BSVI standards as well as the electrification drive shaping up on a global scale. We believe LEDs can contribute significantly.

While original equipment manufacturers are upbeat about LEDs, the additional cost is often counter-productive. However, given the design versatility and longevity offered by an LED unit, OEMs are finding merit in the technology. LEDs are not only more compact, but they also help in reducing weight along with advantages like reduced power consumption. This, in the long run, proves to be a great additional value proposition.

Q. Do you expect Asian markets to drive the change in India?
Yesilgoez. With electrification, autonomous driving and big data being handled by the automotive industry, Asian markets are driving a significant portion of this technology turnaround on a global scale. The Chinese, Japanese and Korean markets are fast-moving ahead with the recent advancements in LED technology. In India, this could challenge the predominance of Halogen lights. We are hopeful of policies like the FAME II scheme backed by the influx of new designs and variants offered by LEDs compelling vehicle manufacturers to opt for this radical technology in the future.

Q. How are you leveraging global megatrends?
Yesilgoez. Electrification, digitisation and autonomous driving are all megatrends which we are addressing across global markets. Currently, our portfolio contains LED-based lighting projector modules. The company is also developing pixel LEDs. R&D is constantly underway to enhance the safety and visibility of its lighting modules.

Today, automotive lighting is fast becoming a communication factor. In the future, given the deliberations about autonomous driving, there will not be a driver behind the steering wheel. This will provide further impetus to interactive lighting, which will be responsible for safe mobility, whatever be the illumination conditions outside.

Q. Which are the new products you expect to commercialise?
Yesilgoez. Osram Continental is currently working on a digital headlamp technology with multiple pixels. Digital Micromirror Devices (DMDs) have up to one million pixels or Eviyos technology, which uses pixellated LEDs as well. Besides headlamps, the company is also focussing on tail lamps, interior and ambient lighting solutions. When autonomous driving becomes a norm, passengers would like their vehicles to have customised lighting as a way to enhance travelling experience. Hence, along with external LEDs providing the vital safety quotient, internal lighting technology will play an aesthetic role in vehicles of the future. Projector technology is another area where Osram Continental has its expertise. Currently, we are offering static logo projectors, which illuminate the vehicle surroundings, thereby cautioning oncoming vehicles. ACI

“The Chinese, Japanese and Korean markets are fast-moving ahead with the recent advancements in LED technology. In India, this could challenge the predominance of Halogen lights.”

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