Text: Anusha B

Autolite, the flagship company of the Autopal-MPG group, has been providing lighting solutions to the automotive industry since 4 decades. The Group supplies automotive head lamps, work lamps, LED lamps, fog lamps, turn signal lamps, halogen bulbs, incandescent bulbs and miniature bulbs to various vehicle manufacturers in India and abroad. Its products are exported to 56 countries, including China and those in Europe. Autolite is planning to set up a marketing and distribution centre in Europe in the coming years and to go for a manufacturing facility in 2020. It has plans to establish a production facility in China also.

Amit Mahipal Gupta with Adarsh Mahipal Gupta - Director Mktg & Finance and Mahipal Gupta, CMD, Autolite

Amit Mahipal Gupta with Adarsh Mahipal Gupta – Director Mktg & Finance and Mahipal Gupta, CMD, Autolite

Autolite supplies lighting products to all vehicle segments like passenger cars, commercial vehicles, tractors, earth moving equipments, two-and three-wheelers. The Autolite products are well-accepted in China and are preferred to Chinese LEDs as its products are technologically superior. Europe accounts for 23% of its export which is increasing YoY.

“We are planning to establish a manufacturing facility in Europe and China. China is a big market for us and we have a marketing and distribution centre there. We work with vehicle manufacturers closely and ensure our support from the concept stage to design and commercialisation,” Amit Mahipal Gupta, Joint Managing Director, Autolite India, told Auto Components India.

Lighting has become an important part of vehicles and acts as an identity mark. Innovation in vehicle lighting systems is very frequent. Gupta, who is also the Technical Head of the Group said, “We keep applying for patents to safeguard our intellectual property. As a brand we are registered in 35 countries to ensure that our products do not fall prey to the counterfeits. We are in the process of implementing QR codes on individual products enabling our customers to verify our brand endorsement in the products.”


The lighting industry has carved its own niche in the automotive industry. The market is driven by increasing vehicle production, technological advancements in automotive lighting and increasing concern over safety. Driving at night with technologies like adaptive lighting including dynamic bend light and a glare-free high beam, is gaining importance. Owing to increased preference to luxury and comfort, the interior lighting also is in focus.

The halogen bulbs are being replaced by a variety of product options. However, the halogen bulbs are not going to be phased out as billions of vehicles world-wide having long life will be using them for another 10-15 years. Halogen bulbs have 100 colour rendering index, they start instantaneously and are very cost effective. As such they will continue to be a preferred light source for vehicles. Globally, the cost sensitive markets will keep using halogen bulbs for their vehicles.

“LED has a distinct advantage, which is lower power consumption, but it is expensive. Until the cost of LED comes down substantially, it will not be able to replace fully the conventional halogen bulbs. Another issue is beam pattern on road which is quite difficult and costly with LEDs. Expert studies show that the share of business in LEDs will be 30% of complete lighting by 2020,” Gupta said.

Upcoming products

LED is a new market opportunity and is being taken as a challenge by the organised manufacturers. Being an expensive technology, it will be difficult for the unorganised sector to remain in the LED market in the long-run. It will be good for the genuine manufacturers. Using quality products also adds value to driver safety. “LED is also the focus area for us. We have already invested in this technology and are continuously updating and increasing our production capabilities. We are the first to launch Composite DRL with headlamps in commercial vehicle segments for global aftermarket. We also have a wide range of LED work lamps, turn signal lamps, and marker lamps. New products to be launched soon include, LED head lamps, work lamps, spot lamps, bar lamps, turn signal lamps, and LED bulbs,” Gupta said.

As energy conservation is the focus all over the world, cars are becoming lighter and more compact. Hence the need to reduce the size and weight of lamps srises. Optical patterns, especially for rear lighting, signature lighting in front and signal lamps, light guides, elimination of hazel in head lamps, and higher safety of road users are among the new challenges for the automotive lighting industry. “We try to be the first in new technology adoption, and meeting customers’ requirements on time. Autopal brand is our power, due to hard work in Auto lighting for more than 4 decades we have loyal customers, employees and suppliers keeping us ahead of fellow players,” he said.


According to the recent official data, in India 400 people are killed in road accidents daily. This means more than 1 death in road accident in every 4 minutes. Despite 60% less traffic on the roads, more than 40% of all fatal car accidents occur at night, out of which major accidents happen due to low quality headlights, signalling lights and poor visibility. Anti-glare lighting is needed for the safety of drivers. As an initiative to avoid these disasters, the company has introduced DRL with head lamps in the commercial vehicle segment which increases the visibility. It has been in the aftermarket since a year and in use in the passenger cars of Mahindra. It has also bagged orders from Tata Motors and Mahindra for their commercial vehicle segment. The testing phase is on, and the company hopes to begin manufacturing in the next 3 months.

JV company in China

Autopal-MPG group has recognised research and development facilities. “Our R&D is accredited by government of India and TUV Rheinland. We have invested over Rs 25 crore in our testing laboratory and R&D infrastructure across Jaipur, Pantnagar, Pune and in Shanghai. We have over 20 engineers and technicians working on new products and technologies at our Lighting Design Centre in Jaipur. We invest 3% of our turnover in R&D,” Gupta said. The company has signed a 50:50 joint venture with Wenton Corporation of China and promoted Aishi Wenton Technologies Pvt Ltd. to manufacture ‘Hitech Capital Goods’ like fire plasma surface treatment machines, Robotic IR and UV curing coating lines, and advanced assembly lines with on-line vision inspection systems. These capital goods also find their use in the automotive industry.

Autolite’s clientele list includes Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Volvo Eicher, JCB, Caterpillar, Bajaj Auto, Ashok Leyland, Force Motors and Eicher Polaris. The company is also a preferred choice for Indian Defence, Indian Railways and a few State Road Transport Corporations. “We plan to lead the automotive lighting industry by 2020. We are also moving towards bagging international
OEM business,” Gupta said.


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