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Panel vendors gearing up for automotive display boom

Potential growth in the automotive display market segment is encouraging panel suppliers such as AUO to step up their deployments in the field, according to industry sources.

The automotive display market has become a silver lining for panel makers who have seen their shipments for most consumer electronics applications, including smartphones, monitors, notebooks and TVs hit by waning demand in the end-market, said the sources.

Paul Peng, chairman of AUO, said that he believes global auto sales will likely become stable in the second half of 2022, thanks to an easing of tight materials supplies and the rapid growth of electric vehicles (EV) and autonomous driving cars.

According to Sigmaintell Consulting, sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) are likely to top five million units in China in 2022, rising 46% from a year earlier and representing a penetration rate of 20%.

Sales of NEVs in China will start gaining momentum in the third quarter, outperforming the sales performance in the second quarter, with prospects to see China's NEV sales reach 1.6 million units in fourth-quarter 2022.

LCD remains the mainstream technology for automotive applications owing to its advantages in production capacity and cost. However, according to the sources, the applications of AMOLED displays are also gaining momentum.

China-based Li Auto's flagship SUV model L9 launched this year is equipped with a 15.7-inch passenger display and a large-size ceiling-mounted display. Both are rigid AMOLED panels supplied by Samsung Display.

Geely Auto's Lotus Elise models feature a 15.1-inch AMOLED touch-enabled CID (central information display) unit supplied by Everdisplay Optronics.

Meanwhile, BOE Technology will provide its 12.8-inch AMOLED CID units for Nio's ET7 series models this year and offer its 15.05-inch CID units for Rising Auto's R7 series models.

According to an Omdia estimation, global shipments of rigid AMOLED automotive displays will grow to 4.3 million units by 2029, from 120,000 units in 2022.

Meanwhile, miniLED-backlight displays have also gained ground in the automotive segment, said the sources.

Li Auto's L9 series models come with a miniLED-backlit driving interactive display and General Motor's Cadillac Lyriq's EVs feature a 33-inch miniLED-backlit surround display.

Nio's ET7 and ES series models adopt a 10.2-inch miniLED dashboard and 6.6-inch miniLED air-conditioning display while Rising Auto's R7 models come with a 10.25-inch miniLED dashboard.