In the ever-evolving landscape of global supply chains, Taiwanese and Chinese panel makers are strategically positioning themselves to meet the demands of both Chinese and non-Chinese customers in the automotive display industry. Concerns over geopolitical tensions have led Taiwanese panel makers to explore opportunities in emerging markets, aiming to safeguard their supply chains. Meanwhile, China’s prominence as the world’s largest automotive and electric vehicle (EV) market underscores the importance of maintaining a presence in the country for growth.
Taiwanese panel makers are adapting to the changing dynamics by developing two distinct supply chains: one catering to Chinese customers and the other serving European, North American, and Japanese customers. This dual-pronged approach allows them to navigate geopolitical uncertainties effectively while capitalizing on the booming Chinese automotive and EV market.
China’s private car manufacturers are demonstrating resilience amid tensions between the US and China. They are actively adopting integrated smart cockpits and emerging display technologies, presenting opportunities for Taiwanese panel makers to secure orders. In response, Chinese panel makers are closely observing their Taiwanese counterparts and establishing integrated supply chains and research and development efforts in areas such as miniLED backlighting and in-cell touchscreen technology. As Chinese competitors gain ground, Taiwanese makers must remain vigilant.
Capacity expansion is also on the horizon as the global automotive market gradually grows. European and North American automakers are eyeing South and Southeast Asia as new growth drivers and are setting up assembly lines in the region. As local automakers in these regions gain momentum, overall demand for automotive panels is set to increase. Many panel makers are contemplating establishing backend module production lines in South Asia. However, Taiwanese manufacturers are lagging behind their Chinese counterparts in this regard.
The Indian government’s push for local panel production capacity has prompted Innolux to sign technology-transfer contracts with an Indian enterprise to establish an 8.6G production line. Once completed, this facility may lead to higher tariffs on semi-completed (front-end) panels, affecting Chinese makers investing in backend module production lines in India.
Among Chinese panel makers, BOE stands out with significant capacity, including 11 LCD production lines, four AMOLED production lines, and one micro OLED line. Tianma, on the other hand, relies on a-Si production lines, including three 4.5G lines and one 5G line, with plans to establish new 8.6G lines for automotive panels in the coming years. HKC and CSOT are also making strides in the automotive display business, with the latter focusing on high-end technologies like in-cell touch panels and miniLED backlighting.
Smaller Chinese panel makers, including Infovision Optoelectronics (IVO), Laibao Hi-Tech, Truly, and Mantix, have entered the automotive display business to some extent, albeit with limited supply capacity.
In conclusion, the automotive display industry is witnessing a strategic shift in supply chain management as Taiwanese and Chinese panel makers adapt to geopolitical tensions and evolving market dynamics. The expansion of capacity and the pursuit of emerging technologies are critical elements in their strategies to remain competitive on the global stage.