In the fourth quarter of 2012, the Company successfully began shipping a number of auto-dimming mirror production applications with several automakers with advanced technologies including SmartBeam®, driver assist, Rear Camera Display (RCD), telematics, wireless control systems, compass, and various combinations of these features.
Unit shipments of SmartBeam and driver assist camera products increased by approximately 12 percent in calendar year 2012 compared with calendar year 2011, in the face of challenging European market conditions which had a negative impact on product mix and option take rates. In calendar year 2013, SmartBeam and driver assist unit shipments are estimated to increase by approximately 10-15 percent compared with calendar year 2012, based on the IHS January 2013 forecast for light vehicle production, which includes a three percent decline in European light vehicle production with larger forecasted percentage decreases in the mid-size luxury class vehicle model market, which currently is one of the Company's primary markets for these features.
RCD Mirror unit shipments decreased by approximately eight percent in calendar year 2012 compared with calendar year 2011. In calendar year 2013, RCD Mirror unit shipments are estimated to decrease by approximately 25-35 percent compared with calendar year 2012, which includes estimated reduced RCD Mirror unit shipments to automotive customers who have previously notified the Company of their plans to have the display for the rear camera in the radio instead of the rearview mirror. While the Company continues production launches of RCD Mirrors on new vehicle models in 2013, volatility in customer orders continues for this feature in the face of delayed rulemaking under the Kids Transportation Safety Act (KTSA), which did not meet the scheduled December 31, 2012, deadline for implementation, making this the fourth such delay for KTSA rulemaking.
All other mirror products and technologies continue to result in new awarded business. In development and launch now are: interior auto-dimming mirrors with new frameless designs; lighting applications with new optoelectronics; new digital microphones; many different displays in new sizes with faster processing and increased graphics capabilities; new wireless control systems that send and receive signals from garage doors, gates, lights, locks, and security systems; SmartBeam with advanced detection for tunnels, curves, fog, and for use on all headlamp technologies, including halogen, Xenon, and LED; driver-assist systems with new object-detection capabilities; and exterior auto-dimming mirrors with new curved glass applications.
SmartBeam is the Company's high beam headlamp assist product that optimizes forward visibility by automating high beam usage, which allows drivers to better identify and react to potential hazards in the road ahead. Driver assist camera products utilize a multi-function camera combined with algorithmic decision making to perform certain tasks, such as automatic high beam assist, lane keeping and driver alert. RCD Mirrors contains a liquid crystal display (LCD) that works with an automaker-specified video camera mounted at the rear of the vehicle to provide a view directly behind the vehicle while backing up.
Unit Shipments and Net Sales
Total auto-dimming mirror unit shipments increased by approximately five percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the fourth quarter last year. Automotive net sales declined slightly to $254.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with $254.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Most Popular Stories
- Twitter Names Woman to Board
- NSA Tracks 5 Billion Cellphone Records a Day
- Nelson Mandela Dies After Momentous Life
- Ford Mustang Still Packs Power
- W.H. Corrects Itself on Unclegate
- Nelson Mandela Dead at 95
- Fast-Food Workers Want $15 an Hour
- Roybal-Allard Tours Gordon Brush Plant
- Aspen Contracting Adding 300 Jobs
- Pope Francis Says He'll Fight Child Sex Abuse