Mercedes-Benz will roll out cars loaded with OLED panels of LG Display starting in 2020. LG Display OLEDs will be widely installed in Mercedes-Benz cars from dashboards to and rear-seat monitors. LG Display is known to supply automotive OLEDs to Toyota, Volkswagen and General Motors in addition to Mercedes-Benz.
According to the automobile industry on March 20, Mercedes-Benz is planning to apply LG Display OLEDs to many of its models starting with a partial change model of the Mercedes E Class to be released in the first half of 2020. A 'wide screen' which combines a dashboard and a central display connected) in the Mercedes S-Class and E-Class, will come out in the form of an OLED, not an LCD. Cars with OLED displays were unveiled at various exhibitions, but Benz is expected to be the first automaker to load OLEDs into consumer models. "As negotiations on the development and supply of parts begin four to five years before new model launches, LG cut deals on display supply with many carmakers," said a high-ranking official in the industry. “We will see OLED displays in various brand cars beginning in 2020."
A source said that Mercedes-Benz already chose an OLED display as a display for the next models since the German automaker introduced a brand-new model of the E-Class in 2016. This is because Mercedes-Benz wanted to elevate the elegance of its new models with OLEDs with excellent picture quality and design as the company was bent on interior decoration enhancements. In fact, Mercedes-Benz is leading in applying exceptional display applications such as wide screens to models such as E-class, S-class and A-class models. A concept car with its doors loaded with displays was showcased by Mercedes-Benz at the CES in Las Vegas, the US and a press conference in Korea. "We cannot confirm the installation of LG Display OLEDs in our cars," said an official of Mercedes-Benz. "We are preemptively responding to customers who demand cooler and clearer screens."
The meeting between Mercedes and LG Display was already predicted. This is because a big spike in the amount of information that needs to be displayed on a car display has driven up demand for large-screen and high-resolution displays. Volvo, Land Rover and Tesla already have displays as large as those of the iPad. In addition, many automobile manufacturers are planning to expand internal spaces of their cars as they entered the development of autonomous vehicles. Without driving cars on their own thanks to autonomous driving, drivers and passengers will have much time to enjoy some contents in their cars, which will fuel demand for better picture quality of displays. "OLEDs have a better contrast ratio than LCDs and are suitable for internal spaces of vehicles that are frequently exposed to dark environments," an industry official said.
In the industry, it is forecast that the OLED market for automobiles will grow significantly starting in 2020. According to Ubi Research, the average size of car displays is expected to expand from 6.7 inches in 2018 to 8.3 inches in 2022. The OLED display market for automobiles is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 497%, from US$ 4 million to US$ 5,023 million. "By 2022, the proportion of LCD displays for automobiles will still reach 90% by 2022," Ubi Research said. "In 2022, vehicle OLED sales in the car industry are projected to account for 20.2% of total OLEDs."
The expansion of the OLED market for automobiles is expected to be good news for LG Display. LG Display is planning to increase the percentage of OLED sales, which is currently 10%, to 40% by 2020. Its competition with Samsung Display is expected to further intensify. Samsung Display is building an OLED production line after closing its A1 plant in Asan, Chungcheong Province early this year. It is said that they are planning to produce automobile OLEDs here and supply them to BMW.