Ford continues to demonstrate its understanding of the opportunity that it needs to address with the migration of its business model to subscription and the recruitment of Peter Stern from Apple to run its Integrated Services division.
The company is taking a leaf out of Tesla’s book and will offer its BlueCruise advanced driver assistance products on a subscription-only basis. This is not as counterintuitive as it sounds as new car buyers will be able to purchase the service for three years with an upfront payment of $2,100. Since it will be marketed as an option in the usual way, it is unlikely to change the purchase experience of new car buyers very much. Furthermore, as so many vehicles are purchased on leasing schemes, there is a good chance that the buyer of the new vehicle would have changed the vehicle before the three-year period has elapsed.
This is how Ford seeks to introduce users to the idea of subscription, but there remain some features that will never work on a subscription basis. Two of these are Mercedes’ idea of asking customers to pay $1,200 per year to improve the driving performance of their EVs and BMW’s idea of asking customers to pay $180 per year for heated seats. This is a very common strategy employed by consumer electronics companies and has also been used to good effect by Tesla.
However, the vehicle-buying public has been paying one-off fees for hardware options for decades and I suspect that there is going to be a lot of resistance to paying $15 a month to keep one’s bottom warm in winter. Hence, the right approach is to charge for the options exactly as they have been for years and to offer subscriptions for services rather than products.
Advanced driver assistance sits right in the middle as it requires extra hardware to be present but is almost entirely driven by software which will need constant updating. Furthermore, much like a chauffeur that needs to be paid on a monthly basis, it is not a very large conceptual jump to be seen as a service rather than a hardware option.
Tesla has already prepared the market for this and so Ford has a pretty good chance of winning adoption with this model. Ford has also recruited Peter Stern who spent six years at Apple (Time Warner before that) running its subscription services.
The idea here is obviously to ensure that when it comes to Digital Life in the vehicle, Ford is ready with an appealing option for each activity with which the user will engage. This will go from a media consumption offering to transport-related services such as smart parking, which saves the user from driving round and round looking for a parking spot.
The market for digital services in the vehicle could be very large indeed especially as consumer spending on vehicle transportation declines over the next 20 years. Ford is again doing the right thing in attempting to address this market, but it will need to ensure that its user experience remains relevant in the vehicle as Apple and Google will be only too happy to sell their services and those of third parties via their user experiences instead.
This is the key challenge that all OEMs face over the next 20 years and Ford remains one of the few automakers outside of Tesla that appear to understand what is happening to their industry and seem to be addressing it in the right way.
(This guest post was written by Richard Windsor, our Research Director at Large. This first appeared on Radio Free Mobile. All views expressed are Richard’s own.)
Huawei ADS 2.0 brings various improvements, particularly in driving experience and safety.
Its enhanced hardware and new AI-powered features set it apart from competitors. Moreover, there is a timeline for NCA (Navigation Cruise Assist) to land in up to 45 cities in China by 2023.
The main obstacle to Huawei ADS 2.0’s expansion in the domestic market is the lack of commercialization scale. For its global expansion too, Huawei faces challenges.
Huawei launched ADS 2.0, an AI-powered Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), just before the Auto Shanghai exhibition in April 2023. In the same month, Counterpoint Research analysts attended the Huawei Analyst Summit 2023 while Senior Analyst Ivan Lam participated in Huawei Digi Salon, where a documentary was shown about Huawei ADS 1.0’s development and integration into the Arcfox Alpha S Hi model from BAIC. Interviews with the BAIC chief engineer and Huawei ADS engineer were featured in the documentary.
ADS 2.0 – Huawei’s major step forward
ADS 2.0 is a significant upgrade over Huawei’s first-generation autonomous driving system ADS 1.0. It has several new features and capabilities, including:
Improved map accuracy: ADS 2.0 utilizes a new road network topology inference technology, which enables it to map its surroundings more accurately. This is crucial for safety, as it allows the system to better identify potential hazards. Besides, ADS 2.0 supports both high-speed NCA (Navigation Cruise Assist) and urban NCA without relying on high-precision maps. The company plans to promote its mapless (without High-Definition maps) ADAS in 15 cities in Q2 and 45 cities in Q4 of this year.
Enhanced safety: ADS 2.0 has been trained on a massive dataset of real-world driving data, which has helped improve its safety performance. The system can now detect and avoid obstacles more effectively, and it is also better at handling unexpected situations. ADS 2.0 can now drive for up to 200 km without manual intervention, up from 100 km in ADS 1.0, making it more practical for everyday use.
Human-like judgment and operation: With massive data training and AI-powered technology, the system demonstrates driving performance equal to that of an experienced driver, with a stable driving style that avoids excessive aggressiveness or conservatism for safety. It performs well in driving scenarios such as accurate turning, giving way to pedestrians, recognizing and avoiding irregular obstacles, as well as detecting and avoiding animals.
More features: ADS 2.0 includes several new features, such as automatic and valet parking, making it easier and more convenient to use the car.
ADS 2.0 is enabled by both hardware and software upgrades. The system is powered by Huawei’s self-developed processor computing platform, which allows the system to process more data and make decisions more quickly. Meanwhile, more sensors are equipped to give the system a more complete view of its surroundings. Huawei benchmarked Tesla Autopilot as an important competitor.
Huawei ADS 2.0 vs Tesla Autopilot
Before ADS 2.0’s massive adoption in vehicles, the system has more advanced features than Autopilot, but its price may act as one of the obstacles to its popularity.
Although ADS 2.0 is a promising new ADAS in the market, there are some downsides and challenges to consider.
In China, there are four main groups of EV makers. The first group is made up of traditional car manufacturers such as SAIC Motor and GAC Group, which produce mostly budget to mid-range Evs without ADAS. However, most of these manufacturers are currently investing in ADAS companies as well as developing their ADAS systems in parallel. The second group consists of international vehicle giants, which will mainly use own ADAS systems in their cars. The third group, known as the “new car-maker forces”, includes companies like Nio, Xpeng Auto and Li Auto, which are pioneers in the EV industry and are developing their own ADAS systems and ecosystems like smart cockpits and smartphones. The last group consists of small to medium-sized car makers that produce cars ranging from entry-level to high-end.
Therefore, when Huawei announced again that it would not make cars or use the Huawei brand directly in any cooperation, it meant that it had fewer options. After a series of adjustments, Huawei’s smart auto business has three approaches:
Traditional parts supplier model: Huawei provides standardized components to manufacturers under a buyer-seller relationship.
HI business model: Huawei integrates software and hardware related to smart car solutions with automaker partners, including BAIC ARCFOX and Changan Avatr.
Huawei’s Smart Selection business model: Huawei is deeply involved in product concept, vehicle design and channel sales, and works with car companies at the brand marketing level. “Aito” is an example.
With the current cost level of ADS 2.0, there will be fewer and only high-end cars equipped with this advanced ADAS. As regards its global expansion, Huawei is still in a sensitive position as this ADAS is powered by Huawei Cloud. Data privacy concerns about Huawei Cloud from foreign enterprises will be a potential hurdle. Nevertheless, it is still too early to make any judgment since China is currently the biggest EV market in the world. Huawei is keen to have its footprint across the industry as a supply chain player.
Huawei put one-quarter of its revenue in 2022 into R&D for the whole group. The launch of ADS 2.0 shows that the company will continue with its strategies for the automotive business, including auto parts manufacturing, HI (Huawei Inside) and Smart Selection. The strong domestic market will be the stepping stone for Huawei’s automotive business growth. For instance, its cooperation with BAIC for the Arcfox Alpha S Hi showcases its competence in the high-end market.
Nevertheless, Huawei will face pressure to take ADS 2.0 to the next level of success because of the limit of its possibility to penetrate more vehicles. It will take time to prove ADS 2.0’s performance to the consumers. Besides, the cost of ADS 2.0 and its role will further threaten its expansion.
The revenue for Q1 2023 stood at KRW 16.26 trillion, a 5.7% YoY decline.
The operating profit of the company declined by 15% YoY.
The revenue from the vehicle solutions segment grew 27% YoY to reach KRW 2.4 trillion.
LG Electronics has generated relatively steady Q1 2023 earnings results thanks to the stabilization of material costs and the continued sales of high-end home appliances. The heat pumps and energy storage devices helped it earn more as the climate change restrictions tightened.
The company’s revenue declined 5.7% YoY in Q1 2023 to KRW 16.26 trillion ($12.75 billion), while the operating profit declined 15% YoY to KRW 1.36 trillion ($1.06 billion) owing to sluggish global demand. Although the profit dropped YoY, it was a considerable improvement over the losses in the previous quarter.
The business portfolio is experiencing growth through qualitative measures, particularly in expanding B2B segments such as vehicle components and system air conditioners. Besides, non-hardware business revenue continues to increase. The vehicle component solutions segment raked in high profits, contributing almost 15% to the total revenue, up from 11% in Q1 2022.
The consumer electronics segment’s revenue fell 5.5% YoY to reach KRW 11.38 trillion ($8.9 billion). However, the operating profit increased by 92% owing to lower logistics costs, efficient management of raw material supply, improved spending efficiency and active measures to enhance cost structure. The contribution of this segment to LG’s Q1 operating profit rose to 89.7% from 40% in Q1 2022.
The revenue of the vehicle solutions segment grew 27.1% YoY to reach KRW 2.39 trillion ($1.87 billion) driven by high order backlogs and the electric vehicle (EV) boom in the automotive market. Supply chain management improvements for key components, like semiconductors, played a crucial role. The operating profit grew to KRW 54 billion ($42.3 million), compared to the loss of KRW 6.7 billion ($5.6 million) in Q1 2022. Although the segment contributed just 4% to LG’s Q1 operating profit, it is touted as the future growth driver.
Revenue from other businesses, which include business solutions, kept declining YoY to reach KRW5 trillion ($1.95 billion), falling 25%. The operating profit dropped 91% YoY to KRW 85 billion ($66.7 million). The segment’s contribution to LG’s Q1 operating profit was only 6.3% compared to 61% in Q1 2022.
LG Innotek’s revenue grew 10.7% YoY to KRW 4.4 trillion ($3.43 billion). The operating profit decreased by 60.4% to KRW 145 billion ($114 million). This brought LG’s consolidated revenue to KRW 20.4 trillion ($16.01 billion).
Amid declining consumption due to economic downturn concerns, consumer electronics revenue is expected to fall while profits will remain sluggish in the next quarter. The decreasing IT demand will also have negative impacts on yields. The huge order backlog (KRW 80 trillion) and the ongoing transition to EVs will drive the vehicle solutions segment revenue. Based on the high growth within EV markets, it is expected that the EV component business will continue to take up a larger share in the future. A reliable portfolio of in-car infotainment systems, e-powertrain, headlights and unique solutions will maintain LG’s competitive advantage.
LG Electronics is going aggressive on increasing its technological advantage over competitors. This year, the company plans to invest over KRW 5 trillion ($4 billion) in its most significant capital expenditure in 10 years, mainly in the automotive electronics business. This move aligns with the business strategy of focusing on long-term growth and prosperity. The R&D spending has also been increased by 10% this year. LG wants to sustain growth and ensure consistent profitability by proactively and adaptively addressing shifts in demand across various regions and segments. It also aims to expand eco-friendly enterprises in pursuit of revenue growth through energy-efficient and environment-friendly products.
*LG Innotek’s numbers are not included in the total revenue and have been mentioned separately.
Volkswagen Group led in connected car sales, closely followed by Toyota Group.
4G cars captured more than 95% of connected car sales in 2022.
Tesla broke into the top-10 connected car sales rankings for the first time.
New Delhi,London, San Diego, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul – April 24, 2023
Global connected car sales* grew 12% YoY in 2022 with the share of connected cars in the overall car sales exceeding 50%, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Smart Automotive Service. The US remained the strongest market for connected cars followed by China and Europe. These three markets accounted for nearly 80% of the total connected car sales globally in 2022. Despite having a relatively small share of connected car sales, Japan experienced the highest growth in connected car penetration.
Commenting on the market dynamics, Research Analyst Abhilash Gupta said, “The penetration of connectivity in cars improved during 2022 after struggling in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, new facelift versions of older models like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Escape and Chevrolet Equinox were introduced with upgraded 4G connectivity and new features. Some prominent features include remote lock/unlock, remote engine start/stop, climate control, vehicle status, location tracking, geofencing, emergency assistance, in-cabin music, video streaming, and over-the-air updates. Next-generation vehicles are being introduced with various connected and autonomous features that require high-speed internet access available through 5G. However, as of now, 5G remains a niche, available only in premium cars like the Ford F-150 Lightning, Cadillac LYRIQ, Mercedes-Benz EQS, Audi e-tron GT, BMW iX and GWM Haval HG.”
Gupta added, “With consumers’ focus shifting to connectivity in the car, non-connected car shipments are steadily declining. The top five automotive groups accounted for nearly half of the connected cars sold in 2022. Volkswagen Group led the charts in terms of connected car sales volume, closely followed by Toyota Group. Tesla broke into the top 10 for the first time.”
Commenting on the market outlook, Senior Analyst Soumen Mandal said, “The shift towards digitization in cars is increasing at a rapid pace and is visible in the consistent rise of connected car penetration globally. Currently, 4G dominates the connected car market with almost 95% share. But as the automotive market is transitioning towards electrification, software-defined vehicles and autonomy, the need for seamless and faster in-vehicle connectivity will be fulfilled through 5G. By 2030, more than 90% of connected cars sold will have embedded 5G connectivity. Connected car sales are expected to grow at a CAGR of 13% between 2022 and 2030.”
*Sales here refer to wholesale figures, i.e. deliveries out of factories by respective brands, and consider only passenger cars with embedded connectivity.
The comprehensive and in-depth ‘Global Connected Car Tracker,Q1 2019-Q4 2022’ and ‘Global Connected Car Forecast, 2019-2030F’ are now available for purchase at report.counterpointresearch.com.
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Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media, and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.
The operating profit of LG Electronics* declined by 133% YoY in Q4 2022.
The revenue for Q4 2022 stood at KRW 15.47 trillion, a 1.6% growth YoY.
The revenue from the vehicle solutions segment grew 44.6% YoY to reach KRW 2.4 trillion.
LG Electronics’* total revenue in Q4 2022 was KRW 15.47 trillion ($11.37 billion), a mere 1.6% YoY growth. This brought the company’s 2022 total revenue to KRW 64.71 trillion ($50.3 billion). Although LG registered a positive YoY revenue growth during Q4 2022, the operating profit declined by 133% YoY, causing losses of KRW 104 billion ($76.6 million). This was primarily due to increased marketing expenditure, increased raw material prices, and currency devaluation compared to the US dollar. The business was also impacted by the extension of geopolitical risks in Europe and interest rate hikes in many nations to reduce inflation. The worsening macroeconomic conditions weakened consumer sentiment, leading to a decline in consumer electronics sales. The vehicle solutions segment stood as a bright spot due to strong demand and order backlog from auto OEMs.
The consumer electronics segment’s revenue fell 5.5% YoY to reach KRW 10.88 trillion ($8 billion). Its operating profit decreased by 127% due to rising marketing costs and fixed cost burdens. The contribution of this segment to LG’s Q4 revenue declined to 70.2% from 75.5% in Q4 2021.
Revenue from the vehicle solutions segment grew 44.6% YoY to reach an all-time high of KRW 2.4 trillion ($1.76 billion). This was primarily due to increased OEM orders and an improved automotive supply chain situation globally. Negative external factors like logistics costs and raw material supply chain are easing. Despite increasing expenses associated with running additional manufacturing subsidiaries, profits improved on increased sales. Vehicle solutions accounted for 15.5% of the total revenue in Q4 2022.
At the end of 2022, the vehicle solutions segment had a backlog amounting to KRW 80 trillion ($59 billion), underscoring the company’s position as a key supplier to the global auto industry. Infotainment accounted for more than 60% of the backlog value, xEV parts for 20%, and safety and convenience components for the rest.
Revenue from other businesses grew by 6.7% YoY in Q4 2022 to reach KRW 2.2 trillion ($1.62 billion). But low demand for IT products and global economic headwinds sent the operating profit down by 195% YoY.
LG Innotek’s revenue grew 14.4% YoY in Q4 2022 to KRW 6.5 trillion ($4.8 billion). The operating profit decreased by 60.5% to KRW 169 billion ($124 million). This brought LG’s consolidated revenue to KRW 21.8 trillion ($16.06 billion).
The anticipation of growing inflation, geopolitical uncertainties, mass layoffs and significant concerns about the economy weakening during the initial months of 2023 is likely to further impact LG’s profit in Q1 2023. LG aims to increase profitability by proactively cutting expenses and optimizing cost structures. LG stated that it would continue to improve the competitiveness of its premium goods like OLED TVs. Despite challenging financial conditions, LG is likely to invest around KRW 22 trillion this year in developing new sectors and broadening its business portfolio.
The vehicle solutions segment has the highest potential to earn high profits in coming quarters owing to a robust strategy to secure long-term product orders and the current order backlogs, despite uncertainties around vehicle demand in 2023. Besides, due to the high demand for infotainment and xEV components, this segment is likely to grow further, leading to a higher share of LG’s revenue.
*LG Innotek’s numbers are not included in the total revenue and have been mentioned separately.
2022 was a record-breaking year for NXP with solid profit growth and healthy free cash flow generation.
Accelerated growth drivers (except UWB) are on track within the expected revenue growth range (∼25%) to help take NXP’s total revenue to $15 billion by 2024.
For Q1 2023, the company expects revenue of about $3 billion. This would mean a deceleration of 4% YoY with a 9% downside sequentially.
NXP Semiconductors reported record revenues of $13.21 billion in 2022, a yearly growth of 19.4% on account of increased revenues in all end markets, unprecedented design wins across the entire portfolio and higher pricing (due to input cost inflation). Automotive and core IoT markets witnessed robust demand throughout 2022, outstripping the company’s supply capabilities. Consumer IoT and mobile markets experienced softening demand environment in the latter half of the year. In Q4 2022, NXP delivered revenues of $3.31 billion, up 9% YoY and down 4% QoQ. The Q4 revenues were $12 million better than the midpoint of the guidance with all markets performing in line or better than expected except the communication and infrastructure segment. The full-year non-GAAP gross profit was $7.64 billion with non-GAAP gross margin standing at 57.9%, an increase of 180 basis points YoY due to higher internal factory utilization and follow-through on higher revenues.
NXP’s automotive business captured 52.1% of the total revenue in 2022, an increase of 2.4% from the previous year. Revenue for the full year stood at $6.88 billion, a yearly growth of 25.2%. This growth was driven by higher pricing, record customer design wins (for xEV solutions – battery management solutions, inverter controls, other xEV control processors, etc.), and strong traction of company-product drivers owing to accelerated content increases within xEVs and premium car models.
Q4 revenues were $1.81 billion, up 17% YoY and flat QoQ, in line with the company’s guidance. Due to supply constraints, NXP couldn’t ship more in Q4.
NXP emphasized on its auto-specific accelerated growth drivers, which will help it with increased yearly revenues in the future. They include 77-gigahertz radar solutions, electrification systems, and the S32 domain and zonal processors. Customer enthusiasm for S32 processors continues to grow, far exceeding expectations. A major automotive OEM has selected the S32 family of automotive processors and microcontrollers for use across its fleet of vehicles beginning next decade.
In Q4, NXP introduced the high-performance S32K39 series MCUs for electrification applications like traction inverter control, BMS and OBC, and announced its collaboration with Delta Electronics in which the latter will utilize NXP’s S32 automotive platform and S32K39 MCUs to develop next-generation EV platforms. At the CES this year, it unveiled the SAF85xxSoC, the industry’s first 28-nanometer RFCMOS radar one-chip IC family for ADAS applications.
For Q1 2023 revenues, the company is estimating this segment to be up in the mid-teens and flattish on a YoY and QoQ basis respectively. Increased global automotive production and growing penetration of xEVs would prove beneficial for future revenue growth.
Industrial & IoT
The industrial and IoT segment’s revenue for 2022 was $2.71 billion, up 13% YoY. The growth can be attributed to higher pricing and demand for its industrial processors, and analog, connectivity, and security solutions. Specifically, its secure connected edge solutions (accelerated growth driver), which include both crossover and i.MX application familiesofprocessors, grew nearly 50% YoY in 2022.
Q4 revenues were better than their earlier guidance at $605 million, down 8% YoY and 15% QoQ respectively. Due to lockdowns in China and uncertain macro conditions, consumer-exposed IoT businesses saw a deceleration in revenue.
In Q4, the company launched its new analog front-end (N-AFE) family of devices targeting industrial applications, specifically software-defined factories. It will help with high-precision data acquisition and condition monitoring systems for factory automation. Schneider Electric is incorporating the N-AFE family in its industrial solutions. NXP also launched MCX N series MCUs for secure intelligent edge industrial and IoT applications and expanded its portfolio of end-to-end Matter solutions by announcing the RW612 and K32W148 wireless MCUs. Both are targeted toward smart home applications such as garage doors, thermostats, smart plugs, and smart lighting.
For Q1 2023, the industrial and IoT segment is expected to be in the negative territory in both YoY (low 30% range) and QoQ (low 20% range) terms. The core industrial business remains supply constrained in some areas while consumer IoT is expected to experience cyclical weakness in demand and potential correction of customer inventory.
For 2022, Mobile segment revenues stood at $1.61 billion, an increment of 14% YoY due to higher pricing and continued traction of the secure mobile wallet.
In Q4, it reported revenues of $408 million, up 9% YoY and down 0.5% QoQ, and faring better than the company’s guidance. As observed in the previous quarter, weakness in the Android mobile market continued to persist, affecting the largely channel-driven mobile business.
NXP’s mobile segment-specific accelerated growth driver Ultra-Wideband (UWB) was below the expected revenue growth range since NXP’s UWB solutions are aimed at the Android market, which is experiencing softening demand. However, the company is optimistic about this growth driver in the near future as it continues to build out its ecosystem and register more design wins both in the mobile and automotive sectors.
For Q1 2023, NXP is expecting this segment to be down in the mid-40% range both in YoY and QoQ terms. The mobile segment is dependent on a cyclical rebound and is expected to improve performance as and when the Android handset market fares better.
Communication infrastructure and other
The ‘communication infrastructure and other’ segment’s revenue in 2022 was $2 billion, up 15% YoY. This growth was driven by higher pricing and sales of in-demand solutions like network processors, secure transit and access products and RF-powered products for the cellular base station market.
Q4 revenues stood at $494 million, up 8% YoY but down 5% QoQ and below the company’s guidance. Weakness in this quarter had nothing to do with demand but was primarily due to operational issues and supply constraints.
NXP’s accelerated growth driver – RF power amplifiers – was on track as per its expected revenue growth range. The industry transition from LDMOS technology to gallium nitride happened faster than expected and the company’s revenue doubled YoY with respect to gallium nitride-based solutions. However, the demand continues to outstrip even its increasing supply capabilities.
In January 2023, NXP launched a new wideband GaN RF transistor – MMRF5018HS – primarily for aerospace and defense communications.
For Q1 2023, the guidance expects the revenues to be flat both in YoY and QoQ terms. NXP will try to improve its supply capabilities to cater to the pent-up demand in RFID packing solutions, e-government identification, 5G base station market build-out especially in India, and more.
Capex overview and inventory
Cash flow from operations stood at $3.9 billion in 2022. Net capex investments were $1.06 billion or 8% of overall revenue, a 1% jump from the previous year. Due to softening demand in consumer-oriented markets, internal front-end utilization rates have dropped for non-auto industrial products. From running in the high 90s in Q3 to touching 90% in Q4 2022 and in Q1 2023, it is expected to go down to 85%. Despite this, NXP is confident of keeping its gross margin within its long-term range of 55%-58% as it has a disciplined inventory management approach and a better grip on its cost structure, which is more variable in nature now than it was in past.
NXP continues to face shortages in certain nodes and other technologies like 180 nanometers, 9055 gallium nitride and the high-voltage analog mixed-signal (which are proprietary to NXP). This can lead to significant customer escalations which the company hopes will moderate by the end of this year. However, it remains optimistic about its supply capabilities in the future as its ability to cater to risk-adjusted backlog has gone up from 85% in 2022 to 90%-95% in 2023.
DOI has increased to 116 days, a 17-day sequential increment, and distribution channel inventory has been deliberately restricted to 1.6 months as opposed to its long-term target of 2.5 months. China’s market is experiencing weaker sell-through and NXP is being prudent about shipping more in the channel as it might not meet the true end demand and lead to an unnecessary inventory build-up. Since more than 50% of the company’s revenue goes through the channel, it is taking a very vigilant inventory management approach and keeping more than enough products in hand to fill the channel as and when required.
Input cost inflation due to supply chain constraints led to higher pricing for NXP solutions in 2022, a trend that will continue this year as well. Dynamic macro trends continue to pose an uncertain general demand environment and a potential rebound in the Chinese market could significantly improve end markets’ revenues, which is why managing internal and channel inventory is an important topic for the company. Overall, NXP is prepared for market uncertainties and will continue to execute diligently on its accelerated growth drivers and be disciplined with its operating expenses while protecting long-term R&D investments.
The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held in Las Vegas from January 5 to 8 this year, focused primarily on the automotive, IoT, smart home, healthcare, metaverse and XR, AI and computing segments. Counterpoint’s automotive team analyzed over 150 automotive-related announcements during CES to identify key trends. The main focus of the automotive industry at this year’s CES was on electric vehicles (EV), followed by autonomous vehicles, infotainment, connectivity, components and maps. There was a lot of excitement surrounding autonomous vehicles at the event, but EVs accounted for the biggest share of news flow.
Here are the top 10 automotive announcements from this year’s CES, according to Counterpoint analysts:
1. Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon Ride Flex SoC to bring software-defined vehicles to reality
Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon Ride Flex SoC, a disruptive solution for expanding its low-power, advanced computing capabilities into the automotive space as part of its Snapdragon Digital Chassis initiative. This solution is built on a heterogenous compute architecture that addresses multiple workloads and is pre-integrated with the Snapdragon Ride Vision Stack. This gives automakers the flexibility to use the Ride Vision Stack across all vehicle tiers without sacrificing performance. In addition, its cloud-native architecture enables a smooth workflow for software development and deployment. The Snapdragon Ride Flex SoC is expected to go into production by 2024. Qualcomm is striving to maintain its leadership position in the software-defined vehicle era and make the transition easier for automakers and tier-1 suppliers.
For a more detailed report on CES 2023’s automotive announcements, click here:
2. Sony Honda Mobility introduces Afeela EV brand
Sony Honda Mobility finally announced its JV brand Afeela, which will bring its first EV model to North America in 2026 followed by Japan and Europe. Afeela’s first production model was teased at CES 2023. Sony and Honda announced their JV back in March 2022. Afeela will introduce a series of EV models that will carry Sony’s expertise in IVI systems, ADAS components and in-cabin electronics, while Honda will contribute to the brand’s performance with its e-powertrain system as well as battery sourcing and charging capabilities. According to the announcement, Afeela aims to offer better vehicles at a relatively lower cost. These EVs are expected to be positioned above Honda’s own EVs, but whether Afeela will share the same slot with Honda’s premium Acura brand is yet to be determined.
3. BMW previews next-gen color-changing concept with ‘digital emotional experience’
BWM previewed its next-gen 3 series concept model based on the Neue Klasse platform. The new i Vision Dee concept (Dee stands for ‘digital emotional experience’) showcased a monolithic exterior styling that can be divided into 240 different segments. The whole exterior can support different design styles like stripes, patterns and animation, and can curate up to 32 different colors. Though detailed specifications have not been shared, i Vision Dee features a new OS and a new fully controllable HUD with windscreen projection. Traditional infotainment has been removed. The dashboard conceals various touch sensors which can be used to display content on the HUD. The model will be powered by BMW’s sixth-generation EV powertrain and is expected to enter production in 2025 as a BMW i3 successor.
4. Volkswagen showcases new ID.7 wrapped in electroluminescent camouflage
Volkswagen showcased its sixth all-electric ID model, the VW ID.7, wrapped in special QR code-inspired camouflage to hide the final styling. The camouflage was inspired by electroluminescent technology which lights up 22 different sectors of the car. Volkswagen disclosed some technical details before the model’s final reveal during the second quarter of 2023. Initially, the ID.7 will have a 77kWh battery pack and a claimed 700-km range. The interior will feature a 15-inch touchscreen infotainment system, an AR-based HUD and a smart HVAC system that can automatically modify the cabin temperature when the key fob is close. Volkswagen expects its new model will compete with Hyundai’s Ioniq 6 and Tesla’s Model 3.
5. LG, Magna form second JV for ‘executable’ autonomous driving, infotainment solutions
Two of the biggest tech companies LG and Magna have again joined hands to develop solutions for automated driving by leveraging their areas of expertise. LG and Magna already have a JV that manufactures e-powertrain and other hardware like inverters, motors and onboard chargers for EVs. The new JV will explore the ADAS and AV market to develop “executable” automated driving and infotainment solutions to enhance customer experience by addressing the toughest challenges. LG’s vehicle component arm has been eyeing new openings in the automotive market and believes the increased connectivity of cars of the future presents new opportunities.
6. Harman aims to make driving assistance more intuitive, safer
Harman is all set to deliver enhanced in-cabin safety and awareness through its AR-based HUD hardware and AR-based software products. Harman has been a trusted name for vehicle audio for decades but now as the automotive industry makes a transition towards software-based experiences, the company has developed its own technology that enhances the drivers’ experience by bridging the gap between physical and digital worlds in a non-intrusive manner through its AR-based HUDs. Harman’s Ready Vision uses ML-based 3D object detection and computer vision to deliver collision warnings, lane departure, low-speed zone notification, blind spot warnings and lane change assist with high precision without breaking the driver’s concentration. Harman claims Ready Vision works with precision even in the most unfamiliar driving scenarios, making driving safer.
7. BlackBerry has a busy CES with launches, partnerships
BlackBerry’s IVY software platform, developed in collaboration with Amazon, won its first design contract with PATEO for the all-electric VOYAH H97 model’s digital cockpit. BlackBerry also launched QNX Accelerate, which supports the QNX RTOS and QNX OS for safety in the AWS marketplace. Leading tier-1 suppliers like Continental and Marelli are already testing it to create automotive metaverse environments for software-defined vehicles. BlackBerry is partnering with Elektrobit to develop automotive safety solutions using the Rust programming language. It has also formed partnerships with Texas Instruments for embedded software development and with Garmin for improving the in-car experience. These partnerships show that BlackBerry is attempting to regain market presence through its infotainment, security and OS products.
8. Innoviz launches new LiDAR, forms multiple partnerships
Innoviz, a leading player in solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software, unveiled the Innoviz360, a cost-effective and high-performance LiDAR that will support a range of non-automotive applications such as smart cities, logistics, maritime, heavy machinery, and construction, in addition to Level 4-5 (L4 and L5) autonomy applications. Loxo, a zero-emission autonomous vehicle provider for last-mile delivery, has partnered with Innoviz to use the InnovisOne LiDAR. Deep-tech company EXways, which works in 3D LiDAR processing, has also partnered with Innoviz to leverage the technology for multiple applications.
Innoviz has previously formed partnerships with major automakers such as BMW and Volkswagen, as well as tier-1 supplier Magna. At CES, Innoviz also showcased the InnovizTwo LiDAR, which it claims offers a 30x performance improvement over the InnovizOne and a 70% cost reduction. With the growing adoption of autonomous vehicles, LiDAR technology is expected to be high in demand as major auto OEMs including Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, BMW, Stellantis, Volkswagen and Volvo plan to use it.
NVIDIA is partnering with Hyundai Motor, BYD and Polestar to offer a cloud gaming experience through its NVIDIA GeForce NOW service for cars. GeForce users will be able to access over 1,000 paid and free games through this service. While video games are not new in cars, the addition of GeForce will provide a more PC-like gaming experience. This will also drive the trend of cellular connectivity in the passenger vehicle market, as cloud gaming will require embedded 4G or 5G connectivity.
10. Google launches HD maps, partners with Volvo, Polestar
Google announced that it would make HD maps available for Level 2+ autonomous vehicles. The Volvo EX90 and Polestar 3 will use Google’s HD maps service in addition to Google’s Android Auto solution. While Google is gaining some traction in the automotive sector through its Android Auto offerings, it will face strong competition from existing players like HERE and TomTom whose offerings in HD maps and other related services are helping them maintain leadership in the location platform market. To compete with these leading players and local players like Amap, Navinfo, Naver, MapmyIndia and Zenrin, Google is seeking to enhance the user experience in this segment.
HERE took an unassailable lead across major criteria such as Location Intelligence, Location Services and Platform by a wide margin.
TomTom and Mapbox moved up the rankings with a more holistic platform play across consumer, enterprise and auto verticals when compared to Google.
2022 saw the entry and expansion of newer players such as Huawei Petal Maps, MIREO, Carto and Otonomo.
Regional champions such as Navinfo, Naver, Zenrin, Yandex and MapmyIndia continued to do well in their home markets, besides striking partnerships to expand abroad.
Seoul, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Beijing, London, Buenos Aires, San Diego – January 2, 2023
2022 was a pivotal year for the “mobility” ecosystem, especially location platforms. These platforms continued to build robust, meaningful capabilities while striking key partnerships within the ecosystem to digitally transform different applications, from smart automotive and data-driven IoT/enterprise to consumer-centric location experiences.
The power of location as a context blended with the continuous stream of telemetry data and visualized to derive insights or autonomous capabilities has become the new battleground transforming mapping and location platforms into “data platforms”.
As a result, these location platforms are becoming modular, offering rich data, services via APIs, co-creation services, analytics, and visualization tools to empower the developers to build powerful location-centric experiences. However, choosing the right platform is challenging for enterprises and developers. It warrants a thorough evaluation and understanding of the vendor’s capabilities as well as success of these platforms.
To help better understand the key location platforms’ capabilities and market trends, Counterpoint has released its latest edition of the Location Platform Effectiveness Scorecard report, which analyzes 30+ leading mapping and location platform vendors using our proprietary CORE (COmpetitive Ranking Evaluation) framework. This comprehensive and detailed evaluation is based on 65+ key capabilities spanning seven categories – maps data, location intelligence, location services, data platform, developer ecosystem, partners, and customer rolodex growth since our last update.
2022 location and mapping platform CORE scorecard analysis
HERE, the “Switzerland of Location Platforms”continues to leadthe location platform rankings for the sixth year in a row. In the last 12 months, HERE continued to enhance its industry-leading platform with newer differentiated capabilities, partnerships (like aws) and customer wins (Vinfast, Volta Trucks, Smart) targeting advanced applications. Some examples of Here’s products and services include ADAS/ISA Maps, EV, Truck Routing, Asset Tracking, Last Mile and Workspace low-code map creation tool.
Counterpoint Research Vice President Neil Shah added, “HERE leads the global location platform rankings in terms of comprehensiveness, completeness, capabilities and customer success. HERE has leapfrogged competition in multiple aspects, from providing accurate location data and services content via its platform to helping the companies transform themselves digitally with its consulting, implementation and support services.”
“HERE continued to widen the gap with rivals, leading across most of our evaluation categories. During the year, we saw broader diversification of HERE’s portfolio across geographies, verticals and applications. With its advanced mapping, navigation content and highly scalable and automated location platform, HERE remains the number one choice when it comes to automotive, logistics and enterprise verticals. HERE’s location platform is nearing an inflection point looking at its strong pipeline of licensing, monetization, and co-creation of IP opportunities across the ecosystem.”
TomTom surpassed Google to take the second rank for the first time in Counterpoint’s Location Platform CORE evaluation rankings. 2022 was quite an eventful year for the Dutch map maker. The company rebranded itself with a new logo and announced the “TomTom maps platform”, which includes new maps, and mapping platform and ecosystem.
Commenting on TomTom’s growth this year, Research Analyst Mohit Sharma said, “The new transformed TomTom maps platform, developer experience and newer capabilities have helped the vendor gain some mind share and market share. TomTom has taken a modular approach for its new platform, focusing on data and services across the automotive, enterprise and consumer applications while striking new partnerships and customer wins in 2022. This has helped TomTom lift its overall evaluation and surpass Google.”
For example, TomTom’s entry into the digital cockpit segment with its “TomTom Digital Cockpit” has seen traction in striking partnerships with developers such as Spotify, Access, Cinemo, Amazon Alexa and Tier-1 suppliers like HARMAN and Bosch. Another important win is TomTom joining MIH Consortium with Foxconn to strengthen its presence in next-generation smart mobility vehicles. In terms of platform capabilities, TomTom expanded its automated driving portfolio and coverage with some customer wins, such as Hyundai Motor Group, Fisker and other automakers for its L2+ driving maps. In the enterprise segment, it has managed a few significant customer wins across fleet, logistics, last-mile and ride-hailing companies. TomTom has also moved to strengthen its partnership with top tech companies such as Amazon, Meta and Microsoft by co-founding “Overture maps”, which should help the vendor gain some mind share and scale.
Google was the third-ranked location and mapping platform provider globally, having been surpassed by TomTom this year for the first time. Google continues to benefit from strong coverage in the consumer space thanks to Android devices helping the vendor score well on data scale, depth, freshness, coverage and usage. Traction in the automotive space via Android Auto has also helped Google maintain some presence in the automotive vertical against bigger and more successful competitors such as HERE and TomTom.
Commenting on Google’s evaluation, Research Director Jeff Fieldhack said, “Google continues to focus on B2C (smart devices) and B2B2C applications (retail, logistics and O2O services) for the Google Maps platform from the perspective of capabilities and overall Google Cloud strategy. Location-based services from the search, discovery and visualization perspective for its Android users have been the sweet spot for the Google Maps platform. The adoption and scale across transport and logistics have been strong, especially for consumer-facing enterprises, delivering more than 10 billion geocodes monthly and 800 million routes daily.
However, the Google Maps platform slipped in our rankings due to its lack of vision, focus and portfolio capabilities, and alignment with other high-value automotive and enterprise–grade opportunities. Its advertising-centric business model is one of the reasons for its elusive position in these verticals to become an all-round location platform.”
Mr. Sharma, added” Mapbox jumped to the fourth position in our rankings due to its focus on the developer community, visualization capabilities like 3D Globe Maps and announcement of new features and capabilities like new core style maps and analytics tool “co-pilot”. Over the past years, Mapbox has pivoted itself to capture the automotive and logistics segment and strengthened its presence by introducing products and services like ISA Maps, EV routing and Mapbox fleet. In the process, it managed to get a few new customers like Toyota and FedEx.”
In terms of evaluation for the top four platforms:
HERE led in more than 40 capabilities including maps data depth, freshness, ADAS (ISA) maps, HD maps, navigation, routing, EV services, tracking and positioning, developer support, platform privacy, security and more.
TomTom led in navigation, offline maps coverage, traffic, infotainment and other areas.
Google led in overall maps data reach, coverage, depth, POIs, AR, indoor maps and other areas.
Mapbox led in developer support, visualization capabilities and other areas.
With the increase in EV penetration and high demand for automated driving features in many markets, like China, Japan, South Korea and India, local map players like Amap, Navinfo, Naver, Zenrin and MapmyIndia are doubling down on capabilities, partnerships and customer wins. Other opportunities include transport and logistics, fleet optimization, on-demand services and enterprise verticals. New entrants such as Huawei Petal Maps are looking to make a mark in the consumer space as an alternative to Google Maps.
Data platforms such as Wejo, Carto and Otonomo are continuing their run-up, getting traction from some good customers and partners, and intensifying the competition. However, the absence of a full stack of first-party data – maps and location services like the top three – makes them not so unique and easily replicable. Where they score is in their ability to act as a competitive marketplace to exchange, integrate and analyze the location data.
Many more insights, evaluations and analyses on the key platform players’ product offerings, business models, key focus areas, capabilities, major development partnerships, customer wins and other parameters are captured in our comprehensive report which will be published on our portal.
Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry
Q3 2022 revenue increased 8% YoY to reach ₩16.12 trillion helped by higher sales of vehicle solutions.
Vehicle solutions revenue jumped 46% YoY during the quarter, helped by the improved global semiconductor supply and increased auto production in China.
Operating profit increased 33% YoY to reach ₩0.79 trillion.
LG Electronics (LG) reported an 8% YoY growth in Q3 2022 revenue to reach ₩16.12 trillion despite considerable macro headwinds but helped by higher sales in its vehicle solutions and business-to-business segments. Quarterly gross profit rose 5% YoY to ₩5.05 trillion while operating profit grew sharply by 33% YoY to reach ₩0.79 trillion.
During the quarter, investor sentiment was weak due to a steep devaluation of the South Korean won against the US dollar, hurt by strong economic headwinds. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 6.5% in Q3 2022, which negatively affected LG’s performance.
Revenue from the consumer electronics segment fell 1% YoY to ₩11.19 trillion due to increased logistics costs and lower demand for premium products like TVs. This segment contributed to 69% of total revenue during the quarter.
Among all the segments, vehicle solutions was the best performer. The segment’s revenue jumped 46% YoY to ₩2.35 trillion during the quarter helped by the relative improvement in the global semiconductor supply chain. The segment accounted for 15% of the company’s total revenue. China faced a lot of factory shutdowns in the preceding quarter due to regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As factories reopened in Q3, there was an increase in production which helped meet the heightened demand for electronics components in the automotive industry. This, combined with an improved cost structure, helped LG achieve strong growth figures for the period.
Revenue from other businesses grew 23% YoY reaching ₩2.60 trillion. Despite an increase in sales, the profitability of this segment decreased 63% due to lower demand for IT products and higher raw material costs.
LG’s gross profit increased 5% YoY to reach ₩5.04 While the company’s operating profit grew sharply, gross profit growth was relatively muted because of increased market competition, low consumer demand, increased raw material prices, increased marketing expenses and the energy crisis.
The current global business environment is quite difficult, burdened by rising inflation, supply chain disruptions, geo-political tensions, increased logistic costs and the energy crisis, which have weighed negatively on consumer sentiment across industries. LG plans to prioritize on the development of new software platforms and adjust its channel inventory to overcome the ongoing crisis. LG will focus on its premium consumer electronics products and will likely maintain maximum margins to secure high profits. The company will also apply cost-saving initiatives to reduce raw material costs.
The vehicle solutions segment has the highest potential to expand as the global semiconductor shortage is easing out and OEMs like Honda, GM and Stellantis are working to jointly produce battery cells. Moreover, LG has secured an order worth ₩1 trillion from Tesla to supply automotive camera modules for the Tesla Model 3, Model Y and Cybertruck. These new deals will drive LG’s vehicle solutions segment to a great future.
LG is also strengthening its focus on new technologies like metaverse and robotics. It recently partnered with KT Corporation to expand its AI robot service business. LG will also establish an R&D centre and develop robots for logistics, education and healthcare services. LG’s strategic partnership with TmaxMetaverse will boost development across metaverse solutions and web-based metaverse services. The company will have the opportunity to capitalize on these technologies by the time they mature at the end of the decade, which will help it boost revenue.
The share of Level 2 cars in the US’ total car sales increased to 46.5% in H1 2022.
Toyota and Honda led the Level 2 segment with 24% and 14% shares respectively.
ADAS penetration is expected to cross 80% in the US by 2023.
Fully autonomous cars (L4-L5) are taking longer than projected to reach the market.
New Delhi,London, San Diego, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul – November 15, 2022
Cars with Level 2 (L2) autonomy features increased their share in the total car sales in the US to 46.5% in H1 2022, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s US Autonomous Vehicle Tracker. The L2 cars’ share is rising because Level 1 (L1) features such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Centering Assist (LCA) do not create much value for consumers and brands. But the usability and value go up when both of these ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) features are bundled together to offer L2 autonomy. Many brands offer ADAS suites, like Ford’s Co-Pilot 360, Toyota’s Safety Sense and BMW’s Active Driving Assistant, though these suites offer L0-L2 features currently. All this has helped ADAS (L1-L2) penetration in the US to cross 70% in H1 2022.
Commenting on the adoption of autonomous vehicles, Research Analyst Mohit Sharma said, “Fully autonomous cars (L4-L5) look distant in the future as autonomous driving has turned out to be more complex than thought. However, now automakers like GM, Ford and Tesla are wooing customers by offering L2+ hands-free driving systems to make driving less stressful on the highway. Volume carmakers like Toyota and Honda have added L2 ADAS as a standard feature in their latest car models. The carmakers have also increased the availability of L2 for more models by offering an ADAS suite/package as a standard or option for lower price bands.”
Commenting on the autonomous vehicle business, Research Director Jeff Fieldhack said, “Automakers are looking to create new revenue streams through a subscription model for over-the-air (OTA) updates for driving technologies. However, for this to happen, the cars should have the necessary hardware to enable L2+ or L3 driving systems. This subscription model will be good for both customers and OEMs as customers could buy according to their needs and OEMs would have a recurring revenue model.”
In H1 2022, Toyota and Honda sold the most cars with L2 driving systems and led the L2 car market with 24% and 14% sales share respectively. Premium brands like Mercedes-Benz still offer L2 as an option in most of their models except high-end models like the S-Class.
The hype over autonomous driving has been so much that most of the auto OEMs invested heavily in launching autonomous vehicles. In fact, during the initial years, a few OEMs like Ford, Volvo and Honda wanted to skip Level 3. Some parts of the world have already seen the launch of Level 3 cars, but the US is still waiting for such cars due to the absence of federal autonomous vehicle regulations. Auto companies are now realizing that L4-L5 driving will take longer than thought and, therefore, want to target the L2+ and L3 market. For instance, Ford and other major automakers like GM, Hyundai and Nissan are introducing L2+ capabilities to their cars. This will help the carmakers increase the adoption rate of L2+ and L3 driving features.
Commenting on the market outlook, Associate Research Director, Brady Wang said, “The US’ ADAS (L1 and L2) penetration is expected to cross 80% by 2023 as consumers become more aware of the ADAS capabilities for safe and convenient driving. As the autonomous vehicle industry becomes mature, it will see consolidation in the near term. For instance, we witnessed the demise of autonomous driving company Argo AI last month.”
Counterpoint tracks and forecasts the autonomous vehicle market on a quarterly basis across major geographies and brands.
Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.
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