Each year, car manufacturers introduce model updates with minor upgrades to paint color, interior trim, or small technological changes that make the car feel fresh without the cost and resources spent on full model redesigns. But, even with these updates, the 6–8-year average between major redesigns can feel like a long time to wait for interested customers. To provide a more significant update before the major redesign, many carmakers utilize the automotive facelift, also known as the “mid-cycle refresh” or “model refresh”, every 2-3 years.
OLED lighting technology (OLEDs) can offer great benefits to drivers and automakers through increased functionality and potential cost savings. Below, we will explore why OLEDs are an ideal technology for an automotive facelift.
The Model Lifecycle
Most drivers are familiar with the fact that automakers typically release yearly updates to each of their car models. These updates are usually minor in nature and can include new paint color options, interior trim updates, new seating materials, or small technology changes. Regular updates allow carmakers to remain current with technological advancements and consumer preferences but have significant cost savings over major redesigns.
The full car model redesign typically occurs every 6-8 years and is a full update to the car from the ground up. This remodel can include every aspect of the car ranging from overall body shape to lighting technologies, interior design, chassis, and engine. The time and resources needed to perform a full model redesign are significant.
The facelift or “model refresh” is an intermediary step that is more significant than the yearly update, and less significant than a full model redesign. Facelifts typically happen every 2-3 years and can include any minor update seen in a yearly release, as well as some more substantial updates like new headlights, new rear lighting, grille updates, and more. The cost of a facelift is more substantial than a yearly update, but still tends to fall significantly short of that needed for a redesign.
OLED Technology for Automotive Facelifts
The unique form factor and unparalleled performance of OLED lighting make this technology an ideal fit for a car facelift or mid-cycle refresh. Because of its naturally homogenous emission, OLED lighting can be designed with individually addressable segments within the panel design. These segments are programmable to display information through symbols, dynamic animations, or branded elements such as logos.
Through the comparatively low cost of replacing one rear lighting element, the entire back of the car can look new and refreshed, adding value for drivers, and justifying premium pricing for vehicles.
Additionally, the symbols and animations possible within each model can be updated through a simple push of a button. For cars that already have OLED lighting installed, automakers can promise ongoing updates to drivers through pre-programmed software updates and can offer drivers personalized light signatures that could be selected through an app-based system. This personalized experience creates a unique selling position for the vehicle and the potential to open new revenue streams through subscription-based animations or animation packages available for purchase through manufacturer apps.
To learn more about all the possibilities that OLED technology offers, download our latest automotive eBook.