ORANGE LANDS IN EUROPE, ITALY THE SPRINGBOARD
The commercial onslaught of the Taiwanese company in Southern Europe starts from Milan, with a universal programmable TPMS sensor, for which Orange has provided a broad-based support system, from online help to video tutorials explaining the different operations of programming and fitting
Mino De Rigo
Since November 2014, under the European regulations 661/2009, all newly registered passenger vehicles must be equipped with a tire pressure detection system. And now the market for TPMS sensors (Tire pressure monitoring systems) has become increasingly crowded, a competitive arena for international manufacturers. Sensors installed as OE by the manufacturers can break or, after a while, the internal battery runs out and, during the seasonal tire change between summer and winter tires, as well as during routine tire rotation procedures, a vehicle’s TPMS needs to be worked on. Beside OE sensors, the market provides for universal sensors as well and, in addition, for programming and diagnostic kits. Last among the Asian producers to appear on the continental market, Taiwan based Orange Electronic has appeared with a whole class of goods and services, and most importantly, has done so by establishing its headquarters in Milan, from where it is ready to coordinate the activities of business and development strategies throughout Southern Europe. A subsidiary that, next to the commercial offices, can boast a warehouse and a contact center, needed to maintain a direct line with distributors and provide local support.
Asma Nacer, Key account manager of Orange Electronic says: "For us, Italy is a strategic market, in which we hope to consolidate our presence and gradually expand into other Mediterranean countries."
OE and European manufacturers
Holland and Sweden have been chosen as headquarters respectively for Central Europe and the Scandinavian countries. "We believe it is still too early to go into details about our expansion policy. Certainly the first phase of our plans focuses mainly on Alpine regions, from northern Italy to Switzerland and Austria, as well as the south of France, Germany and the Benelux". The company, which is based in Taiwan and has over 120 employees and a turnover of more than $ 13 million, specializes in the development and marketing of TPMS for cars, motorcycles and trucks, and operates on both original and aftermarket equipment.
As OE (Original equipment), supplier, Orange Electronics has business agreements with Toyota, Mitsubishi (Lancer, New Colt Plus, Outlander and Fuso), as well as, among others, Luxgen and Geely, alongside partnerships with Peugeot and Kymco for the Metropolis 400i and 700i MyRoad scooters. Moreover, among its ODM (original design manufacturer) customers we find Mugen Honda, Asso International and Japan Daytona. It is no coincidence, then, that the development of the Asian company's TPMS goes hand in hand with motorsports: "Motor racing - says Nacer - is an excellent test bed for our new products". Efficiency and durability during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, speed and performance in Formula Nippon, while for reliability in extreme environmental conditions, the choice is the Dakar Rally. Building on such solid foundations, Orange Electronic introduces itself to top European manufacturers, with the goal of becoming a regular OE supplier.
Universal TPMS as spare parts
Ambitious expectations and plans also and especially for aftermarket products, given the fast sales growth driven not only by mandatory EU regulations for new vehicles, but also by seasonal tire replacement, since sensors must equip also winter tires. "Our leading product - says the manager of Orange Electronic - is a programmable TPMS device, able to replace nearly all OE sensors on the market. The system uses Auto-location technology, which allows the vehicle to automatically recognize the position of each sensor mounted on each tire. This greatly simplifies the work of tire fitters, especially when having to replace tires".
To facilitate programming, installation and dismantling procedures, Orange Electronic engineers have prepared an extensive series of video tutorials, all available online. "Around this product we have developed a complete range of TPMS to cover the many needs of the market. Moreover, all our devices use standard batteries". Founded in 2005, Orange Electronic is celebrating its tenth anniversary. "We are a young company - said Nacer – made up of young people driven by innovation and development. We have a deep knowledge, which has helped us to develop our products internally, as we designed the equipment and software aimed at managing production processes. In addition, all employees are encouraged to submit proposals to improve quality and efficiency and to contribute to the development of new devices and components".
Racing through the stages
Orange Electronic, as it is fitting for a hi-tech company, also provides special awards to further motivate its employees. In its first ten years of life, Orange Electronic has already produced 33 patents, 9 of which registered in the US, four in Japan as well as one in Korea". Our main trade mark is the ability to innovate, supported by continuous investment in research and development. We are also very careful about appropriate certification issues both for the product and for the manufacturing process. All TPMS produced in our factories have obtained the necessary safety approvals: the FMVSS 138 from the US Department of Transportation, the SAE J2657 by the homonymous international standards organization, the CE marking, not to mention the ISO and RoHs environmental certifications". The current monthly production capacity of Orange Electronic stands at around 460 thousand TPMS: within a few years, it should more than double, bringing the total annual production to over 12 million. All this, in the wake of a roadmap that saw the Taiwanese company run through the stages. A year after its founding in 2006, the turnover was just over 346 thousand dollars; in 2010, the quantum leap that saw it move to over 4.6 million, a figure that has nearly tripled since. Now, the next phase: expanding its business in Europe.
TPMS, A CONTRIBUTION TO SAFETY
Their presence, as a contribution to the safety of motor vehicles and drivers, is a must according to the European standard for new motor vehicle approval, but represents also a path towards a prosperous economic horizon. For TPMS, tire pressure monitoring system, global demand, according to a study by Research and Markets, has reached 29.39 million items in 2013, and should reach, within three years, an estimated figure of 55 million. It is conceivable that, by then, the European market share could be not far off the 10 million mark, about one-sixth of the total. In recent years, the growing awareness of Western countries, marketing and greater consumer awareness have spurred greater attention around the TPMS and a higher market demand. Demand for OEM TPMS has increased by 32.8% on a yearly basis up to 2.47 million devices in 2013. The list of international manufacturers is quite long and includes, among others, Continental, Beru, Schrader, Trw, Hitachi Automotive Systems, next to Lear and Pacific Industrial, who have recently set up production bases in China. In July 2014, Pacific Industrial has invested 180 million RMB (about 23 million euro) in the creation of a subsidiary - Pacific Auto Parts Technology (Changshu) Co., Ltd. - for the production of TPMS, which should become operational as of April 2016. And soon enough we will also hear of Chinese manufacturers who are already making waves at home, beginning with Baolong, Kysonix, Top Sun, Sate Auto and Hangsheng. Another evidence of the changing automotive geography, which sees the Land of the Dragon fast becoming the world’s leading market.