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      History of Marelli Automotive Lighting

      Milestones on our way to future

      Marelli Automotive Lighting, previously Automotive Lighting was founded in 1999 as a joint venture of Magneti Marelli and Robert Bosch. This offered the opportunity to combine the knowledge in lighting technology of two companies with longstanding experience.

      The history of Marelli Automotive Lighting is based on Italian-German tradition. Famous Italian car lighting supplier Carello SpA (founded in 1876) was acquired by Magneti Marelli in 1987. German Robert Bosch GmbH started to produce electrical automobile headlamps in 1912 and created a division called “Bosch-Lighting” in 1913. Both companies founded together Automotive Lighting. Today, after the merger of Magneti Marelli and Calsonic Kansei to MARELLI, Marelli Automotive Lighting is a division of the MARELLI Group.

      Below you will find some key milestones in the evolution of lighting technology and some major events. Navigate over the timeline and discover the history of Automotive Lighting.

      More than 100 years of growth

      • 2020

        2020 is a very special year and everything is different.
        Due to Covid-19 pandemic events take place online. Also the very prestigious Automotive News PACE Awards event. Marelli Automotive Lighting has the honor to be awarded for the digital light module h-Digi.
      • 2019

        Matrix or digital?
        We can both. Our LED-Matrix and digital light experience further development. With intelligent light functions and assist functions we keep turning light into day.
      • 2019

        Magneti Marelli and Calsonic Kansei unite
        MARELLI, one of biggest global automotive suppliers is born and Automotive Lighting becomes MARELLI’s lighting division MARELLI Automotive Lighting.
      • 2018

        First High Resolution Projector Type Headlamp
        Automotive Lighting started a limited series production of IDEAL “Intelligent Digital Electronic Automotive Lighting” headlamps with high resolution DLP-technology (“Digital Light Processing”) using intelligent DMD-units (“Digital Mirror Devices”) for Mercedes-Benz Maybach line.
      • 2018

        First Camera-Controlled LASER Headlamp with ADB
        Automotive Lighting introduced intelligent ADB-headlamps with second generation LASER-modules and integrated safety control concept. Electronically controlled LASER-modules are generating Glarefree High Beam and adapt electro-mechanically the vertical and horizontal cut-off-lines.
      • 2017

        First Adaptive All-LED Headlamp with Multi-Colour Chips
        Automotive Lighting launched DS7 headlamp with 7 mechatronic actuators per lamp, multi-colour (RGB) chips generating 11 lighting functions controlled by 3 level communication network (CAN, LINext, LINint) – A real magic movement.
      • 2016

        Adaptive All-LED Taillamp
        with sparkling shell reflectors including the functions “ambient light adaptation”, “emergency signaling” and “collision warning” for Mercedes-Benz E-Class on the market.
      • 2016

        First REAL MATRIX Headlamp on the Road
        The matrix module with 84 pixel in 3 rows was engineered and developed for Mercedes-Benz. Series production at Automotive Lighting started early 2017.
      • 2015

        Automotive Lighting and Audi
        are honored by the Red Dot Design Award. “Best of the Best” for the headlamp of Audi TT3 electronic 1-row matrix.
      • 2015

        Automotive Lighting
        received the Red Dot Design Award. “Winner” for the taillamp concept with OLED-lightsources and progressively animated functions.
      • 2015

        Plant opening in China
        The joint-venture of Automotive Lighting the Chinese state owned enterprise China South Industries Group (CSI), is located in the three-million-city Xiaogan in the southeast Chinese province Hubei.
      • 2014

        LASER-battle by BMW and Audi
        With BMW i8, the bavarian carmaker brings the first Laser High Beam on the road. Audi speeds up and announces at the same time its first Laser High Beam in the R8 LMX model. The headlamp of Audi was made by Automotive Lighting.
      • 2014

        EU Eco Innovation Certificate
        The scalable e-Light with a power consumption of 11 Watt in the low beam was been honored as eco innovation by the European Commission. It allows for a CO2 saving of 1 g / km per car. One of the first eco innovations hornored by the EU.
      • 2013

        Worldwide first ALL-LED Taillamp with Progressive Turn-Signal
        Automotive Lighting starts series production of application of ALL-LED taillamp with a progressively wiping turn signal for Audi R8 series.
      • 2013

        All-LED Headlamp with electro-mechanical ADB
        Automotive Lighting proves that the glare-free high beam can be realized by dynamic reflectors BMW 4- and 6-Series.
      • 2013

        First intelligent All-LED Headlamp with ANV and PML
        The intelligent adaptive headlamp with Active Night Vision (ANV) in IRED-technology and Pulsed Marker Light (using motoric controlled cutoff-line) is launched by Automotive Lighting in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
      • 2012

        100 years of Electrical Automotive Lighting
        Technology anniversary celebrating
        • since 1978 vehicle lighting from Carello
        • since 1912 electrical automotive lighting from Carello
        • since 1913 full electric lighting systems from Bosch
      • 2011

        Red Dot Design Award
        for the design of the intelligent camera controlled All-LED headlamp “Intelligent Light System” (ILS) of Mercedes-Benz CLS 2nd generation.
      • 2011

        Introduction of the PML for Pedestrian Protection
        The world’s first LED ?Active Night Vision“ system (ANV) with LED-based ?Pulsed Marker Light“ (PML) is introduced in the Mercedes-Benz in CL-class Coupe.
      • 2010

        Daimler Innovation Award
        for the camera controlled All-LED headlamp. The intelligent high-performance headlamp in the Mercedes CLS was presented in 2010 in Paris: The All-LED headlamp adapts automatically the beam pattern using electric actuators in a dynamic mode corresponding to all driving situation.
      • 2010

        First Fully Electronical Controlled Adaptive All-LED Headlamp
        Camera-controlled all-LED-headlamp with electronically controlled adaptive functions started in series production for Audi A7.
      • 2009

        First 3D-Lightbar Application in LED-Taillamps
        Second generation of light-guide technology started to be produced using thick 3-dimensional light bar optics for BMW 7-series taillamps. Developed by Automotive Lighting, Tolmezzo, Italy.
      • 2008

        Joint Venture for Indian Market
        A joint venture of Magneti Marelli and Motherson Sumi Systems for lighting products was founded in India.
      • 2008

        First World-Wide Series All-LED Headlamp
        Audi and AL developed the first ?true“ All-LED headlamp for the Audi R8. The first time that all lighting functions of a vehicle headlamp were realized by using only electronical light sources.

        First standard LED ECU for high-power main lighting functions.

        Automotive Lighting's first All-LED headlamp in the Audi R8 was awarded the ?red dot award“ in 2008 in the category of product design.
      • 2007

        First All-LED taillamp Jaguar XKR
        with 6 functions in semiconductor technology from Automotive Lighting, St. Julien, France.
      • 2006

        Launch of production plant in China
        Automotive Lighting started to produce lamps in a chinese manufacturing plant.
      • 2005

        Acquisition of Turkish Supplier MAKO
        With the industrial site of Mako at Bursa in Turkey Automotive Lighting extended his footprint and the competences of exterior lighting and other products into the middle eastern area.
      • 2005

        AFS with Active Infrared Emitter in Mercedes-Benz S-Class
        In 2005, Mercedes-Benz created a sensation with the first world-wide sold active night vision System ANV. Like the AFS-headlamp as a whole, the active infrared emitter is supplied by Automotive Lighting, Brotterode, Germany.
      • 2003

        Automotive Lighting
        becomes 100 % subsidiary of Magneti Marelli.
      • 2003

        Introduction of Dynamic Curve Light
        BMW launches Xenon headlamps with dynamically swivelled projector units. Automotive Lighting started in 2003 to equip several BMW series with this new adaptive lighting technology: 3, 6 and X3-Series.

        Integrated AFS Xenon ECUs: “AL-Box”
        Automotive Lighting developed the AL-Box, the world first fully integrated Xenon ECU with steppermotor driver and intelligent CAN-Bus gateway for BMW’ and Mercedes-Benz’ headlamps.
      • 2003

        First adaptive rearlighting system
        using the automatically activated Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) function from Automotive Lighting for Peugeot 807.
      • 2001

        Acquisition of rear lamp supplier Seima
        The Seima Group consists of the companies Axo, Yorka, Seima italiana. The distribution of the shares in the joint venture of Bosch and Magneti Marelli changes: Magneti Marelli 75 %, Bosch 25 %.
      • 2001

        First Neon Taillamp worldwide
        Rearlighting systems based on Neon-technology opened again new styling opportunities. The challenging electronical control for this innovative technology limited however large-scale implementation. Developed by Seima/Automotive Lighting in Tolmezzo, Italy for BMW Z8.
      • 1999

        Joint venture of Bosch and Magneti Marelli
        A new global lighting player is created: Automotive Lighting.
      • 1997

        First All-LED Taillamp
        A rearlighting unit with tailfunction, turn-indicator and brake light all in LED technology. Produced by Seima, Italy for Maserati 3200 GT.
      • 1991

        A new epoque in vehicle lighting started – Xenon-light: Electronic controlled and ignitor switched high intensity discharge bulbs were used the first time in series cars‘ headlamps. Light color changed from 2.800 to 4.600 K – close to daylight. The luminous flux of these first Xenon bulbs trippled the light performance from former 1.000 to more than 3.000 lm. A visibility range of 125 m in low beam and 250 m in high beam mode improved the safety conditions of night time driving.
      • 1988

        Magneti Marelli grows
        Magneti Marelli (*1919) acquires Carello (*1876).
      • 1987

        Magneti Marelli lights
        Magneti Marelli founds the Lighting Group.
      • 1986

        BMW 7-Series Projector Type Headlamp
        Instead of parabolic reflectors used so far, this headlamp was the first to have projectors with aspheric inner lenses and reflector surfaces in the form of a three-axis ellipsoid, with the bulb in the focal point (Hella “DE” or Bosch “PES” headlamp).
      • 1971

        H4 Halogen Dual Filament Bulb
        Bosch introduces a H4 dual filament bulb headlamp with one reflector for both beam modes: Main and dipped beam.
      • 1962

        Halogen Auxiliary Lights
        Introduction of the first Halogen auxiliary lights. The Halogen technology increased the light output for a given power consumption of an incadescent light bulb and eliminated black-ening of the bulb glass with usage.
      • 1955

        Asymmetric Low Beam
        1955 Bosch Patent DE 1071621 for asymmetric low beam.
        Asymmetric low beam from Bosch in the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, which significantly improve vision at night from 60 to 85 m.
      • 1928

        Multi-Cavity Multi-Function Lamp
        Rearlighting from Bosch encorporating various functions are produced for Mercedes 26/120/180 PS Typ S.
        Introduction of trafficator lights.
      • 1924

        OSRAM Bilux Bulbs
        with individual filament which can be switched between high and low beam with a performance of 60 m range and a luminance of 1 lux.
      • 1921

        Complete Exterior Lighting System
        Mercedes Knight with Bosch electric lighting system including main headlamp, position lamp, front light for curves and a side illumination lamp, trafficator and electrical rear light. The first car series equipped with full electric exterior lighting system.
      • 1913

        Complete Electric Bosch Frontighting System
        Hispano Suiza used the first fully electrical Bosch lighting system including with alternator, regulator, battery, switch and headlamps.

        Bosch Patent
        CH 66597A
        for electric headlamps
      • 1912

        Carello’s First Electric Headlamp
        Carello started the series production of the first electrical headlamp for motorcars in Italy.
      • 1906

        First Electric Bulb for Vehicles
        Philips light bulb with a vibration resistant tungsten filament.