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Executive Interview

AMN Executive Interview With Lumileds’ Vincent Ranic

Ranic talks about the company’s extensive R&D capabilities, LED lighting innovations and its new GoPure product.

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Amy Antenora has been reporting on the automotive aftermarket since 2002.

Vincent Ranic is vice president of Global Sales and Marketing, Automotive Aftermarket for Lumileds and has more than 18 years of experience in automotive OEM and aftermarket with Philips and Lumileds. Ranic has held global roles in product management, international sales, and marketing with Lumileds. In his current role as vice president for the automotive aftermarket he is responsible for the Global Aftermarket sales in the North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia regions. Over the years, Ranic, has been instrumental in managing a multicultural team and focusing on business development, change management, global projects linked to global sales performance, and team development. Prior to joining Lumileds, Ranic held key account management and platform project management roles at WABCO. Ranic holds an Executive MBA from NEOMA Business School and a master’s in international engineering Sales Management from Douai Business school. Additionally, he won an Excellence in Practice Award from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Philips’ Octagon leadership development program

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In this exclusive interview, Ranic talks about the company’s extensive R&D capabilities, LED lighting innovations and its new GoPure product.

Lighting is one of the most critical safety issues for drivers. Is there anything new in terms of vehicle safety legislation influencing vehicle lighting trends right now?

Yes. Our goal at Lumileds has always been to improve the safety of drivers on the road. Often, we do this by applying our OE experience to new lighting products for the aftermarket. Of course, these lighting innovations must comply with local laws and regulations regarding vehicle lighting. A good example would be our LED retrofits that can directly replace standard halogen bulbs for applications including low beams, fog and signal lighting. As of now, in North America, LED headlight retrofits are legal for use only in Canada and Mexico. Lumileds has been working with legislative and regulatory bodies in the U.S. as well as those in South Korea and Germany, to introduce these technologies legally. 

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We are committed to providing state-of-the-art technology that is compliant with local regulations, and always look forward to working with legislators and transportation authorities to help improve driving safety for everyone on the road.

What are some of the innovations changing automotive lighting design today?

The prevalence of LED lighting in OEM vehicles has been the major change in automotive lighting design as of late. As stated, one of our company objectives moving forward is to bring this new LED technology to aftermarket consumers, helping improve both lighting performance as well as vehicle styling. 

Lumileds has strong competencies in vehicle lighting and in LED technology, and our retrofits are where these competencies are joined. We expect to see major growth with our LED retrofits in the coming years. The main challenges for us now are to demonstrate to our customers and to consumers the superiority of our products when compared to our competition and to educate the marketplace on the dangers of aftermarket LED lighting products when other players do not fully respect the local lighting regulations.

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Tell us about the two new Philips Platinum Series upgrade headlights that were recently unveiled. 

Our newest platinum series upgrade headlights are our highest-performing halogen headlights, giving drivers the option of the brilliant white light from Philips CrystalVision platinum or up to 130% more vision with Philips NightGuide platinum.  

Philips CrystalVision platinum upgrade headlight bulbs feature the whitest, road-legal halogen headlight replacement bulb that we have ever offered. The bulbs incorporate a patented ultra-white gradient glass coating formula that creates an irresistible, stylish look with a color temperature of up to 4000 K, and a matte silver tip that produces a stunning look in the headlamp’s reflector. But CrystalVision platinum headlights are more than just a styling innovation, they provide up to 60% more vision when compared to standard minimum legal requirements in low beam headlamp test results. The brilliant white color provides better contrast and enhanced visibility when driving at night, which improves driver comfort and reduces eye fatigue. In addition, the bulbs also feature a precisely placed high-performance filament coil for more accurate beam placement.

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Philips NightGuide platinum are the newest and brightest halogen headlight upgrade bulb ever offered by the company. They provide up to 130% more vision on the road when compared to standard minimum legal requirements in low beam headlamp test results. NightGuide platinum headlight bulbs enhance driver comfort by reducing fatigue, and by projecting light farther ahead, they give drivers more time to react for safer driving. NightGuide platinum headlights also feature a proprietary coating on the bulb that gives the beam a color temperature of up to 3400 K. This provides better contrast and enhanced visibility when driving at night.

What kind of R&D goes into creating products like these? 

As one of the largest automotive lighting producers in the world, our R&D capabilities are extensive. We’re a leader in lighting for both OEMs and the aftermarket, and our continual evolution of technologies and materials allows us to develop the cutting edge of lighting solutions. We are always evolving our technologies as well as our materials, creating new formulations of glass, metals, noble gases and coatings to improve the lighting performance of our products. 

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It’s relatively easy to build high-intensity halogen replacement bulbs or LED retrofits if you are not concerned with accurate beam placement or safe operation. But it is extremely difficult to manufacture lighting products that won’t create glare for oncoming drivers or run at temperatures so high, they overheat and fail. Our R&D capabilities allow us to produce consistently high-quality lighting products that help improve driving conditions for everyone on the road.

Lumileds is not only a leader in passenger vehicle lighting but a variety of lighting types today. What are some of the other key lighting categories that are important to Lumileds right now?  

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We push the boundaries of light and, as we continue to launch innovative products, we’re launching a new line of accessories to our automotive lighting portfolio. The first are the Philips Ultinon Drive 5000, a new line of LED light bars for off-road use. They’re built with a one-piece design to withstand the toughest environments and driving conditions, and they feature advanced heat management that helps ensure that drivers get long service life and powerful lighting in all off-road conditions. The line consists of five lightbars, ranging from 10” to 30”.  We are also launching a range of LED work lights for professional technicians that provide high-performance LED illumination for any task. The new Philips Xperion 6000 LED worklight range helps professionals see better to work better, while offering long-lasting durability, flexibility, and plenty of battery life to get the job done. Our new range will offer five versatile and rechargeable LED work lights, offering 6000K color temperature, along with an optional multi docking station.

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We understand that Lumileds also offers products for the vehicle interior as well. Tell us about GoPure Air Purifiers. I’m sure this product is being very well-received given the increased concern for health and safety today.

Absolutely, as concerns about unhealthy air rises, so does the demand for air purification solutions to address those concerns.  We see these types of systems in homes and office buildings, but many people are recognizing the need to have this type of solution in their vehicle. Our Philips GoPure Automotive air purifiers remove allergens, viruses, bacteria, and unpleasant odors from the vehicle cabin. We’ve launched two models, the first of which is the GoPure GP5212, a powerful, compact, and innovative car air purifier that can quickly remove up to 100 different types of pollutants and neutralize unpleasant odors in your vehicle. GoPure GP5212 uses a special 3-layer filter technology to quickly deliver clean, fresh air in minutes and its extremely compact and portable design makes it easy to use anywhere in the vehicle. 

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I am also excited about our newest product, the GoPure GP5611. It’s equipped with three advanced technologies, a Philips SaniFilter Plus, a UV-C LED light, and a HESAMax cartridge,  to capture toxic chemicals and quickly eliminate harmful bacteria and viruses.  It fits into most vehicle cupholders, making it the perfect air purifier for consumers who want safer air on the go. It captures fine particles, including microbes, in just 10 minutes, while the UVC LED light in the device effectively deactivates 99% of the respiratory virus caught in the filter under laboratory conditions. 

Will Philips/Lumileds be exhibiting at AAPEX this year? What do you have planned?

Yes, we are excited to exhibit in-person at the upcoming AAPEX show.  For us, AAPEX is the highlight of the year, and we always look forward to showcasing our innovations and interacting with our partners and show attendees. We have some exciting new innovations to showcase, and the best way to do that is in person. We are showcasing automotive technologies from halogen upgrades and LED lighting to our newest innovations in automotive accessories. 

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What else will Lumileds be focusing on for the coming year? 

We are always focused on improving our customers lives, and a big push is going to be centered on their overall health and safety. We see the development of the GoPure Air Purifiers as an excellent example of an automotive safety product that is outside of our core business of lighting. Lumileds has spent more than 100 years developing innovations to make driving safer and more comfortable for motorists, and we’re not going to slow down now.

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