Q&A with Lumileds' Chris McPhedran

Q&A with Lumileds’ Chris McPhedran

Chris McPhedran is the director of sales North America, Aftermarket, at Lumileds.

Chris McPhedran is the director of sales north America, Aftermarket, at Lumileds. He joined the company in 2018 as national sales manager for Canada. Prior to joining Lumileds, McPhedran spent 12 years with Horizon Global, an international supplier of towing, trailering, cargo management and related accessories. From 2017-2018, he served as the director of sales & marketing for the North American RV & Marine channel. McPhedran holds Bachelor of Commerce and DEC.

In this exclusive Q&A, McPhedran sits down with AMN to talk about the latest advancements in lighting, new product categories for Lumileds, and addressing global supply chain challenges.

What are some of the latest lighting innovations and technology advancements that Lumileds is focused on today? 

A major focus for Lumileds is always the development of technology that puts more and better light on the road. Whether we are working with halogen or LED, we continue to engineer new lighting innovations for a variety of applications. 

Advancements in halogen technology have resulted in upgraded headlight products that provide a stylish look while increasing light on the road. Our new Platinum Series Philips Upgrade Headlight Bulbs are a perfect example, setting a new standard for maximum light on the road while also providing options for a crisper and whiter light. Philips CrystalVision platinum upgrade headlight bulbs feature a patented, ultra-white gradient coating which creates up to 4000 K white light, while also providing up to 60% more vision when compared to standard minimum legal requirements in low beam headlamp test results. The Philips NightGuide platinum upgrade headlight bulb offers up to 130% more vision than standard halogen bulbs. It features an innovative, high-performance beam with a longer beam pattern that enhances driver comfort by reducing fatigue and giving the driver more time to react. 

LED advances, of course, continue and will be core to our innovation in the coming years. In fact, this year we will show several new LED products and lighting improvements at AAPEX. 

Speaking of innovations and new products, what does the company have planned for AAPEX, which is just around the corner?

Our innovation and product teams have been hard at work over the past year, and we are excited to be able to share a range of new and upgraded products. We will be showcasing new LED powersports, fog light and off-road offerings at the AAPEX show, after debuting some of them to an excellent reception at Automechanika last month. 

As a key strategic growth initiative, Lumileds will continue to offer key LED products and accessories in order to exceed our customers’ expectations of growth and continue to build on our position as a market leader.

With customization being so popular today, what kinds of trends are you seeing when it comes to vehicle lighting today?

We’re finding that more and more drivers are treating their vehicle exteriors as an extension of their personal style, and this trend includes their lighting as well. Whether it’s the color temperature of headlights and driving lights or the addition of accessory lighting such as light bars, owners want to make their vehicle their own and our range of products provides unparalleled freedom for this expression. The Philips-branded automotive products allow consumers to choose a replacement or upgrade light that best suits their wants and needs. Some consumers are most concerned about having the highest-performing headlights available, while others may want the bright, white look of LEDs, even if their vehicle is not equipped for them. 

In addition to exterior lighting, vehicle interior lighting has become more popular. Consumers want to make their vehicle space more comfortable and inviting by choosing the color and color temperature of the lighting. Our Ultinon LED series offers drivers a variety of colors to choose from to create that customized look.

We are deploying our LED innovation and technology leadership to create solutions that will give consumers the ability to customize and manage the environment outside and in their car. 

Outside of lighting, Lumileds has expanded into some new categories that help augment the driver experience. Tell us about the new GoPure Car Air Purification system.

Air purification is a hot topic in today’s world with many people concerned about the potential for respiratory illnesses in the air they breathe. This concern extends to vehicle interiors, where drivers and passengers are also aware of the prevalence of pollution, odors, allergens and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). To address these concerns, Lumileds developed the Philips GoPure Advanced Automotive Air Purifier, a line of powerful car air purifiers that are engineered to quickly and efficiently clean the air inside the vehicle and help reduce the risk of airborne transmission of viruses and bacteria.

The Philips GoPure utilizes a three-stage filtration system that continuously cleans the air. A Philips SaniFilter Plus filter captures 99% of ultra-fine particles including bacteria and respiratory viruses, and a powerful UVC LED light effectively deactivates 99% of a respiratory virus under laboratory conditions. Finally, a HESAMax filtration cartridge that removes chemicals, harmful gases, and unpleasant odors from the car. The Philips GoPure air purifier is offered in two models, the GP5212 and the GP5611. The GP5212 is a larger system that’s well suited for bigger vehicles, while the GP5611 is designed to fit comfortably in the cup holder of most vehicles. A convenient feature of both systems is that they turn on and off automatically with the vehicle’s ignition. 

Lumileds is going through a transition now. What can you tell us about the company’s culture and mission and how it drives the company?

Lumileds culture and mission remain unchanged, and we are now well-positioned to be an even stronger innovator in the marketplace for years to come. We clearly see the advancements in LED technology and lighting innovations resulting in exciting new options for motorists and automotive enthusiasts. We are committed to working with our customers and ultimate end-users to develop new solutions that bring value to their lives. 

Supply chain challenges have been widely discussed the past few years. How has Lumileds been impacted by the current supply chain struggles and how has the company addressed it?

Supply chain challenges have made the manufacturing environment more difficult for everyone. Fortunately, we have an extraordinary operations team, distributed across the globe, that has allowed us to minimize the impact on our customers.

Thanks to our team, we are seeing our inventories increase and we have added the ability to utilize new technologies to respond to and support the rapid changes in our growing markets. A major key to market and customer success is to have inventory at the time it is needed with first touch customers and downstream demand. 

Any final comments, things you’d like AMN readers to know about Lumileds?     

Lumileds will continue to develop and expand its aftermarket lighting and accessory offerings. We will do this with a crystal-clear focus on improving the vehicle ownership experience, creating safer environments, and reducing our carbon footprint to achieve our sustainability objectives. In the coming years, this will translate into new beam patterns, greater value and affordability, and LED options that empower vehicle owners to make their car their own.

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