History of Automotive Lighting

Milestones on our way to future

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 Magneti Marelli lighting division is based on the acquisition of Carello SPA in 1988 and therefore can be traced back to the beginning of 20th century. In 1912 began the production of electrical automobile headlamps in Italy. A significant progress was the invention of “Bosch-Lighting” in 1913. Today Automotive Lighting is a full subsidiary of Magneti Marelli Group.

Below you will find some key milestones in the evolution of lighting technology for all companies united under Automotive Lighting today. Navigate over the timeline and discover the history of Automotive Lighting.

More than 100 years of growth

  • 2017

    Always ready for new challenges.

    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).
  • 2016

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

    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 and “Winner” for the OLED taillamp prototype.

    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 launches at the same time its first Laser High Beam in the R8 LMX model. The headlamp of Audi was made by Automotive Lighting.

    EU Eco Innovation Certificate
    The scalable e-Light with a power consumption of 11 Watt in the low beam was honored as eco innovation by the European Commission. It allows for a CO2 saving of 1 g / 100 km per car. One of the first innovations hornored by the EU.
  • 2013

    Worldwide first ALL-LED taillamp
    Audi R8 series application of ALL-LED taillamp with a progressive wiping turn signal.

    BMW 4-Series
    Automotive Lighting proves that the glare-free high beam can be realized by dynamic reflectors.

    Mercedes Benz S-Class
    First intelligent ALL-LED headlamp with night vision and pulsed marker light.
  • 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 and Daimler Innovation Award
    for intelligent camera controlled ALL-LED Headlamp for CLS.

    The world’s first active night vision system
    with a marker light in CL Coupe.
  • 2010

    First fully electronical controlled adaptive ALL-LED headlamp.
  • 2008

    Joint venture of Magneti Marelli and Motherson Sumi Systems in India.
  • 2006

    Launch of production plant in China.
  • 2005

    Acquisition of Turkish Supplier MAKO.
  • 2004

    Automotive Lighting becomes one company.
  • 2003

    • Automotive Lighting becomes 100 % subsidiary of Magneti Marelli.
    • Automotive Lighting is the first to introduce dynamic curve light in the BMW 3 Cabrio.
    • Automotive Lighting introduces rearlamp with LED in the Peugeot 307 CC.
  • 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 %.
  • 1999

    Joint venture of Bosch and Magneti Marelli.
  • 1991

    Bosch introduces the first Xenon system.
  • 1988

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

    Magneti Marelli founds the Lighting Group.
  • 1981

    The world's first PES systems are launched.
  • 1972

    Bosch introduces a H4 dual bulb headlamp.
  • 1967

    Carello produces the JOD 170, a dual bulb headlamp.
  • 1964

    Carello introduces the first Halogen fog lamp.
  • 1962

    Carello produces first application of Halogen bulbs.
  • 1957

    • Bosch produces low beam, high beam, side markers, turn signals in one unit.
    • Carello SPA introduces first assimetric reflector.
  • 1931

    Magneti Marelli starts producing lighting for railroad trains.
  • 1930

    Bosch produces fog lamps, rearlamps, stoplights.
  • 1913

    "Bosch-Light" – first complete system of headlamp, battery and alternator.
  • 1912

    Carello introduces first European electric headlamp.