Luminar Opens New LiDAR Sensor Manufacturing Factory in Mexico
by Todd R. Weiss | April 18, 2023

The News: Vehicle LiDAR sensor maker, Luminar, has opened a new LiDAR sensor manufacturing factory in Mexico that is already manufacturing and shipping the company’s Iris sensors for use by an undisclosed customer in preparation for inclusion in vehicles later this year. The new facility, which includes deep automation and high capacity production capabilities, was built in Monterrey, Mexico, and will initially turn out up to 250,000 sensors annually. Read the full Press Release on the Luminar Technologies website.

Luminar Opens New LiDAR Sensor Manufacturing Factory in Mexico

Analyst Take: Lumniar’s news of the opening of its high-capacity LiDAR sensor manufacturing factory in Mexico is a shrewd choice and one that I believe places the company in a prime position in this expanding marketplace.

Vehicle LiDAR sensors are critical parts of the still-developing world of semi-autonomous and autonomous driving vehicles of today and tomorrow. In addition, as more vehicle manufacturers increase the use of today’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in their cars and trucks, they will need more components like responsive and advanced LiDAR sensors to add additional safety features to new vehicles for consumers and businesses.

The Luminar Iris LiDAR sensor model is a high-performance, long-range LiDAR sensor that delivers advanced safety and autonomy capabilities in cars, commercial trucks, and other vehicles. In February, Luminar unveiled its latest Iris Plus sensor model, which initially will be used in upcoming vehicles from luxury car maker, Mercedes-Benz.

The acronym LiDAR stands for “Light Detection and Ranging,” which provides remote sensing technology using lasers to determine distances of other vehicles and objects while vehicles are moving or stopped. These sensors are needed to enable a wide range of safety and semi-autonomous driving features.

The first of the Iris sensors to come from the freshly-online Mexican factory are already shipping to what Luminar called its “lead global high-volume series production customer” and will be used in new vehicle production starting later this year. This is a significant and notable achievement for the new facility, which is capable of being expanded to produce some 500,000 LiDAR sensors annually in the future. That built-in future expansion was a smart move by Luminar to make the most of its investment in this facility.

Luminar’s latest Mexico-based LiDAR sensor factory increases the company’s production capabilities significantly compared to its existing production capabilities, which will help Luminar grow as LiDAR sensor demand continues to grow from vehicle makers as well.

Vehicle LiDAR Sensor Factory Details

Luminar’s new Mexico-based LiDAR sensor facility, which includes 118,000 square feet of space, will be operated on behalf of Luminar by the Canadian design, manufacturing, and supply chain company, Celestica, Inc. Included in the new facility is 40,000 square feet of space for ISO-approved clean rooms used in the precise manufacturing of delicate products such as the LiDAR sensors.

Luminar’s new Mexican LiDAR sensory factory will undergo a rigorous validation process throughout the rest of 2023 to ensure that the facility and its products meet the standards and requirements for large-scale, global vehicle launches using the company’s sensors.

An additional 200,000 square foot extension for the newly-opened factory in Mexico is already being built by Celestica for Luminar’s use as a performance and quality testing facility for future Luminar LiDAR sensors. This factory extension will give Luminar added capabilities that are expected to help the company to increase its production over time to millions of LiDAR sensors per year, according to Luminar.

In addition, Luminar says that it is actively planning ahead to support its future capacity needs so it can be ready to produce next generation products and bolster its existing LiDAR sensor designs for use by vehicle makers.

Today, Luminar has more than 50 vehicle manufacturing partners that use its sensor products.

Vehicle LiDAR Sensor Production Expansion Overview

I see Luminar’s move to expand its LiDAR sensor production into Mexico as a boon for Luminar and for the LiDAR sensor industry in general as new features and capabilities are added to the devices that will be integrated by vehicle makers in the future. There is plenty of serious competition here and it will be interesting to watch how the market grows and develops as Luminar’s latest production capacity and products hit the market running.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other insights from The Futurum Group:

Luminar Q4 2022 Earnings: Committing to Triple-Digit Revenue Growth for the next Five Years

Luminar Multibillion Dollar Mercedes Deal

Luminar Enables Mercedes-Benz Next-Generation of Autonomous Vehicles

Image credit: Luminar Technologies

About the Author

Todd is an experienced Analyst with over 21 years of experience as a technology journalist in a wide variety of tech focused areas.