Custom lighting for the automotive industry
GDS has secured contracts worth £500,000 with South Korean car giants Kia and Hyundai.
The contracts are GDS’s first in the automotive sector since our launch in 2004, where the business was founded on bespoke lighting and control systems for heritage buildings, theatres, universities and more recently the commercial sector.
GDS will now supply lighting that mimics natural sunlight to Hyundai and Kia factories, meaning car components such as seats and interiors can more accurately be colour-matched without having to rely on natural sunlight.
GDS was part of a recent Department for International Trade (DIT)-organised industry delegation to South Korea, where it signed a Memorandum of Understanding to invest in the country. The 100 jobs resulting from the agreement will be created over the next five years.
The company already has a strong exporting background, selling in nearly 30 countries across the world including Singapore, Germany and France. The new South Korean contracts are forecast to lift its turnover to £20m by 2024.
GDS managing director Richard Cuthbert said: “Our business has gone from strength to strength since opening our office in South Korea. There’s nothing like getting out there and meeting potential buyers face-to-face. That and thoroughly researching target markets are key to trading internationally.
“Our specialism has always been theatre lighting but we’re looking to branch out into other sectors internationally. We originally thought working in South Korea would be challenging, because of the business culture and language differences but working closely with our international trade adviser helped as we were able to rely on their knowledge of the market.”
DIT South West head of trade Paul Shand said GDS was a “brilliant example” of a business making the most of opportunities for British firms overseas.
“By thinking laterally about the applications of its technology, the team at GDS is now pioneering a lighting system that could have a huge impact throughout the global automotive supply chain,” he said.