E-Lead ZVR909010 Head Unit Teardown

03 October 2012
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

IHS Insight Perspective

There are hundreds of Chinese aftermarket automotive head unit players out there; many of whom do modest production volumes. E-Lead obviously have a presence in the market, as this is the company (Taiwan-based), but it is certainly not one of the leading aftermarket suppliers in China. The leaders include Desay SV Auto, Foryou, and Coagent, to name a few. This unit is sold, branded with the VW logo, as an aftermarket dealer-offered option that the car-buying public in China can opt-for for installation in a VW Touran or Tiguan (presumably 2012/2013 model years). The China market for such products operates quite differently from the North American and European markets - where OEM branded product is typically all factory installed and coming from a smaller base of more well-established players. Having said that, the immense number of players and competition offers very competitive pricing, though from the different units we have torn down, there's a lot of variability in the quality of the sources / suppliers chosen for various components, and most of the choices made are to accommodate basic required functionality at lowest possible cost.

E-Lead ZVR909010 Head Unit Main ImageE-Lead ZVR909010 Head Unit Main Image

Overall Significance

This head unit destined for Shanghai VW Touran and Tiguan vehicles in China and Asian markets finds itself in a market with a lot of players and in a very segmented market with intense competition in the aftermarket for head units. This and most other such head units are built with a combination of automotive and consumer grade components, but are usually built to lower specification standards in the aftermarket. This design leverages well known tier 1 sources - and should be a competent product - without being at the cost level as an OEM unit.

Feature Significance

Head unit with 7 inch 16M color 800x480 resolution and 4-wire touchscreen overlay, CD/DVD drive (plays DVD, VCD, CD, MP3, etc.), Navigation system, 4GB on-board NAND Flash storage, AM/FM radio tuner, Bluetooth connectivity (V2.1) USB/SD playback (audio/video), and many other features. Also features 2-DIN audio connection with CAN-BS system. Overall - this unit has a very broad feature set.

E-Lead ZVR909010 Head Unit - Main PCB TopE-Lead ZVR909010 Head Unit - Main PCB Top

Design Significance

This design uses well-known Tier 1 sources (SiRF/CSR, Kingston, Intersil, Microchip, Etc.) for silicon, and HannStar for the display and touchscreen - whereas some other designs clearly leverage as much domestic Chinese content as possible. This suggests that the E-Lead product should be a technically solid product even if not built to full OEM automotive specifications.

Target Market

Shangai VW OEM

Again - the E-Lead is an aftermarket unit intended to be installed in Shanghai VW Tiguan, Touran and 'New Passat' models.

E-Lead ZVR909010 Head Unit - Disassembly View 1E-Lead ZVR909010 Head Unit - Disassembly View 1


Unknown per press release

Appears to be current hardware to fit existing 2012/2013 model years.

Pricing and Availability

Varies MSRP

Pricing found for this unit varies between 3000 RMB and 8000 RMB.


It is also possible these units may be sold on VW vehicles in other Asian/Pacific countries.

Volume Estimations

30,000 Total Units
4 Total Years

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed an Annual Production Volume of 30000 units and a Product Lifetime Volume of 4 year(s).

Teardown volume and production assumptions are primarily used for our cost analysis in terms of amortized NRE and tooling costs, especially for custom components specific to the model being analyzed (mechanical components especially). Unless assumed volumes are different by an order of magnitude, minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis because of this.

Market Performance

From IHS Automotive - China Infotainment Research:

We categorize the embedded in-vehicle navigation systems under two categories, OEM (factory embedded) and aftermarket (OEM-monitored products only, not including those random brands and Shangzhai products).

What our own forecast and penetration data tells us is that in China, the in-vehicle navigation systems (including both the OEM and aftermarket) have experienced huge growth starting from 2008, together with the impressive auto sales growth in the past few years in the market. The in-vehicle navigation attach rate for both market segments went from 5% in 2007 to 11.9% in 2008, and then jumped to 28.95% now in 2012, mainly due to the lowering cost of these systems and OEM's strategic emphasis on launching such systems as a unit selling point for gaining customers over competitors. It is estimated that the growth trend will very likely to continue and by 2017, about 36.8% of the passenger vehicles sold in China will be installed with an embedded navigation system, either from the OEM factories or from the authorized dealerships.

In addition, up till today, in China, aftermarket IVN systems still sold much more than the OEM systems, because aftermarket products offer much cheaper pricing than the OEM counterparts. In 2012, the attach rate of OEM systems is 10.35% (a total of 196 million units), while the attach rate of aftermarket systems is 18.6% (a total of 352 million units), the ratio is about 1:1.8. However, since there are more and more low-cost OEM factory embedded navigation systems launching the market with better quality than the aftermarket products in the same price range, it is forecasted that the ratio between these two market segments will significantly narrower in the coming years, with OEM systems continue to gain market share over the aftermarket products and finally take over the lead in 2017, with an attach rate of 19.9%, as compared to aftermarket's 16.9%.

E-Lead ZVR909010 Head Unit Cost AnalysisE-Lead ZVR909010 Head Unit Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

Much attention was paid, in this analysis, to the various quality levels (automotive vs. consumer) for each component used in the bill of materials. However it is impossible for us to know, in many cases (such as passive components) what grade of product is used. This indication is limited to those parts where complete part numbers are identifiable. The indication of consumer grade and automotive is indicated in a special column in the bill of materials for each part - where identified.

Total BOM: $177.99
Top Cost Drivers below: $83.84
% of Total BOM 47%

Main Cost Drivers below

CD/DVD Drive - Slot Load, Internal, Use Zoran ZR36966ELCG Chip- (Qty: 1)
Hannstar HSD070IDW1-E11 Display Module - 7' Diagonal, 16.2M Color a-Si TFT, TN Mode, 800 x 480 Pixels, 192.0um x 108.5um Pixel Size, 153.6mm x 86.64mm Viewable Area, 450Nit, w/ Black Polycarbonate Sheet, Conductive Cloth Laminate, Labels, Integral Flex PCB, 1 2-Discrete Insulated Wire w/ 1 2-Position Pin Socket Connector Wire Harness & 27 Backlight LEDs- (Qty: 1)
CSR SiRFprima-TT442 GPS / Graphics Processor - SiRFprima, ARM11 Core, GPS & Galileo Location Engine, Hardware 2D/3D Engine, Integrated Touchscreen Controller, 65nm Process- (Qty: 1)
Touchscreen Overlay - 7' Diagonal, 4-Wire Resistive, ITO Film over Glass, w/ Integral Flex PCB- (Qty: 1)
Changzhou Ziyin Electronic Circuit Co., Ltd. 4-Layer - FR4, Lead-Free- (Qty: 2)
First Hi-tec Enterprise Co., Ltd. - (Qty: 1)
Optical Drive Opening Dust Cover - Felt/Fiber on Clear Polycarbonate Sheet, Die Cut, w/ PSA- (Qty: 1)
Kingston KE44B-26BN/4GB Flash - eMMC NAND, 4GB, MLC, 32nm- (Qty: 1)
Enclosure, Main, Rear / Heatsink - Die-Cast Aluminum- (Qty: 1)
Invensense IXZ-500 Gyroscope - Daul-Axis, w/ Integrated Temperature Sensor- (Qty: 1)

Not Included in Analysis

The total materials and manufacturing costs reported in this analysis reflect ONLY the direct materials cost (from component vendors and assorted EMS providers), AND manufacturing with basic test. Not included in this analysis are costs above and beyond the material manufacture of the core device itself ? cost of intellectual property, royalties and licensing fees (those not already included into the per component price), software, software loading and test, shipping, logistics marketing and other channel costs including not only EMS provider and the OEM's margin, but that of other resellers. Our cost analysis is meant to focus on those costs incurred in the manufacture of the core device and exceptionally in some circumstances the packaging and literature as well.

We do provide an Excel tab 'Overall Costs' where a user can enter their known pre and post production costs to build a per unit cost reflective of theirs actual expenditures.


Notes E-Lead, per their own company profile, have facilities, beyond their home base of Taiwan, in Thailand and China. Many other Taiwan-based ODMs that we see typically produce only more complex, high-value systems in Taiwan, and seem to produce the bulk of their high-volume, competitive products in mainland China. It is assumed that E-Lead have their own in-house manufacturing capacity and are producing this unit in China on their own production floor (the box is furthermore labeled as Made in China).

Country of Origin

For the purposes of this analysis, we are assuming the following country(ies) of origin for each level of assembly, based on a combination of 'Made In' markings, and/or assumptions based on our knowledge of such equipment.

Box Contents - China
Display / Touchscreen - China
Front Panel PCB - China
Main PCB - China
MCU PCB - China
Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly - China
Processing PCB - China
Sensor PCB - China
Storage Device - China

Country of origin assumptions relate directly to the associated cost of manufacturing, where calculated by iSuppli. In the cases of 'finished' sub-assemblies (such as CD/DVD drives), we do not calculate internal manufacturing costs, but rather assess the market price of the finished product in which case country of origin assumptions may or may not have a direct effect on pricing.

Labor rates are applied directly only to hand inserted components and systems in our bill of materials, and although regional assumptions do, these new rates do not have a direct effect on our modeled calculations of placement costs for automated SMD assembly lines. ?Auto" inserted components (such as SMT components) placement costs are calculated by an iSuppli algorithm which allocates a cost per component based on the size and pincount of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Design Complexity

Component counts by assembly and the number of assembly are indicators of design complexity and efficiency.

Component Qty: 426 - Processing PCB
Component Qty: 1 - Storage Device
Component Qty: 125 - Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly
Component Qty: 667 - Main PCB
Component Qty: 628 - Front Panel PCB
Component Qty: 4 - Display / Touchscreen
Component Qty: 87 - Sensor PCB
Component Qty: 99 - MCU PCB
Component Qty: 3 - Box Contents
Component Qty: 2040 - Grand Total

This unit has a lot of components when compared with, for example, the Shinco mechless head unit analyzed in parallel with this device is half the component complexity of this unit. Part of that has to do with the reduced relative feature set in the Shinco unit (which was mechless). At 2040 components overall - this system is more in line, in terms of complexity, with the concurrently analyzed Desay SV NAV230MF navigation infotainment system) which was had over 10% more components than this E-Lead unit. Considering the feature set of this model - the ~2K component count seems competitive with other designs. Another metric we use to determine relative complexity - is the overall number of sub-assemblies or discrete PCBs - and this one has 5 PCBAs - which adds to the complexity. Sometimes this is done to achieve 'modularity' which allows the OEM or ODM to produce, in greater quantities and with more pricing leverage, certain common functions that can then be deployed over multiple devices.

Design Notes

The core of any head unit design comes down to the choice of display which is the main client interface and dictates the user experience. This unit has a 7' Hannstar display module (HSD070IDW1-E11 - 16.7M Color a-Si TFT, 800 x 480 Pixels). The touchscreen is a simple 4-wire resistive. Such touchscreens offer poor sensitivity - but are cheap to produce and rugged.

As far as integrated circuit content goes - this design has a LOT of high value IC content and is not a well-integrated design. Part of this is due to the number of discrete PCB assemblies (5) - which can create design issues that ultimately drive up component counts.

Key ICs include SiRF/CSR's SiRF prima TT4 which is the cornerstone of the whole design. This chip is a GPS engine and Graphics Processor system on chip, which is ARM11 Core-based, and features a GPS & Galileo Location Engine, a hardware 2D/3D Engine, and an Integrated Touchscreen Controller. Other content includes an Intersil LCD Controller IC (TW8806xxx), a Microchip 16-bit MCU (PIC24HJ256xxx), Hynix DRAM and Kingston NAND Flash, as well as numerous more integrated circuits from Chrontel, TI, Renesas, Realtek, Silicon Labs and others.

E-Lead ZVR909010 Head Unit - Box ContentsE-Lead ZVR909010 Head Unit - Box Contents

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