Luminar stock surges as Chinese demand for LiDAR-equipped vehicles prompts factory expansion in Asia

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The shares of Luminar Technologies Inc. received a boost late Monday after the self-driving component maker said it was partnering with Taiwan-based TPK Holding Co. to develop its manufacturing capacity in Asia to better serve the growing Chinese market.

Making another 3% gain after hours, Luminar LAZR,
shares closed up 3.5% at $6 for a year-to-date gain of 21.2%, or 59% from the price 12 months ago.

Late Monday, Luminar announced at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition that it had cut the deal with Taipei, Taiwan-based TPK 3673.
to expand its manufacturing capacity in Asia, seeing a growing demand for its LiDAR products. LiDAR stands for “light detection and ranging,” and the sensor technology is currently widespread in the automotive industry for use in computer-assisted, and some hope, fully autonomous driving.

TPK, often associated as a major supplier to Apple Inc. AAPL,
and Tesla Inc. TSLA,
is responsible for not only building the factory but also operating it for Luminar, while TPK will invest in the company by purchasing an unspecified amount of stock.

In a statement, Luminar said that “about half of the 20 million vehicles sold in China last year were from foreign-branded automakers, many of which are Luminar partners.”

In addition, the company noted that of the “more than 20 production vehicle models in which Luminar is designed, most are also destined for the Chinese market.”

Reads: Why Luminar CEO Runs Over Fake Kids in a Tesla at CES

As an example, the company pointed to Volvo’s VOLV.B,

The EX90 Excellence, which was introduced last year, will come with Luminar’s LiDAR as a standard safety feature and autonomous capabilities.

Last week, Orlando-based Luminar announced that it was also building a “highly automated, high-volume” manufacturing plant in Monterrey, Mexico, and its first Iris sensors are already being shipped to its “global customer of high-volume serial production” in preparation for year-end production.

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