The Importance of Automotive Labels in the Auto Industry

on 01/07/2021

While a seemingly tiny element, motorcycle and automotive labels actually play an incredibly important role in the auto industry. From safety stickers to VIN labels, auto labels deliver critical information, safety notices and warnings to both the car owner and technician. Keep reading for a high-level look at the various types of automotive labels (and how they're categorized) and learn why auto labels are so essential to the auto industry.

Types of Automotive Labels and Badging

Before you can fully grasp why auto labels are so important, you must first understand what they are. Automotive labels consist of badging (any sticker on the outside of a vehicle that identifies make, model or features) and labels (barcode, estimate and VIN labels.) They serve the purpose of displaying component information, a company's name/logo, cost, technical data and other crucial specifications.

It's important to note that automotive labels can be categorized in a number of ways. In fact, the "type of auto label" often varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. In general, there are four ways auto labels can be categorized.

1. Auto Label Categories By End-Use

In terms of end-use, automotive labels are typically broken up into four distinct categories: asset labels (which include a unique serial number or barcode), branding and warning labels, dome labels (which display the company's logo) and inventory labels.

2. Auto Label Categories By Identification Method

When segmented by the identification method, auto labels are divided up by barcode, hologram, radio-frequency identification (RFID) and other categories.

3. Auto Label Categories By Application Process

Auto labels can also be segmented on the basis of the application process. This typically includes glue-applied, heat transfer, in-mold and pressure-sensitive modalities.

4. Auto Label Categories By Vehicle Component Application

And lastly, auto labels are sometimes segmented by where they're placed on the vehicle. This can include chassis, engine components, exterior and interior.

The Importance of Automotive Labels

Did you know that only 10 to 15 percent of auto labels are actually visible, and most of these are applied by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)? Most auto labels are identification labels applied during the supply chain, long before the assembly of the car. While only a small fraction of printed automotive labels are visible to drivers and passengers, they still play an important role for the auto industry. These types of auto labels typically include things like tire pressure and warning labels.

The importance of correct and durable auto labels cannot be overstated. Automotive labels carry valuable information that needs to remain fully intact and legible for the life of the vehicle. These labels can be used to not only manage inventory, but to create traceability in the case of a recall. Because of this, all automotive labels need to be able to withstand high temperatures, moisture, vibration, fluids and corrosive materials.

Requirements for Auto Labels

Most types of product labels have wiggle room for a unique design, shape or size. Automotive labels do not. They must follow strict regulatory requirements to ensure precision, consistency and accuracy. Please note that if you manufacture or distribute products in other countries, different regulations may apply.

Requirements for automotive labels do vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Because of this, OEMs and auto manufacturers need to ensure they're staying flexible and abreast of the ever-changing automotive label standards. But in general, auto label requirements set forth by the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) include standards for the following:

  • Barcode height
  • Label durability
  • Label height and width
  • Label placement and orientation
  • Quiet zones around the barcode
  • Symbol placement and height
  • Text dimensions

These standards improve efficiency and accuracy, managing safety and warnings throughout the supply chain.

The auto industry is a high-value and competitive industry. Thus, automotive labels must be of a certain quality. Printers, software, material, adhesion, price and durability are all critical factors that play into the overall quality of auto labels.

Let LLT Create a Custom Solution for Your Automotive Labels

At LLT Labels, we're proud to provide custom automotive labels for OEMs and their range of manufacturing needs. From car door labels to under-the-hood car oil labels, you'll find a selection of products that are durable, tamper-resistant and will last the life of the vehicle. Shop auto labels from LLT for products designed to survive the harshest of environments and not only meet but exceed industry standards. Get a quote today and learn why the experts trust LLT.