HELLA sees growth for electronics and lighting
Dr. Martin Fischer, chief executive officer of HELLA’s Electronics Division in the Americas, said HELLA is expanding its operations in Brazil, Mexico and the United States.
The firm will begin production of electronic components in Brazil early next year in partnership with Sao Paulo-based Emicol, one of Brazil’s leading suppliers of electronic and electro-mechanical parts. HELLA Electronics recently completed a 50,000-square-foot addition to its San Jose Iturbide plant north of Mexico City. That plant recently received Ford Motor Company’s Q1 award for outstanding quality and customer service.
Fischer said HELLA is also adding new production lines to its manufacturing facilities in Flora, IL, and HELLA Lighting is in the midst of a major expansion program in the Americas. Roger Ventosa, HELLA Lighting’s director of program management and marketing for Mexico and South America, said the company will break ground in May on a 215,000-square-foot facility in Irapuato, Mexico, to produce automotive headlamps and rear-lighting systems. Located in the state of Guanajuato, the plant is scheduled to open in mid-2013.
HELLA is also opening a 9,000-square-foot design and development center in Guadalajara, Mexico, and adding to its product development teams in both Guadalajara and Plymouth, Michigan. Production will begin at a 15,000-square-foot addition to HELLA Lighting’s Guadalajara manufacturing complex this summer. The new lighting facilities in Irapuato and Guadalajara will increase HELLA’s annual production capacity in the Americas for headlamps by 1.2-million units, from 3.7-million up to 4.9-million. Production capacity for rear-combination lamps will climb by 1.5-million, from 2.4-million up to 4-million.
HELLA currently has more than 2,500 employees in the Americas, a number that is expected to grow by 30 percent or more by the end of 2014. “We see tremendous potential for growth in the Americas for both electronics and lighting during the next three to four years,” Fischer said.
He noted that the auto industry is focusing more and more attention on fuel-economy and improved driver-assistance features, areas of strength for HELLA. Exterior LED lighting from HELLA is featured on a number of vehicles, and the company claims to be the industry’s leading supplier of premium-car ambient interior-lighting systems.
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