Hella GmbH & Co. KGaA Business Report FY ended May 2020

Financial Overview

(in million EUR)
  FY ended
May 31, 2020
FY ended
31, 2019
Rate of
change (%)
Sales 5,829 6,990 (16.6) 1)
EBITDA 576 1,191 (51.6) -
Sales by Segment
Lighting 2,624 3,230 (18.8) -
Electronics 2,256 2,504 (9.9) -

1) Net Sales
-The Company’s net sales for the fiscal year ended May 31, 2020 decreased by 16.6% from the previous year to EUR 5,829 million. A decline in production volumes during the first half of the Company’s fiscal year impaired the Company’s business development during the fiscal year. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 drove a further decrease in demand. In addition, the Company completed the sale of its wholesale distribution business and Behr Hella Service during the fiscal year ended May 31, 2020.

-The Company’s sales in the Automotive segment decreased by 14.3% in the fiscal year ended May 31, 2020 to EUR 4,944 million. Sales in the segment decreased primarily due to the combination of declining market volumes during the first half of the Company’s fiscal year and the COVID-19 pandemic emerging from January 2020 to further drive demand downward. Signs of recovery in the Chinese automotive market near the end of the Company’s fiscal year were offset by the considerable losses during the year in both the European and American markets.


-On November 11, 2019, Hongfa Technology Co., Ltd. announced a plan for its subsidiary, Xiamen Hongfa Automotive Electronics Co., Ltd. to acquire the relay business from the Company. Xiamen Hongfa will acquire 100% of the shares in Hella (Xiamen) Automotive Electronics Co., Ltd. and purchase assets such as inventory and production equipment from Hella (Xiamen) Electronic Device Co., Ltd.  Xiamen Hongfa will spend a total of CNY 92.40 million, CNY 55.15 million in the acquisition and CNY 37.25 million to purchase the assets. (From a release on November 13, 2019)

-Stanley Electric Co., Ltd. announced that it has established a lamp production subsidiary by acquiring Hella-Phil, Inc., a Company subsidiary in the Philippines which produces motorcycle lamps. Stanley Electric acquired a 90% stake in Hella-Phil and will enter the Philippine market through the new subsidiary, which will change its name to Stanley Electric Philippines, Inc. in December. In the future, Stanley Electric intends to expand the lamp business to automobiles, and strengthen its local lamp supply system in the ASEAN region. The new subsidiary will have approximately JPY 84 million in capital. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on November 2, 2019)

Joint Ventures

-The Company announced that it is intensifying cooperation with China FAW Group. Both companies agreed to make their joint venture, Changchun Hella Faway Automotive Lighting, a strategic partner of the FAW Hongqi premium brand. The joint venture will provide sophisticated headlamp systems and innovative product solutions in car body and interior lighting. Furthermore, both partners seek to further strengthen their cooperation through other FAW brands and joint ventures. (From a press release on September 17, 2019)

Business Partnership

-HELLA Fast Forward Shanghai, a Company incubator, signed an investment agreement with Beijing Nebula Link Technology (Nebula Link) to work on advanced solutions for the Internet of Vehicles and jointly promote intelligent vehicle infrastructure cooperation systems in China. The cooperation with Nebula Link gives the Company additional opportunities to contribute to V2X development in China and move towards autonomous driving. Nebula Link’s core research and development team primarily focuses on the development of V2X, specifically in the field of the vehicle-infrastructure cooperation systems, and provides V2X on-board equipment, roadside systems and solutions of vehicle cooperative safety driving. (From a press release on August 19, 2019)

-The Company signed a strategic cooperation agreement with FAW for further joint efforts on automotive lighting at the High-end Auto Parts Forum. The Company and FAW have been partners for years and have a joint venture, Changchun Hella Faway Automotive Lighting. The agreement confirms that Changchun Hella Faway Automotive Lighting will be a key strategic supplier of FAW Group, and its Red Flag brand. The Company will work with FAW to realize their targets with advanced lighting solutions. The Company will also improve the independent research and development capacities of Changchun Hella Faway Automotive Lighting in regards to headlamps, rear combination lamps, interior and car body lighting. Furthermore, the Company will provide lighting solutions to FAW’s joint venture brands. (From a press release on July 13, 2019)

Recent Developments

-As a result of the significant decrease in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic and the global reactions, the Company has adopted measures to reduce staff and material costs while also planning shortened work hours at its domestic sites. Further measures such as shortened hours at other locations and temporary shutdowns are also being considered. Given the situation, the Company is now anticipating currency and portfolio adjusted sales to be below the originally forecast range of EUR 6.5 billion to EUR 7.0 billion for the fiscal year ending May 31, 2020. (From a press release on March 18, 2020)

-The Company is further expanding its position as a major supplier of steering control modules. With increased demand for modules for semi-automated driving, approximately half of all new orders are for semi-automated control modules. The control modules are available in a fail-operational version to address Level 4 automated driving, which do not switch off in the event of a fault in the electronics. The control unit in the fail-operational version also enables the implementation of steer-by-wire systems. This enables several functions such as a retractable steering wheel during automated driving mode. The Company intends to produce the steering control modules not only in Germany and China, but also in Romania, Mexico, Brazil and India. (From a press release on July 23, 2019)



-The Company is supplying battery management systems for the electric vehicle fleet of a European premium manufacturer. The Company expects to launch its latest generation of high-voltage battery management systems in the summer of 2020 for the manufacturer's e-vehicles, full hybrids and plug-in hybrids. The modular, scalable design of the battery management systems enables integration into various drive electronics independent of the cell technology used, giving it a high degree of versatility. (From a press release on February 13, 2020)

-The Company has developed an illuminated radiator grille for the new BMW X6. The X6’s grille can be illuminated when opening and closing a door, or while driving. The Company implemented the illuminated radiator grille as a large-scale integrated lighting concept, placing the light modules in a limited space in a flat and narrow chrome ring. At the same time, the illumination generated had to comply with legal standards. For this purpose, a total of 14 LEDs are arranged in a narrow plastic frame manufactured in the shape of the BMW kidney in the upper area. A new connection technology was used for the first time to optimally integrate and connect the individual LED circuit boards. (From a press release on January 27, 2020)

-The Company has put a moisture detection function on sensors into series production for the world premiere of "Porsche WET-Mode". The function detects when considerable moisture is on road surfaces, and adjusts drive systems to as a preventive measure. The Company’s Structural Health and Knock Emission (SHAKE) sensor is incorporated in the front wheel arch liners on the new Porsche 911. Using a piezoelectric element, the SHAKE sensor detects vibrations and airborne noise from water droplets swirled up in the air and determines the degree of wetness between the tire and road. If the system detects a wet road, the response behavior of Porsche Stability Management and Porsche Traction Management will be adjusted. The driver will also receive a recommendation to switch to WET-Mode. (From a press release on November 26, 2019)

-The Company has developed a particle sensor that measures tiny concentrations of particulate matter in the vehicle interior and in the vehicle’s immediate vicinity. This includes fine dust particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers. The PM 2.5 particle sensor is expected to go into series production at the end of 2020 for a premium European manufacturer, who will initially incorporate the sensor in vehicles for the Asian market. The customer order envisages equipping vehicles with two PM 2.5 sensors. The first sensor monitors air quality inside the vehicle and helps regulate and improve the air supply through efficient air filter use. The second sensor measures fine dust concentration in the vehicle's immediate vicinity. (From a press release on November 5, 2019)

-The Company has provided a selection of diverse lighting and electronics products in the new e.GO Life, e.Go Mobile’s first electric car. The Company and e.Go Mobile jointly developed a customized headlamp concept which focused on providing differentiation. The Company will supply e.GO Life with other lighting products such as fog lamps, reflex reflectors from the modular Shapeline lamp series, CHMSL, rear fog and reverse lamps and a reading lamp in the interior. The Company has also integrated the new generation of electric vacuum pumps (UP5) to assist with braking functions. Series production of the e.GO Mover electric bus is expected to begin in 2020. (From a press release on August 29, 2019)



-The Company expects that its currency-adjusted and portfolio-adjusted sales for the fiscal year ending May 31, 2021 will range between EUR 5.6 billion and 6.1 billion. However, the COVID-19 pandemic currently plays a large role in both general economic and market related conditions. As such, there is a high level of uncertainty in regards to the outlook.

R&D Expenditure

(in million EUR)
  FY ended May 31, 2020 FY ended May 31, 2019 FY ended May 31, 2018
Overall 620 611 568
-Automotive 584 579 542
Overall R&D expenditure as a % of overall sales 10.6% 8.8% 8.6%

-The Company aims to keep its investment in research and development to approximately 10% of its consolidated sales each year.

R&D Structure

-In the fiscal year ended May 31, 2020, the Company had 7,789 employees working in research and development. This represents an increase of 0.3% in the number of employees in research and development over the previous year. Approximately 21% of the Company’s employees are working in research and development.

R&D Facilities

-The Company has an international network consisting of 35 research and development centers.

R&D Activities

-The Company’s subsidiary, HELLA Aglaia Mobile Vision GmbH, developed a camera-based environment detection system as part of the SAFARI project for autonomous vehicles. In addition to providing self-localization for the vehicle, the system’s aim was to perceive and classify its surroundings to provide information into a dynamic road map for other road users. HELLA Aglaia also developed a free space detection system for SAFARI that detects the area around the vehicle that is suitable for driving maneuvers. This allows the system to draw conclusions about available parking spaces, incorrect parking spaces or construction sites. (From a press release on December 13, 2019)

One of the primary focuses of the Company’s research and development in its Lighting division is the standardization and modularization of its lighting solutions. For example, Hella is developing Matrix LED technologies with modular capabilities that can be offered to automakers as a scalable and cost-optimized solution.

-The Company’s Automotive Lighting business division is also focused on miniaturizing current lighting technologies for automakers to provide more freedom in vehicle development. In order to accomplish this, the Company is becoming more involved in the development of large-scale integrated optical systems for improved efficiency.

-In the field of car body lighting, the Company is focused on lighting solutions that can support the digitalization and personalization of vehicles. These can include systems such as a projector that displays information while opening or exiting a vehicle. The Company is also working on lighting solutions that can illuminate the side of the vehicle, and systems that use light to communicate information between vehicles and other road users.

-The Company is part of the EU-funded research project InterAct, partnering with companies such as BMW and Bosch, academic organizations such as the University of Athens, University of Leeds, Technical University of Munich, and other research entities such as the Fiat Research Center and German Aerospace Center. The project focuses on how autonomous vehicles can communicate with non-autonomous road users. During the fiscal year ended May 31, 2020, the project conducted studies on light-based external human-machine technologies. The project is set to conclude in September 2020.

-The Company is part of the Smart Headlamp Technology research project, which aims to develop an intelligent headlamp that can detect performance variations at an early stage and appropriately adjust to them. During the fiscal year ended May 31, 2020, the Company assisted in the development of an expanded lighting simulation and a hardware-in-the-loop test environment. The new systems enable early development validation during the system development process.

-At the Company’s L-LAB research instates for automotive lighting and mechatronics, the Company has conducted research on concepts for light guidance and high-resolution adaptive headlamp systems.

-During the fiscal year ended May 31, 2020, the Company completed the Autokonf project. The Autokonf project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and included BMW, the Fraunhofer Institute for Microsystems and Solid State Technologies, intedis and itk Engineering. The project aimed to develop fail-safe functions for autonomous driving. A future project will test the fail-safe system after being developed in close-to-production conditions in a test vehicle.


Technological Alliances

-The Company and the U.S. start-up Oculii announced a strategic partnership to develop high-performance, scalable radar solutions that meet the requirements for assisted and automated driving. The cooperation includes a strategic investment in Oculii by HELLA Ventures. Oculii’s Virtual Aperture Imaging Software will further enhance the performance of radar sensors by cost-effectively increasing accuracy, range and information quality. The partnership will focus on integrating Oculii's software technology to the Company’s 77 GHz radar platform. Results of the partnership are expected to go into series production in 2023. (From a press release on January 6, 2020)

-The Company’s Hella Gutmann partnership develops smart diagnostic solutions. With new software architecture and the smart diagnostic interface for the mega macs 77 and mega macs 77 VARIO, Hella Gutmann is laying the foundation for a long-term and sustainable overall concept. In the future, Hella Gutmann will offer solutions for difficult problems via remote service. A specialist will log into the mega macs devices remotely and perform certain operations on the vehicle. With the mega macs devices and the CSC-Tool, the Hella Gutmann product portfolio fulfills all the requirements for ADAS calibrations. (From a press release on September 30, 2019)

-TomTom and HELLA Aglaia, a Company subsidiary, announced a collaboration to move towards updating the TomTom High Definition Map (HD Map) in real time using crowdsourced camera data from vehicles. HELLA Aglaia will use AutoStream, TomTom’s map delivery system, to access the latest HD Map on demand for accurate localization. HELLA Aglaia will share processed camera data with TomTom's cloud-based mapping system for autonomous driving, updating the HD Map in real time. This will be achieved by generating crowdsourced map updates called Roadagrams which ensure the HD Map reflects actual road conditions. AutoStream then delivers the updated map data back to the vehicle. The technology will be demonstrated to automakers and Tier 1s by the end of 2019. (From a press release on September 5, 2019)

-The Company is collaborating with Faurecia to design holistic system solutions. During the fiscal year ended May 31, 2020, the Company formed a joint project team with Faurecia to develop integrated light guides in door trim panels for a German automaker. The Company and Faurecia are also involved in pre-development projects for indirect lighting of vehicle interiors using light-permeable surfaces.

-The Company is working with U.S. start-up Light Field Lab as part of the Company’s efforts on the development of new, efficient and cost-effect optical materials for light guidance and conduction. The two companies started work on a joint proof of concept in October 2019, using Light Field Lab’s light guide technology is evaluated for use in automotive applications with both headlamps and rear lamps. Light Field Lab focuses on developing light guides based on nanoparticles to generate three-dimensional representations similar to holograms.

Product Development

77 GHz radar system
-The Company will begin series production of its 77 GHz radar technology in spring 2020 for an Asian bus and truck manufacturer. The sensors will initially be manufactured at the electronics plant in Hamm, Germany, and later in China and the U.S. The 77 GHz radar is characterized by its high performance, long range and compact design. This simplifies its integration into the vehicle body and enables 360-degree perception. The Company’s 77 GHz radar sensors are based on a modular, scalable platform concept. In addition, the Company’s recent partnership with U.S. start-up Oculii will increase the performance of the radar platform through integrating Oculii’s software. (From a press release on February 20, 2020)

Digital Light SSL | HD high-resolution lighting system
-The Company introduced its new high-resolution lighting system, "Digital Light SSL | HD". With the technology, more than 30,000 pixels can be intelligently and individually controlled. The SSL | HD technology improves established lighting functions such as adaptive, glare-free high beams, and enables new light-based applications, such as an optical lane assistant or the projection of protection areas for cyclists or pedestrians. The Company offers OEMs the option of freely programming lighting functions or developing new business models on a pay-per-use basis. A European premium manufacturer for large-scale production has already placed an order, with series production to commence in 2022. (From a press release on November 19, 2019)

Technologies shown at 2019 Solutrans international transport trade fair
-The Company will present various product solutions that can enhance visibility and safety in road traffic at Solutrans international transport trade fair. A new product that is being introduced is the K-LED Rebelution, which combines design and state-of-the-art Edge Light technology. The K-LED Rebelution generates a 360° signal that is instantly visible from a distance. It is available as a flashing or rotating signal. The Company has developed the Park Safety Fix (PS-Fix), an autonomous parking lighting system to improve trailer visibility in low light. The system consists of a battery-supported power source that can actively illuminate trailers without a towing vehicle. The first series model will be available from January 2020. The HELLA VISIOTECH technology projects warning signals and symbols on the ground, and has already been integrated into three products designed for special vehicles. The Company will also show a modular rear combination lamp for trailers with an integrated electronic module for controlling flashing LED side marker lamps. (From a press release on November 15, 2019)

LED Modular Worklight series
-The Company has developed a new LED worklight series called Modular Worklight, whose design has been adapted to the Shapeline modular lamp series. Through the two series, vehicle manufacturers can give a unique appearance to their models. Modular Worklight is fully integrated in the cabin roof and thus is better protected from external influences. Modular Worklight is available in the two design lines: TECH, which uses classic straight lines, and STYLE which is dynamically curved. Beyond the standard distributions for close-range and long-range illumination, the Modular Worklight series is available in the glare-free illumination variant ZEROGLARE. (From a press release on November 11, 2019)

Technologies shown at Electric Vehicle Technologies Conference 2019
-At the Electric Vehicle Technologies Conference 2019, the Company will present a dual voltage battery management system which enables hybridization for compact and mid-size vehicles. Series production is expected to start in 2023. The system combines the functions of a 48-volt and 12-volt battery in a single product the size of a conventional 12-volt battery. The new solution saves weight and space and can be integrated into existing vehicle architectures. The intelligent circuit of the cells allows lithium-ion battery capacity to be used in the 12-volt or 48-volt vehicle electrical system. (From a press release on October 28, 2019)

Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System
-The Company’s new Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) will debut at Busworld 2019. It gives vehicles with noiseless engines a sound similar to a conventional internal combustion engine. Since July 1, new electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles in the EU must have an acoustic signal to protect other road users. The signal makes otherwise silent vehicles more audible. At speeds below 20 km/h, AVAS simulates a noise that rises in intensity as speed increases. The AVAS also generates a sound when the vehicle is reversing. At speeds above 20 km/h, the simulated sound is silenced as the sound of the tires on the road is loud enough. A standard sound is stored in the compact sensor. Customer-specific driving noises can be developed on request. (From a press release on October 9, 2019)

Technologies shown at Busworld 2019
-The Company will present technology highlights for buses and coaches at Busworld 2019. Besides the debuting Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS), the Company will also present its 24-volt intelligent battery sensor and rain-light sensor. The Company’s VISIOTECH projection technology enables communication through light and can visually warn other road users. The Company will also present intelligent lighting systems based on established matrix LED technologies. Another highlight is the 90 mm LED module R 80. This headlamp uses an innovative reflector design that provides a homogeneous illumination which neither distracts nor tires the driver. The technology enables cost-effective switching from halogen to LED headlamps. In addition, the Company will show the Multi Lens Array (MLA) projection module, which can present different personalized welcome displays on the vehicle’s exterior or interior. (From a press release on October 3, 2019)

Solid State Lighting | HD high-resolution lighting system
The Company is launching the next generation of lighting technology with Solid State Lighting | High Definition (SSL | HD) technology. The Company has further miniaturized the- light source so that 15,000 LED pixels can now be individually and intelligently controlled. A first series order for technology integration into a headlamp has been successfully acquired and will available in three years. By controlling individual pixels, the light distribution on the road can be generated directly at the light source surface and projected onto the road via a multi-stage optical system. The higher number of pixels and the enlarged light-emitting surface allow new applications with higher light quality and performance. (From a press release on September 11, 2019)

Front of the Car demonstration concept vehicle
-The Company will present new Front of the Car approach for the vehicle exterior, developed with Plastic Omnium, at IAA 2019. The concept includes comprehensive lighting solutions integrated into the front of the vehicle. The front of the car is an important integration location for numerous sensors, lighting modules and other elements. Plastic Omnium and the Company are working on an intelligent system approach that can open up new design possibilities. The Front of the Car concept has a multi-level set-up. In the beginning, development activities focus on efficiently integrating lighting modules such as direction indicators or contour lighting. First development projects progress at higher integration levels. This includes the integration of electronic components such as radar or lidar sensors or cameras. Finally, large displays for communication purposes and headlamps can also be integrated at more sophisticated development stages. (From a press release on September 11, 2019)

AE110 lidar system
-AEye’s AE110 system will be an integrated component in the Company’s demonstration vehicle at IAA 2019. The AE110 features the industry’s only software-definable, solid-state agile LiDAR, with embedded AI and industry-leading performance. The AE110 sensor system delivers four to eight times the information of conventional, first-generation LiDAR sensors, using a fraction of the time and energy. At IAA, the Company will demonstrate some of the AE110’s unique capabilities, including instantaneous resolution in the form of defining multiple regions of interest in a scene. The Company will develop and manufacture sensing and perception solutions based on AEye’s iDAR technology. (From a press release on September 10, 2019)

Dual Voltage Battery Management System and Shake sensor at IAA 2019
-At IAA 2019, the Company will present innovative solutions for electrification and autonomous driving. One product is the Dual Voltage Battery Management System, which combines functions of a 48-volt and 12-volt battery in a single product the size of a conventional 12-volt battery. The solution is primarily designed for compact and mid-size cars and can reduce CO2 emissions by 5 to 6 grams per kilometer. Series production is expected to start in 2023. The Company will also present a new sensor that can gauge road conditions. The structure-borne sound sensor SHAKE (Structural Health And Knock Emission) can determine the condition of the road through vibrations generated by contact such as from water droplets and alert the driver of scenarios such as hydroplaning. (From a press release on September 10, 2019)

LED auxiliary headlamps
-The Company launched new full LED auxiliary headlamps for the Luminator and Rallye 3003 series for commercial vehicles, combining function and design in a single product. A highlight is the striking position light with a hexagonal contour that displays a characteristic lighting design when switched on. This is ensured by EdgeLight technology, which was transferred from the Company’s automotive sector. The LED variants provide another advantage in that the daylight-like light color contributes to fatigue-free driving. Furthermore, the instantaneous high beam light signal enables the use of a headlamp flasher function. The housing and fixing bracket of the LED Luminator are manufactured through a zinc diecasting process. The LED-style Rallye 3003 has an impact-resistant, lightweight plastic housing made of thermoplastic material. In order to ensure an optimum operating temperature, a horizontal cooling strip with an area of 230 square centimeters has been integrated into the design. Both auxiliary headlamps are suitable for 12- and 24-volt rated systems. (From a press release on September 2, 2019)

Technologies shown at Caravan Salon 2019
-The Company will present new lighting and electronics solutions at the Caravan Salon 2019 in Dusseldorf. This includes the recently expanded portfolio of 90 mm modules. The new R 80 modules have a specially developed reflector design instead of a lens to ensure both homogeneous illumination and a cost-efficient switch from halogen to LED technology. The Company will also present the modular Shapeline lamps series that gives vehicles unique appearance signature. The Company will also demonstrate Multi Lens Array technology. (From a press release on August 20, 2019)

Technologies shown at IAA 2019
-The Company will present various lighting and electronics solutions for future mobility at IAA 2019 focusing on electromobility and automated driving. A concept vehicle illustrates how specific lighting and electronic products support various stages of electrification and function in electric or hybrid vehicles. The Company will also present new battery solutions for mild hybrids with the Dual Voltage Battery Management System and the PowerPack48V. It will also present a completely redesigned vehicle interior. Different lighting solutions support various automated driving scenarios and contribute to vehicle customization and comfort while driving. With the Front of the Car approach, new concepts are being developed for the vehicle front, in which lighting and electronic components are seamlessly integrated into the body, offering new styling and functional possibilities. High-resolution, digital headlamp technologies provide additional safety. The Company is also bundling sensor and data processing solutions in a targeted manner to map complex subfunctions of autonomous driving, such as automated parking. (From a press release on August 16, 2019)

Headlamp demister
-The Company’s innovation center, HELLA Fast Forward Shanghai, has awarded a team that provided a solution for a headlamp demister. The team applied semiconductor refrigeration technology to headlamps via its self-developed lighting control system. This enables water vapor to condense and then flow out of the headlamps, thus avoiding fogging in the lampshade. The project successfully transformed the idea to a real product in one hundred days by utilizing the Company’s development resources. During the incubation process, the Company acted as both an investor and a participator. (From a press release on August 7, 2019)

Lighting system concept based on laser technology
-The Company and the Fraunhofer Application Center are co-developing a prototype lighting system based on laser technology. A fully adaptive, high-resolution light distribution system is required to adapt to traffic situations in real time. As such, both the headlamp and corresponding sensor system must be fitted to the vehicle. Fraunhofer tested different materials with respect to their suitability as part of the HipE research project that completed in February 2019. The Company designed and built a prototype for a high-resolution headlamp module incorporating a laser light source for subsequent use in the headlamp assembly in the project. The two project partners will continue to work together to fully meet the requirements of a headlamp application. (From a press release on July 9, 2019)

Light Design solution with design tools
-The Company is the first supplier to offer a complete system for complex lighting systems. The Company’s two business divisions are working together to combine their product technologies into a flexible, modular product system. The Company offers a Light Design solution which enables manufacturers to easily configure complex lighting systems and reduce their integration cost. The Company provides manufacturers with access to ALiSiA (Advanced Lighting Simulation Architecture) and GAIN (Graphical Animation Interpreter). ALiSiA enables manufacturers to test the dynamic behavior of new front light functions on the PC, and to make individual adjustments. GAIN enables automotive manufacturers to easily design light animations. (From a press release on June 26, 2019)

Systems to support mild hybridization
-The Company has developed a Dual Voltage Battery Management System and PowerPack 48 Volt to support mild hybridization. The new solutions reduce emissions by 5 to 6 grams of CO2 per kilometer, and thus help achieve CO2 targets in the short term. The Dual Voltage Battery Management System combines a 48V battery, 12V battery and voltage transformer into a single product in the packaging space of a conventional battery for compact and mid-size cars. The PowerPack 48 Volt system enables hybrid functions such as recuperation and active coasting as well as other comfort functions. (From a press release on June 4, 2019)

Microlens array based system
-The Company presented a system based on microlens array (MLA) at the International Automotive Lighting Forum, China (IFAL) that makes it possible to reduce the size of lighting components such as optical systems. By improving materials and optimizing relevant parameters, MLA systems can also be applied to automotive lighting. (From a press release on June 25, 2019)

Headlamp concept with light exit height under 20 mm.

-The Company is developing concepts for implementing the main lighting functions of a headlamp with a light exit height of less than 20 mm. The Company will select and combine a number of technical concepts to form a modular development system with additional modifications possible based on vehicle design, customer specifications and regulatory requirements. It expects to have the first headlamp systems based on slimline concepts available for consumers in 2021.

Functionalities for ambient lighting in vehicle interiors
-The Company has developed new functionalities for ambient lighting in vehicle interiors. In addition to adjustable color and color intensity for ambient lighting, the Company has developed systems to use light to display information. It has also developed roof consoles with additional features for ambient lighting.

Third-generation 12/48-volt voltage converters
-The Company is developing the third-generation of 12/48-volt voltage converters. The voltage converters enable the vehicle to use recovered energy stored in the 48-volt electrical system to supply 12-volt loads, for example, when an internal combustion engine is switched off. The newest generation of 12/48-volt voltage converters is expected to begin series production in 2023.

Optimized onboard vehicle charger
-The Company is developing a highly efficient onboard vehicle charger that has been optimized in terms of weight and dimensions. The charger has a charging capacity of 3 kW to 22 kW and can provide bidirectional charging. Due to its integrated smart charging functions, the charger can regulate charging times to reduce load on the grid and avoid peak charging times.

Solution for keyless and hands-free vehicle access based on ultra-broadband technology
-The Company is developing a comprehensive system solution for keyless and hands-free vehicle access based on ultra-broadband technology. Due to high-precision localization technology, the system is protected from relay attacks. Furthermore, the system provides additional flexibility in that access can be securely managed for applications such as car sharing services. The solution is compatible with both iOS and Android operating systems and could be available on the market as soon as 2022.

Capital Expenditure

(in million EUR)
  FY ended May 31, 2020 FY ended May 31, 2019 FY ended May 31,2018
Total 431 551 432


-The Company’s capital expenditures include investments towards long-term expansion of its global development, administrative and production network. The Company also invested in product-specific capital equipment.

Investments outside Germany

-The Company’s joint venture with BHAP, HELLA BHAP Electronics, started production in Zhenjiang, China. The plant has a production area of 7,000 square meters, and began production of sunroof control units at the end of 2019. The production of lighting electronic components will follow shortly. Future expansions to the production portfolio will include energy management and driver assistance products. Currently, HELLA BHAP Electronics’ customers are companies from the BAIC Group, though it aims to expand its customer base in the future. The joint venture currently has approximately 65 employees. (From a press release on January 9, 2020)

-The local government of Zhenjiang and HELLA BHAP Electronics (Jiangsu), a joint venture between the Company and BHAP, signed a project cooperation agreement. The agreement provides details on subsidies and other ways of support for the joint venture. The HELLA BHAP Electronics factory in Zhenjiang, is currently under construction. The plant will initially comprise a production area of 7,000 square meters. It is planned to commence series production at the beginning of 2020 of lighting electronic components, sunroof electronic control units and battery management systems. (From a press release on June 19, 2019)

-HELLA Lithuania has started to manufacture turbine air pressure actuators for gasoline cars in the European market. A fully automated production line has been dedicated to manufacturing the wastegate actuator. The production line can manufacture several million actuators a year under current line readiness. The new line will create twenty jobs and will manufacture actuators across three shifts. Twelve technicians and operators will be responsible for line maintenance and operations. The actuator manufacturing process uses advanced technologies, such as laser welding plastic components, and automated systems that detect incorrect components and isolate defective parts. (From Invest Lithuania press release on October 31, 2019)