HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co. Business Report FY ended May 2012

Business Highlights

Financial Overview

(in million euros)
  FY ended May. 31, 2012 FY ended May. 31, 2011 Rate of
change (%)
Sales 4,810 4,371 10.0 1)
EBITDA 615 565 8.8 -
Sales by Segment
Lighting 1,865 1,754 6.3 -
Electronics 1,581 1,391 13.7 -

1) Overall Sales
-The key drivers to the Company's growth are still the mega-trends in the automotive industry, which are shaped by a growing environmental awareness and demand for safety, as well as the switch from conventional lighting to LED technology. The Company's products fulfill the demands as above.

-The Company's substantial global footprint gives it a broad market access, and creates sales potential thanks to the high growth rates in the emerging markets. The Company continues to see the greatest medium-term growth opportunities in the markets of China and North America, but also India and Brazil.

Factors by Geographic Area
-Asia/Pacific/Rest of World: The sales region once more recorded the strongest growth - 12% - in the past fiscal year, contributing 23% to consolidated sales.

-North/South America: In the region, sales were up 15% year-on-year, which accounted for 19% of consolidated sales.

-Germany: Sales in Germany, as in the previous year, increased strongly by 20% compared with the previous year.

-Europe excluding Germany: Sales in the region grew only slightly by 3% due to a strong decline in demand in Southern European countries whose economies were especially affected by the Euro crisis.


-The Company is supplying AFL+, an improved Adaptive Forward Lighting, to the Opel "Insignia", "Astra" and "Astra Sports Tourer" vehicle models.

-The Company announced that since September 2011, all new Volkswagen "Tiguan" cars which have rolled off the belts equipped with bi-xenon headlights have also been provided with the new INTEMO module from Hella. The new module is able to swivel; therefore realizing the function of dynamic bend lighting. The Company opted for a 4-millimeter smaller lens. And then the hybrid reflector is made up of an aluminum deep-drawn part and a plastic inlay. INTEMO is around 100 grams lighter than the comparable module. (From a press release on September 26, 2011)

-The Company announced that the all-new 2012 Volkswagen "Beetle" features front and rear exterior lighting from Hella, including headlamps, fog lamps, front side markers, tail lamps, rear reflex reflectors, and a center high mounted stop lamp (CHMSL). The Company began development of its lighting programs for the new 2012 "Beetle" in 2009. To develop the tail lamps, members of the Company's engineering and product development staff in Plymouth, Michigan, U.S., led a design team located in Lippstadt, Germany. The headlamps were designed by Hella's engineering team in the Czech Republic. Production of the halogen version of the headlamps for the new "Beetle" started earlier this year at Hella's facility in Mexico City. (From a press release on June 29, 2011)

Business Partnership

-The Company announced that it will manufacture electronic products in Brazil in partnership with Brazil-based Emicol Eletro Eletronica, a producer of electronic and electro-mechanical components. Production of Hella body-control modules for a major automotive manufacturer is expected to begin within the next 12 months at an Emicol Eletro Eletronica facility in Itu in the State of Sao Paulo. The Company recently completed a 50,000-square-foot addition at its San Jose Iturbide electronics plant in Mexico. This expansion will enable the Company to increase production in a variety of components for customers in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, including accelerator pedal sensors, vacuum pumps, body control modules, transmission range sensors and surface-mount technology products. (From a press release on April 25, 2012)

Joint Ventures

-The Company announced that it has founded a joint venture with Changchun FAWAY Automobile Components Co. Ltd. in Changchun, Jilin Province, China. The joint venture will be set up with about 200 million yuan (25 million euros). Together with Hella Shanghai Electronics Co. Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of Hella Group, the Chinese joint venture is expected to develop and manufacture lighting systems for the Chinese market. In view of the increasingly complex lighting systems, the new company will also be responsible for integrating electronic parts and control units. Major clients include the Chinese FAW. (From a press release on February 10, 2012)

<Mando Hella Electronics Corp.>
-The South Korean joint venture with Mando Corporation, Mando Hella Electronics, achieved positive operative earnings in the Asian market in 2011 with chassis control units and sensors.

-Further growth of nearly 100% is planned for 2012, since new products such as the steering power pack, angle of rotation sensors and the first radar sensors for the premium vehicle of South Korean customer will contribute to this rise in sales.

-With the opening of a new plant in Suzhou, China, Mando Hella Electronics will supply the Chinese market directly in future.

<Behr-Hella Thermocontrol GmbH>
-Behr-Hella Thermocontrol GmbH, joint venture with Behr, acquired high-volume contracts in the 2011- 2012 fiscal year, continuing its profitable growth.

-A significant milestone in the Company's strategic focus on components for electric vehicles was achieved, with the series production of the first electric high-voltage heater.

Recent Development Outside Germany

-The Electronics Business Division acquired many new contracts, and kicked off the expansion of local production to cope with strong demand in the USA. As the next step, the Company will commence local production of the rain/light sensors in Mexico, also in response to extremely high customer demand.

Business Policy

-The Company will step up proposals of its fuel-saving and active safety technologies to Japanese automakers. Japanese car OEMs are striving to meet tightening emissions regulations not only in Japan but also in the U.S. and Europe. The Company is going to introduce to the Japanese manufacturers next generation products, which will help them increase the powertrain efficiency of hybrids as well as vehicles mounted with an internal combustion engine. The Company intends to absorb new needs of automakers by proposing advanced drive assist solutions such as its new compact and high-performance steering angle sensor and a radar system, which is capable of detecting obstacles when the vehicle is moving slowly at about 15km/hour. Through these initiatives, the Company aims to double its global sales to Japanese automakers by 2015. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on June 22, 2011)


-The Company has received the Best Supplier Award 2011 from Porsche. The Company is developing and manufacturing headlamps and rear lights for Porsche. (From a press release on July 25, 2011)


R&D Expenditure

(in million euros)
  FY ended May 31, 2012 FY ended May 31, 2011 FY ended May 31, 2010
Lighting 142 128 111
Electronics 224 204 171
Aftermarket and Special OE 22 14 14
Total 388 346 296
as a % of sales 8.1% 7.9% 8.3%
R&D Employees 4,832 3,882 3,517


R&D Facilities

-The Company announced that it expanded the automotive development capabilities in Shanghai (China) and Pune (India) in the past fiscal year. The Company also plans to build another development facility with a lighting technology and energy management focus in Nanjing (China) in the current fiscal year. (From a press release on September 7, 2011)

R&D Activities

-The Company has embarked on development of the next-generation power source management system to meet needs of both high 48-60 volt and low 12-volt devices with the aim of improving fuel efficiency of gasoline and diesel engine vehicles. The system is based on generation and storage at high voltages ranging from 48 to 60-volt, which will lead to downsizing of units such as power steering and electric pump requiring high electric current without additional cost. Concurrently, a voltage converter to transform high voltages to a low 12-volt allows conventional low-cost electric devices to be used in areas that do not require high current. The Company aims to introduce the new device to the market by 2015 in a bid to satisfy needs of automakers struggling to clear stringent fuel efficiency standards. It has already become possible to convert electricity from high 100-300 volt batteries in a hybrid vehicle to under 60-volt for supply to EPS and other devices. When the new system is applied, state-of-the art electric devices installed in hybrids will be able to be used in conventional gasoline engine vehicles. As the number of electric devices installed in a vehicle increases, advantages of high voltage also increase. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on June 8, 2011)

Technological Alliance

-The Company announced that it will cooperate with Germany-based Bender GmbH & Co. KG to develop new insulation monitor. Bender is a company that manufactures electrical insulation monitoring systems. Hella's development of an electronic system for monitoring lithium-ion batteries facilitates the safe and reliable operation of high-voltage batteries for full-hybrid and electric vehicles. The insulation monitor - which is an important component of the system - monitors the insulation resistance of the high-tension onboard system and provides effective protection against electric shocks. (From a press release on April 26, 2012)

Product Development

Lighting modules
-The Company developed the 55-millimeter module used in front and tail lights for buses, camper vans and power sports vehicles with LED technology. The module's built-in LEDs combine with the precision optical system to optimize the distribution of light while significantly reducing power consumption – allowing savings of up to 85% compared to the bulb version. In addition to the 55-millimeter module, the Company also offers the LED technology for 66, 83 and 122-millimeter variants. (From a press release on April 27, 2012)

Adaptive Forward Lighting systems
-The Company and Opel have developed AFL+, an improved Adaptive Forward Lighting, for the "Insignia", "Astra" and "Astra Sports Tourer" vehicle models. The AFL system supports the driver while driving around bends or turning in the dark, by lighting up the course of the road optimally. This has been proven to increase the visibility of objects and people. The AFL system's curve light provides comprehensive illumination of the inner side of the curve, as the light beam of the headlights adjusts to the course of the road with the help of sensors. When turning tight corners, cornering light is activated. This also illuminates the edges of the road, so that hazards can be identified as quickly as possible. Combined with bi-xenon headlights, AFL+ adjusts the width, range and direction of the light beam according to the driving situation. In addition, the integrated adverse weather lights offer optimised light distribution in adverse weather conditions. (From a press release on December 5, 2011)

Combination rear lights
-The Company announced that it has designed and developed the combination rear lights of the new Land Rover "Range Rover Evoque". The red transparent colouring of the flat light transmitters in thick-walled optics is a distinctive feature. (From a press release on November 3, 2011)

New LED lighting
-The Company and a Germany-based caravan manufacturer Hobby-Wohnwagenwerk Ing. Harald Striewski GmbH have joined forces to develop a new LED lighting concept for the Premium Caravan Series. Taillight and stop light are combined in a multi-function light. The rear brake lights have three parallel 3D plastic prism rods installed in the light lens. The two companies have already developed three generations of lights for caravans. (From a press release on August 10, 2011)

Investment Activities

Investment Outside Germany

-The construction of a second plant, which will produce relays and oil sensors specifically for the Chinese market, was started in Xiamen.

-The Company pushed ahead with the expansion of capacities in Brazil, where preparations are afoot for the final assembly of a central control unit.