Hella Lighting Plans Expansion in Guadalajara

Hella Lighting announces its plans to expand in Guadalajara by opening a product development center as well as increasing the size of its production facility there.

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Hella Lighting plans to open a product development center and expand its manufacturing facilities in Guadalajara. The company's new 9,000-square-foot design and development center for lighting technology is expected to open in March of next year. Hella also is scheduled to complete a 15,000-square-foot expansion of its Guadalajara manufacturing complex next June for the production of automotive reflectors for customers based throughout the Americas.

Working within Hella's global product development network, the new development center will allow the company to work more closely with its customers in Mexico and elsewhere throughout the NAFTA region. The center will employ more than 80 design and lighting specialists.

Hella design teams at the development center will work directly with customers to define product requirements; to develop product designs and design options; to manage product testing, validation and reliability, and to assist in new-product manufacturing launches.

Initial programs at the development center will include work on simple and high-complexity head lamps, rear lamps and signal-function lamps for customers in the NAFTA region as well as elsewhere in South America. Although the center won't officially open until next spring, development teams in Guadalajara already are working on projects for a number of OEM customers.

Ignacio Moreno, a member of Hella Lighting's Executive Board and CEO for Hella Lighting North & South America says, "The new development center will better integrate product knowledge with our team in Mexico and throughout our established network of development centers throughout the world."

"With the integration of specialists in Mexico into our global product-development network knowledge transfer will occur more quickly and better support our customer commitment," Moreno points out.

The Hella executive explains that the new center in Mexico also will work closely with the company's other NAFTA-based product development group in suburban Detroit. The Detroit center supplies application engineering and on-site support for many of the company's customers in the United States.

"We will have a number of job openings at our product development centers in both Guadalajara and Detroit," Moreno says. "We've seen an increasing interest in LED lighting technology, have received a number of new-business awards and also expect additional growth in the next several years."

The modern, high-technology reflector production unit in Guadalajara will increase plant capacity.

A recent expansion of a second Hella lighting plant in Guadalajara provided a 30% increase in head lamp production capacity for North and South American-based automotive customers.

Moreno notes that production capacity at Hella's Guadalajara lighting complex is already fully booked for next year and the company is considering plans for an additional plant within the next several years. He added that as many as 700 new jobs could be created at Hella Lighting in Mexico by 2013 or 2014.

Information about current and future job openings at Hella Lighting in Mexico is available by emailing Laura Itzel Diaz Escalante at lauraitzel.diaz@hella.com. She also can be reached by phone at +52 (33) 3668 4300 - extension 3121.

"Continuous growth potential exists in the North and South American regions," adds Carlos Castrillo, managing director for Hella Lighting's operations in Guadalajara. "We anticipate an increasing amount of OEM vehicle development work to take place in Mexico and Brazil as well.

"Mexico has become an important manufacturing center not only for North America but also for Central and South America. We undoubtedly will need to increase our production capacity to respond to future customer demand."

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