Hella Announces Plans to Expand in Mexico

Hella announces it plans to expand its operations in Mexico with a new plant which will increase production of headlamps and rear combination lamps.

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HELLA Lighting plans to break ground on a new 215,000-square-foot facility to produce automotive headlamps and rear lighting systems in Irapuato, Mexico, later this spring.

Located in the state of Guanajuato, the new plant is scheduled to open in June 2013 with an annual capacity of approximately 1.2 million headlamps and 1.5 million rear combination lamps. HELLA plans to invest more than $97 million in the new facility.

The company also is expanding its facilities in Guadalajara, Mexico. A new 9,000-square-foot design and development center for lighting technology is expected to open this March. In addition, HELLA is scheduled to complete a 15,000-square-foot expansion of its Guadalajara manufacturing complex in June.

The new manufacturing facilities will increase HELLA's annual production capacity in the Americas for headlamps from 3.7 million to 4.9 million. Production capacity for rear combination lamps will grow from 2.5 million to 4 million.

"We're expanding in Mexico to meet a rapidly growing demand for our products from our customers in Mexico and elsewhere throughout the Americas," says Ignacio Moreno, a member of HELLA Lighting's executive board and CEO of HELLA Lighting North & South America.

He adds that the company's production sites in Guadalajara and Irapuato will serve as HELLA's primary manufacturing facilities for the Americas and supply customers throughout the world as well.

"Our new plant in Irapuato is strategically located in one of Mexico's primary automotive regions," Moreno notes. "Irapuatoprovides us with easy access to many of our OEM customers, as well as to borders and main ports.

"HELLA sees tremendous growth potential in the Americas. Additional production capacity and strong product development teams in Plymouth, MI, and Guadalajara, Mexico, will allow us to take advantage of future growth opportunities in the region and further increase the levels of support we provide to our customers."

HELLA currently has more than 2,500 employees in the Americas. Its new manufacturing and development center expansions are expected to add 800 new jobs by the end of 2014.

HELLA Lighting expects significant sales growth in the Americas over the next three years.