Hella says it has has expanded its production capacities in the NAFTA region with a focus on Mexico.

The lighting and electronics specialist has officially opened a new electronics plant in Apaseo el Grande in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. In addition, the production capacities in two existing lighting plants in Mexico were expanded at the end of 2017. The total investment volume in Euro is situated in the medium double-digit millions.

"In North, Central and South America, we are currently growing by more than 15%, and therefore much more strongly than the market", explains Hella CEO Dr Rolf Breidenbach. "The capital expenditure in our facilities is primarily to serve existing orders placed by regional customers, as well as to further develop our position in the North American market."

Together with representatives of the local and regional governments, Hella has now officially opened the newly built electronics plant in Apaseo el Grande. The plant recently began series production. The new location will specialise in manufacturing body control units, control units for electronic power steering and key fobs, among other products. The plant currently has a total area of 11,000sqm and will employ up to 250 members of staff in the first development phase.

"With Hella, a very respected, technologically leading and internationally positioned automotive supplier has settled in Guanajuato", said Guillermo Romero Pacheco, Secretary for Sustainable Economic Development for the state of Guanajuato, at the opening ceremony for the new plant. "This once again underlines the attractiveness of this region as an industrial location." Pacheco took part in the opening ceremony with the Municipality President of Apaseo el Grande, Gonzalo Centeno.

Hella also significantly expanded the production capacities of two existing lighting plants in Mexico at the end of last year. The location in Irapuato has been extended to include series production of innovative LED headlamp modules, while the El Salto lighting plant based in the state of Jalisco has been extended to further include the production of complex rear combination lamps. The area of the two plants has been increased by 16,000sqm to a total of 79,000sqm. As a part of this expansion, the total number of employees is now over 3,000, almost twice as many as before.

Hella currently employs over 7,000 members of staff at 15 locations in the North, Central and South American region. In the 2016/2017 fiscal year, the automotive supplier achieved sales of more than EUR1bn (US$1.18bn) in this market. In addition to the capacity increases in Mexico, Hella is also currently expanding electronics production in Shanghai, and is building additional electronics plants in India and Lithuania.

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