Hella furthers its presence in China; ties up with partners

In line with its focus on the Chinese market, German automotive parts supplier Hella has signed further cooperation agreements at the recent Auto Shanghai motor show in China. “China is and remains one of the key automotive markets for Hella,” said its CEO Dr. Rolf Breidenbach. “Above all, China has long been a key global market for future topics such as electromobility and autonomous driving. In order to successfully address these and other topics in China, we are systematically expanding our own activities with partnerships.”

Hella intends to work together with BHAP, a company belonging to the Chinese automotive group BAIC, and US battery specialist Farasis in the field of battery management systems. The three partners have now agreed on a corresponding strategic cooperation. The focus of the cooperation is in particular on the development, production and distribution of battery management systems for 12 and 48 Volt vehicle electrical systems as well as high-voltage applications.

While Hella says it will contribute its own expertise in hardware and software development to the cooperation, Farasis will bring in its know-how in the field of battery cell production and BHAP will ensure market access, especially within the BAIC Group. The cooperation will focus on meeting demand in the Chinese market and is expected to be further developed by the end of this year. In this context, the possible establishment of a joint venture in China will also be investigated further.

At Auto Shanghai, Hella also signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Wuling Automotive Industry, which belongs to the Chinese Guangxi Automobile Group. Both partners intend to work together on automotive lighting technologies for the Chinese market, with a particular focus on the development of headlamps for the volume segment. The cooperation will be further substantiated in the coming months and shall especially supply the Chinese automobile manufacturer SAIC General Motors Wuling Automobile.

At Auto Shanghai, Hella introduced its Dual Voltage Battery Management System and PowerPack 48 Volt, making it one of the first on the market to develop innovative battery module solutions for the rapidly growing market of mild hybrid vehicles. It also focused on key technologies for assisted and automated driving, including radar sensors and camera software.

Hella has been present in China for over 25 years and is currently represented there with over 6,000 employees and 17 companies (including five joint ventures). In the past fiscal year 2017/2018, the automotive supplier generated sales of EUR844 million in China.