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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

HELLA strengthens its market position in the field of car body lighting

Date: Wednesday 25 November 2020

HELLA, the lighting and electronics expert, that designs the car body lighting of tomorrow, has acquired several important orders from premium and volume manufacturers in this sector and further strengthens its own market position. "Light is the new chrome," says Dr. Frank Huber, Managing Director at HELLA and responsible for the Lighting division. "We clearly feel that manufacturers are more than ever looking for innovative lighting solutions to give their vehicles a unique character."

HELLA positioned itself in this growing field at an early stage. As early as mid-2016, the company opened a new competence centre for car body lighting in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Since then its activities have been pushed forward at full speed. This includes the development of highly integrated lighting solutions, in particular. For example, HELLA played a decisive role in developing the illuminated radiator grille of the BMW X6, thus additionally highlighting the unmistakable "BMW kidney" in the front of the vehicle. "Car body lighting is an increasingly important differentiating factor for car manufacturers. This development is also being spurred on by the ongoing electrification," says Dr. Huber. Since e-cars no longer require classic engine cooling, car designers have additional scope to use the front vehicle signature as the central brand face.

HELLA has also received an important order from a German premium manufacturer to integrate a "design character line" into the grille of an electric vehicle. The vehicle will be on the market in early 2021. A dynamic lighting feature for the grille of another electric car of a European volume manufacturer was also developed and will be launched at the beginning of next year. For this purpose, 130 LEDs are integrated into a thick-walled Edge Light, light guide to create a crystal effect. In addition, HELLA's light developers are currently working on a panel more than one metre wide, which will be used in the front area of a European e-vehicle brand. This requires the highest surface quality and it is also penetrable by radar in order to be able to realise the function of automatic distance control (ACC).

Illuminated displays, LED light strips or illuminated logos – as a system integrator, HELLA has all the necessary core competences to bring innovations to the road. This ranges from distinctive lighting technology expertise, electronics and software know-how for control and system integration to the ability to produce even larger plastic parts with high-quality surfaces. Added to this are the many years of experience in the production of complex radar covers (Radom, abbreviation for Radar Dome). These protect the front radar sensors against adverse weather and soiling and are usually located behind the emblem of the car manufacturer, which means they are also a central element of car body lighting. "HELLA's comprehensive expertise is a real unique selling point in the market. Building on this, we will further expand and sustainably strengthen our position in the field of car body lighting worldwide", says Dr. Huber.