Hella Sees Growing Demand for Rear LED Automotive Lighting

Aug 30, 2011, 09:40 ET from Hella

MEXICO CITY, Aug. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Hella, a leading supplier of automotive interior and exterior lighting systems, sees growing demand for rear LED vehicle lighting throughout the Americas.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101019/DE84104LOGO )

Rear LED lighting offers customers safety features, energy-savings and styling advantages, according to Ignacio Moreno, the CEO of Hella Lighting – Americas and president of Hella Corporate Center Mexico.

Moreno notes that conventional tail lamps take longer to fully illuminate. Because LEDs reach peak performance in milliseconds, they can help motorists avoid rear-end collisions.  By allowing drivers more time to react, studies have shown that LED lighting translates into seven to 10 feet in braking distance -- distance that counts in emergency situations.

There's also little or no risk of driving with burnt-out rear tail lamps with LED technology. LEDs last for the life of a car, while conventional bulbs typically burn out after 800-1,000 hours of use. Matched against conventional or upgraded HID lamps, LED rear and front lighting systems provide energy savings ranging from 65 up to 80 percent as well.

Automakers are focusing more and more attention on rear-end styling, where LEDs also offer clear advantages over incandescent bulbs. LED rear lamps today are standard on most European luxury cars.  On smaller, less expensive car lines LED treatments are offered in option packages to help distinguish a car line's sport, luxury or special-edition models.

"Customer demand for LED lighting has been much higher in technology-driven Europe than in the U.S., but we are seeing a growing interest in the Americas as well, especially in rear lighting," says Steffen Pietzonka, vice president of marketing for Hella Lighting. "Today the number of LED solutions here is limited, but we expect to see significant growth within the next five years."

Moreno predicts that LED rear-lighting sales in the NAFTA region will grow at a compounded annual rate of between six and nine percent.

"Virtually every new mid-size and above new-vehicle program planned for 2013 and beyond will offer LED rear-end lighting," he says.  "Some automakers even are planning rear LED lighting for entry-level cars. "

Hella has developed new applications of LED technology to provide car makers with a variety of new rear styling options, including light-curtain, edge-light and glowing-body technologies. By illuminating specific shapes, these technologies contribute to the creation of brand-typical designs.

"LED lighting is changing the way auto makers approach rear styling, helping to create additional brand awareness and offering a variety of new rear-end design options," Pietzonka adds. "Compared with conventional bulb technology, more sophisticated LED systems allow stylists to create a variety of other shapes and features."

On a global basis, Hella currently supplies LED rear lighting for more than 20 models, including vehicles from Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Ford, Lincoln and Volkswagen.  The company also is a leader in the development and manufacture of LED headlamps, as well as interior LED lighting systems.  

About Hella:  Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. develops and manufactures lighting and electronics components and systems for the automotive industry. Its joint venture companies also produce complete vehicle modules, air-conditioning systems and vehicle electric systems. In addition, Hella has one of the largest automotive aftermarket organizations in the world, with its own sales companies and partners in more than 100 countries.

Hella Group sales were $4.98 billion in fiscal year 2009-2010. Hella is one of the top 50 automotive parts suppliers in the world and one of the 100 largest industrial companies in Germany. Nearly 23,000 people work at 70 locations in more than 30 countries, including more than 3,500 research and development engineers and technicians. Additional information is available at www.hella.com.

Hella Lighting has three major manufacturing facilities with approximately 2,000 employees in Mexico, including two plants in Guadalajara and one in Mexico City. From its facilities in Mexico, the lighting division supplies a number of the world's major automakers, including BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mercedes, Nissan and VW.

Note to Editors:  Photos, additional information and a Spanish version of this release are available on request.