HELLA, a German manufacturer of lighting technology and electronics products for the automotive industry, is to open a new production facility in Kaunas. With a planned investment volume of approximately up to €30 million, the new plant will initially create up to around 250 new jobs.
As new technologies transform the automotive industry, HELLA is well-positioned for growth, explains company CEO Dr Rolf Breidenbach. “The production of innovative electronics is a fundamental cornerstone of our strategy,” Dr Breidenbach says. “Especially in light of the major industry trends of autonomous driving, electrification and digitalisation, we anticipate increasing demand for our electronic components. Therefore, the new production site in Lithuania will be an important building block of our electronics business,” concludes Dr Breidenbach.
Kaunas was chosen as the location for the new facility for a number of reasons. As an industrial region, Kaunas has well-developed infrastructure and transportation facilities. It also boasts a business-friendly investment environment and a highly-qualified workforce.
HELLA’s new facility in Kaunas, which is scheduled to open in mid-2018, will have a production area of 7,000 square metres. It will mainly produce sensors, actuators and control modules. The components produced in Kaunas will be used by major automotive industry players around the world.Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and his government are also firmly behind the project. “The arrival of this new investor indicates two main things. Firstly, that for Invest Lithuania there is no such thing as impossible. And secondly, that Lithuania’s business environment continues to improve,” comments Mr Skvernelis. “I am glad that HELLA has chosen Lithuania and I would like to assure them that the Lithuanian Government is ready to support them in starting their operations in Kaunas as quickly as possible. We are also committed to continuously improving the business environment to ensure that Lithuania offers the best possible conditions for business,” states Prime Minister Skvernelis.
Lithuania’s Economy Minister Mindaugas Sinkevičius is pleased the new investment will be in the Kaunas region, and believes it can provide an investment boost to adjacent regions as well. “The fact that a major international company has decided to establish a manufacturing unit is a very good sign for the region,” comments the Minister. “The company will become a significant employer for specialists not only from Kaunas, but also from other regions nearby. This is a good step in improving the attractiveness of other regions to foreign investors,” concludes Mr Sinkevičius.
For Mantas Katinas, managing director of the foreign investment promotion agency Invest Lithuania, HELLA’s imminent arrival is a major step forward for Lithuania’s nascent automotive sector. “Over the last five years we have focused strongly on attracting automotive suppliers to Lithuania,” Mr Katinas explains. “International investment consultants often commented that Lithuania’s chances were slim due to its geographical location. However, our persistence and patience has paid off and soon we will be welcoming the first giant of the automotive industry to Kaunas. This investment project can create a precedent for other automotive suppliers, putting Lithuania firmly on the list of potential locations for future expansion.”
HELLA, a developer and manufacturer of lighting and electronic components for the automotive sector, is in the top 40 automotive parts suppliers in the world. It is also one of the 100 largest German industrial companies. Currently, it has approximately 35,000 employees working in 125 locations in over 35 countries around the world, with more than 6,000 working in research and development.
In the fiscal year of 2015/2016 the company’s sales amounted to €6.4 billion.
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