Littelfuse LT expects growth in orders from Hella and Continental

June 26, 2018

Juergen Sheele, a vice president of Littelfuse, hails the beginning of an era of autonomous vehicles in 2023-2025 as being of particular benefit to the company’s future. Such vehicles, he says, will require many more sensors and electronic devices that are used by other modern cars.  Verslo žinios interviewed Mr. Sheele in Kaunas, please find the translation of the interview below:

Your company entered the Lithuanian market about six years ago, when most major companies in the car component sector weren’t aware of Lithuania, and opted instead to invest in Poland and Slovakia. What made you come to Kaunas, and what work are you engaged in there?

We came to Kaunas on 1 June 2012, after we acquired Sweden’s Accel, a manufacturer of advanced automotive sensors. At that time, Accel and its plant in Kaunas were well known in the market for sensors designed and produced for the transport sector. The company had been developing products in Kaunas since 1994.

Since then, the plant has expanded and today employs nearly 800 people. Back in 2014, we had around 340 employees working for the company.

Your colleague Dieter Roeder, vice president and general manager of the Littelfuse Automotive Business Unit, once said that by acquiring Accel and its plant in Kaunas, Littelfuse acquired a low-cost manufacturing base in Eastern Europe. Is this still an accurate characterisation of the role of Littelfuse’s Kaunas division?

Actually, some 40% of those 800 employees can no longer be referred to as production workers. We have invested in research and development activities (R&D) in Kaunas, and the group’s service centre there provides finance and HR management, and marketing services.

Enhancing our production activities alongside other operations was a deliberate move, as we found so many highly qualified specialists here. Today, more than 50 of the employees at our Kaunas division perform functions for our entire company.

In recent years, the Kaunas region has developed into a centre for production and services, attracting a number of well-known brands. Among them are two well-known German automotive electronic parts manufacturers: Hella and Continental. Are these two companies your competitors, or your partners?

Hella and Continental are our customers. The news that Hella was coming to Lithuania just provided me with further reassurance that Kaunas is the perfect place for us to manufacture technical components.

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Aistė Žebrauskienė
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    Aistė Žebrauskienė Press Officer
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