The Slovenia Times

Competent Investment - Hella Saturnus Slovenija



Just last year, Hella Saturnus generated revenues of EUR 257m with EUR 21.5m in profit. Slovenia is central to the success of the German owned firm. The country is already home to two competence centres for the company - teams specialising in specific areas of the business. Come the new year, these centres for auxiliary lights and Hella sports cars will be joined by a third focused on single function lamps such as those used for licence plates, indictors and so on.
"The main reason [for establishing another competence centre] is to concentrate resources for one topic at one location," explains company chief executive Christof Droste. "This will bring a lot of advantages which could be felt by our customers. The other reasons include the already established know-how and experience of our Time-to-Market (TtM) area and the availability of well-educated engineers."

More jobs

The creation of the centre will once again mean Hella is generating jobs in Slovenia - 50 new engineers will be hired for development and to support all activities. The company plans to make only domestic appointments but, with a view to the possibility of needing to fill any vacancy gaps, is "working very closely with our sister companies in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, India and China as well as external engineering offices, for example ones in Croatia", says Droste.
Just as new jobs are continuing to be created at the firm so too are new investments being planned. Since June 2008, the company has invested more than EUR 85m in development projects in Slovenia. There are also possibilities for further investments, in the value of EUR 60m.
Droste explains this includes investment in three pillars - "new headlamp and auxiliary lamps projects, in new know-how and in new technology for lacquering of the inner side of headlamp lenses."

Government support

Hella also continues to forge links with leading Slovenian academics. In setting its latest competence centre, the firm worked closely with the Faculties of Mechanical Engineering from Ljubljana and Maribor and with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering from Ljubljana.
There were discussions with Darja Radić, former economy minister, too. The hope was to obtain government support for the project. Political developments have caused the negotiation to stall temporarily but Droste remains optimistic: "We are looking forward to the continuation of the discussion with the new government," he says.


More from Nekategorizirano