The Slovenia Times

Hella Ready to Invest Additional EUR 60m



Despite these times of economic downturn, Hella Saturnus Slovenija operates successfully. Is this a consequence of upgrading quality products or constant expansion of production volume?
One of the crucial things is continuous improvement. It means not only going for new products and technology, but also for innovative processes. Our philosophy is simple: 'second to none'. This is difficult to achieve and even more difficult to maintain. However, the latest award our company received places us among the three best-rated companies in Slovenia and we see it as proof that we are on the right path.

What are the key investments in the next few years and what will be their financial structure?
We will continue to invest in the development capacity and new technology, especially in electronics (LED) and definitely in completely new projects. One idea is to invest in a new lacquering plant, inside our current plant, for the inner lacquering of lenses. In January we started building a competence centre for single function lamps. In addition to our two existing competence centres for fog and auxiliary lamps, this will be the third competence centre in Slovenia and our company was chosen because of our great performance in the last few years. Since 2008, Hella Saturnus Slovenija has invested EUR 55m in research and development and the company plans to invest another EUR 60m in the next three years. This includes investment in our three pillars - new headlamp and auxiliary lamp projects, new know-how and new technology for lacquering the inner side of headlamp lenses. We are negotiating very hard to make it happen here in Slovenia, however our disadvantages are the high labour costs and the fact that in Slovenia, it is difficult to get incentives for new investments, unlike in other CEE countries. We are primarily compensating the first issue through innovation and productivity.

The new government announced stronger and more effective support of foreign investors. Have you reached any kind of agreement on financial incentives with the Ministry of the Economy?
We started discussions about this with the former government and are continuing them with the new one. At the moment, things are looking quite positive but it is too early to discuss any details.

The added value of your products and the products with your inbuilt components result from new technology, innovation and creation of trends. What are your most trendy products and projects?
We are a company which keeps innovating and which, at the same time, reacts to customer's wishes and needs. The current trend in automotive lighting is LED which is in extremely high demand. LED is where the future lies as it has a quality which surpasses a mere fashion gadget, it enhances safety issues and is also a big energy saver which is essential for our environment and future generations.


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