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Looking to expand its reach in China, the Hella Group (Lippstadt, Germany) has reached an agreement with Chinese automobile manufacturer Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., Ltd. (BAIC) for a subsidiary of the latter to take an equity stake in the existing company Hella Beifang Automotive Lighting Co. Ltd. (HBL) in Beijing.

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Hella plans China passenger car lighting JV this year

Looking to expand its reach in China, the Hella Group (Lippstadt, Germany) has reached an agreement with Chinese automobile manufacturer Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., Ltd. (BAIC) for a subsidiary of the latter to take an equity stake in the existing company Hella Beifang Automotive Lighting Co. Ltd. (HBL) in Beijing.

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Deal done: Sino-German lighting JV targets broader auto sector.

HBL currently focused on lighting and electronics solutions for commercial vehicles. The goal of the partnership is to use Hella 's available production and development capacities and to expand the location into a full service provider for passenger car illumination.

In the future, the joint venture will develop and produce lighting systems specially tailored to the Chinese market. Through the planned joint venture, Hella says it can bring its technological expertise to one of the fastest-growing Asian automobile manufacturers and thereby further develop its role as the leading lighting specialist in the expanding Asian market.

BAIC joint venture subsidiary Beijing Hainanchuan Automotive Parts Company Ltd. (BHAP) will take up a 50% stake in HBL, a company founded in 2002 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Hella Group with 400 employees currently engaged in research and production. "The partnership with BAIC offers us a great chance to grow," says Jörg Buchheim, CEO of Hella China. "With the planned joint venture, we are strengthening our relationship with leading local and international manufacturers, in particular with those within the excellent cooperation network of the BAIC automobile group."

In total, over 3,500 employees work for Hella in China at nine production, development, and administrative locations. The sales of these companies amount to a total of around 350 million euros (436 million). This corresponds to about a 7 percent share of the Hella Group's sales worldwide. "We want to continuously increase our sales in the Chinese automobile market," says Rolf Breidenbach, CEO of Hella. "The planned joint venture with BAIC is a big step, which we have high hopes for."

BHAP is a joint venture of BAIC (60%) and the Beijing Industrial Development Investment Management Co. Ltd. (40%) founded in 2008. BHAP has a share in over 20 companies, including several joint ventures with important automotive parts suppliers and highly specialized manufacturers of automobile components. BHAP works particularly closely with the four largest automobile manufacturers in Beijing. For its part, BAIC has joint ventures with Hyundai for passenger vehicles, and Mercedes Benz for commercial and passenger vehicles. BAIC also purchased technlogy from the defunct automaker Saab and plans to build its own vehicles based on this.-[email protected]

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