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On 11 June 1899, Mr. Sally Windmüller establishes the company “Westfälische Metall-Industrie Aktien-Gesellschaft” (WMI) in the town of Lippstadt, Germany. The new company operates a factory specializing in production of lanterns, headlamps, horns and fittings for bicycles, carriages and automobiles. Windmüller recognizes the vast growth potential offered by the motoring industry even as it is just getting off the ground.1908 HELLA trademark created
No one knows for sure how the HELLA name came to be trademarked for an acetylene headlamp in 1908, or how the logo later developed for the product came to be registered with the German Patent Office in 1926. The most likely story is that the name Hella was developed by Windmüller himself in honor of a nickname used by his wife Helene.1937 1945 1951 1961 1984 1986 1990 1992 1996 1999 2003 2011 2013 New development center for electronics in Lippstadt
On November 26, 2013 HELLA inaugurated the newly built Electronics Development Center at its Lippstadt location. This investment of 14 million Euros means that now HELLA is able to extend its own research capacities in the field of electronics, particularly when it comes to innovative technologies for state-of-the-art mobility. Operations at the new center will be focused on the four product sections of Driver Assistance Systems and Energy Management, Steering, Components and Body Electronics. But, furthermore, the new center in Lippstadt will also carry out a steering, i.e. managerial, function within the international research and development network of the entire Group. The brand new, six-floor building boasts a total space of 14,000 square meters, an area capable of housing approximately 700 members of staff. The new center also has more than 50 conference rooms, a variety of test laboratories and a staff café on the first floor. And throughout the entire complex, the energy-efficient LED interior lighting systems developed by HELLA are in operation.2014 HELLA - the family-run business is now a listed company
On November 11, 2014 HELLA shares are traded for the first time on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The initial trading price is 27.50 Euros. The official start of trading was preceded by a two-part private placement to institutional investors and family offices. Even after going public, HELLA remains a family-run business - the shareholders have pledged to keep a total of 60 percent of the shares until at least 2024. The company plans to use the extra financial resources to continue along its long-term growth course in a globalized competitive environment.
In January 2015 HELLA's Stock Market Listing wins award for European equity issue of the year 2014.
HELLA opens international guest house with conference facilities and a sports center
In April, HELLA has opened the HELLA Globe in Lippstadt. The new building, literally on the doorstep of company headquarters, will be used as a guest, conference and sports center for HELLA employees from Germany and abroad. "The Globe is a veritable symbol of our international network", explained Dr. Behrend during the inauguration. The number of employees who arrive in Lippstadt from all four corners of the earth for meetings, coordination talks and training courses has been rising steadily for years. With the advent of HELLA Globe, the visitors will now be able to enjoy their very own guest house providing 39 rooms with ultra modern furnishings, a spacious lounge area and five conference and meeting rooms that can be flexibly laid out to suit a variety of occasions. Furthermore, HELLA Globe, covering an area of 3,300 square meters, is equipped with a fitness center and a sports hall, thus providing another mainstay for HELLA IN MOTION, the company's sports and health program.2015 HELLA moves up into MDAX only
The company’s first outstanding product innovation – the “System HELLA” acetylene headlamp This acetylene headlamp has a plano-concave lens behind the burner and its convex surface is lined with silver to reflect the light. The grinding process involved in producing these lenses yields much greater precision than is achieved with metal reflectors.1936 Headlamp prototypes
WMI supplies headlamps for the very first prototype of the Volkswagen.1957 Headlamp prototypes
First type approval for a headlamp with asymmetric light distribution.First fully electronic flasher unit
A foot in the door in the electronics segment: the first fully electronic flasher unit.1971 First H4 (halogen) headlamp
HELLA is the first manufacturer to receive approval for an H4 (halogen) headlamp.1983 First DE projection headlamps
In the DE projection headlamp, the light is projected onto the road based on the principle of a slide projector, greatly increasing light emission even though the size of the light aperture is reduced.1988 HELLA launches the free form reflector (FF)
Free-surface technology (FF) is developed, allowing much more efficient use of the light beam. In the new technology, reflectors are positioned based on computer calculations to generate the light distribution without needing any optical profiles in the cover lens.1992 Xenon headlamps enter series production
First-generation Xenon headlamps from HELLA go into series production.
HELLA develops the first integrated accelerator pedal sensor with accelerator pedal, pedal power generation and sensors in a modular unit.1999 Rain-light sensors
Series launch of integrated rain-light sensors.
The first Bi-Xenon headlamps go into series production.2003 The intelligent battery sensor (IBS) from HELLA delivers efficient energy management
The Intelligent Battery Sensor is a prime example of high-efficiency energy management. These sensors check battery status and supply detailed, precise power, voltage and temperature values from the vehicle’s battery. This data makes it possible to reallocate energy within the vehicle to optimally serve its needs.
HELLA is the first company to produce cornering and dynamic bend lights in series.
A front camera monitors the road during driving and recognizes traffic signs. The new feature also warns drivers when they are going faster than the posted limit.2008 Full LED headlamps
HELLA develops the first full LED headlamp for the Cadillac Escalade Platinum.2010 Dynamic Light Assist from HELLA enhances visibility
The Dynamic Light Assist feature in the VW Touareg is based on intelligent interaction between a front camera, powerful image processing software and the very latest in lighting technology from HELLA. A camera located on the front windshield detects vehicles driving ahead as well as oncoming vehicles. Powerful image processing functions analyze the data and pinpoint the exact location of the other vehicles on the road. This information is used to move a special cylinder-shaped shade between the light source and the projection lens in the headlamp so that other road users do not have to contend with added glare. This helps ensure optimum visibility for the at all times, without disturbing other road users.First full LED headlamp with AFS functions for the Audi A8
The new Audi A8 features a very special highlight: optional full-LED headlamps with AFS functions from HELLA. The low beam has ten projection lenses arranged like a curved ribbon. They give the vehicle a distinctive, impressive look – both day and night. AFS feature allows drivers to activate different lighting functions depending on the driving situation. Built-in specific light distributions include adverse weather light, motorway light, high beam and cornering light, all produced by switching individual LEDs on and off. The adverse weather light, for example, cuts down on glare from the vehicle’s own lights in fog or heavy rain by scattering light more widely.2012 First Headlamp with LED Main Beam Function for the Truck Segment
Due to the particular requirements of the truck segment, it was decided to employ long-lasting and vibration-resistant LED light sources. This is particularly relevant in the case of lighting functions with the longest operating time, such as daytime running lights, position lights, and low beams. The low beam's light intensity is at the Xenon level. Thanks to the fact that the LEDs' light color resembles daylight, the subjective perception of brightness is considerably greater. This allows drivers to rely on natural vision, which perceives contrasts better. Combined with homogeneous light distribution, the headlamp therefore contributes to increased traffic safety by preventing fatigue. As a result of the use of energy-efficient LED light sources, the power consumption of the low beam could also be reduced to 21 watts, which represents a savings of 49 watts compared to a conventional filament-bulb solution. Therefore the LED headlamp contributes significantly to reducing CO2 emissions.2013 First vehicle with 100% LED low beam headlamps and optional camera based full-LED headlamp with glare-free high beam
With the facelift of the Mercedes E-Class two major trends in LED headlamps were developed for series and high-end systems. Series LED headlamps with a reflector system and static low beam. In contrast, the optional system is a high-technology full LED headlamp and features all functions of intelligent lighting system. It is separating the close and distance light distribution through two independent LED light modules in each headlamp. So the inner module generates a constant light distribution within the close visual range in front of the vehicle. While the outer module is responsible for the glare free high beam. At darkness the vehicle drives with permanent high beam, thereby the system detects oncoming traffic or traffic ahead through a camera and automatically modifies the light distribution accordingly to the situation.Ambient lights: HELLA sets trends for interiors
The interest in innovative lighting solutions for vehicle interiors has been growing across all segments. This is the impetus behind HELLA recently providing equipment for innovative interior lighting concepts for the Opel Adam, VW Golf and Seat Leon along with the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. In order to meet the demands for customization, the designers can already utilize a wealth of design options: From elongated light guides integrated around the center console or into door designs to diffuse lights for illuminating footwells or map pockets. The Range Rover SUV allows drivers to create their own ambiance. In terms of physical equipment, HELLA implements this function using RGB modules which consist of three different colored LEDs. The light is injected into the light guides and the mixing and brightness is controlled by a LIN controller.Matrix LED technology makes its debut
World premiere: The AUDI A8 will boasting the world's first ever Matrix LED headlight. The heart of this headlight is the glare-free high beam. This allows the driver to travel in his vehicle with a permanent high beam without risk of dazzling oncoming traffic or any preceding vehicles. Such a function is technically possible thanks to the splitting up of the high beam into five reflectors, each one having a chip containing 5 LEDs. Each LED on the 5-segment chip can be controlled separately and so many light distributions are possible. The implementation of Matrix technology allows, for the first time, several tunnels to open simultaneously. The masking out other vehicles as well as the adaption of the light cone to the driving situation is ensured. It is not only the safety-enhancing functions that make the headlights especially - it is also their attractive design.Tail and brake light realized with mirror tunnel technology for the first time
For the first time an optical system with mirrors has been used in the Citroen C4 Picasso to infinitely reflect the light emitted by the two functions of LED brake light/LED lamp. The tail lights' brake light/lamp functions, available as an optional feature, take the form of two 3D modules, each with 15 light-emitting diodes (LEDs). A thick-walled optic, teamed with one semi-transparent mirror that is set back slightly and another that is located at the front, create a 3D tunnel effect: when the light from the LEDs reaches the semi-transparent mirror at the front, it partially crosses it, whilst the residual light reaches the mirror that is set back a little and is immediately reflected. In this way, a 3D tunnel effect is created, despite the low geometrical depth of the tail lights. Other signaling functions are realized using conventional lighting technology. A basic version is also available with filament bulbs only.