FORVIA HELLA Celebrates 125th Anniversary

The lighting & electronics manufacturer employs nearly 38,000 people globally...

FORVIA HELLA celebrated its 125th anniversary on June 11. The company was founded in the Westphalian town of Lippstadt (Germany) as a specialized manufacturer of lamps, lanterns and ball horns for carriages, bicycles and the first automobiles. 

Today, FORVIA HELLA is a global automotive supplier with around 37,500 employees at over 125 locations worldwide, which generated sales of $8.6 billion last year.

FORVIA HELLA Celebrates 125th Anniversary | THE SHOP
1908 Acetyline Lamp

“The 125 years of FORVIA HELLA is something we can be very proud of. We are very grateful to all current and former employees for allowing us to celebrate this milestone in our company’s history. They have all played a key role in supporting, shaping and developing the company,” says Bernard Schäferbarthold, CEO of FORVIA HELLA. “The anniversary is an obligation for the future and motivation for us to remain at the forefront of mobility in the coming years.”

“Two things have always characterized FORVIA HELLA,” says Schäferbarthold. “Firstly, our innovative strength is the common thread that links the WMI of the past with the company of today. Secondly, we are constantly adapting to changes in our industry environment.”

In 1908, just nine years after WMI was officially founded, the first product innovation was launched on the market. The System Hella acetylene lamp was included in the sales catalogue – the brand name that was also included in the official company name some eighty years later. The acetylene lamp developed by WMI was not only far superior to the candle or paraffin lanterns in use at the time in terms of light intensity and range. Above all, it represents the beginning of a development that started with lamps and lanterns and has reached the latest milestones with the SSL | HD digital headlamp system and the FlatLight | µMX, for example.

FORVIA HELLA Celebrates 125th Anniversary | THE SHOP
FlatLight µMX

FORVIA HELLA grew up with lighting technology, but the company has also been active in the electronics business for almost 60 years. The product range from the beginning also included electrical switches as well as plugs and sockets for trailers. Today, FORVIA HELLA is a leader in many products for autonomous driving and electro-mobility.

In August 2021, FORVIA (formerly Faurecia) announced the acquisition of a majority stake in FORVIA HELLA. As a legally independent company, FORVIA HELLA became part of the FORVIA Group, the world’s seventh largest supplier of automotive technologies with more than 150,000 employees across the globe.

“Thanks to the cooperation within the FORVIA Group, we are significantly larger, more broadly positioned and exposed to fewer risks. With FORVIA as a new majority shareholder and strong partner at our side, we have therefore opened a new chapter in our long-standing, successful company history,” said Schäferbarthold.

Pat Curtin

Pat Curtin is the managing editor of THE SHOP magazine.

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