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One for all

1600 codes covering 95% of all cars running on Italian roads are some of the numbers behind the HellaHengst partnership, a joint venture that deals with all kinds of filters found on a vehicle: air filters, air conditioning, oil and fuel.


Filters and brakes expand the range of spare parts distributed by Hella Spa, strengthening the “one brand” image of the company among independent and fas-repair workshops, a business option increasingly popular with tire dealers.


Massimo Condolo

New distribution agreements and a larger warehouse represent for Hella Spa, the Italian subsidiary of the German components network specialized in OEMs and high-end spare parts, as well as independent and fast repair services, an additional business opportunities. Three are the brands involved: HellaHengst, HellaPagid and Don in addition to a catalogue that is already offering head and tail lights, electronic devices, electrical systems, cooling systems, air conditioning, brakes, starter motors, alternators and wiper blades. The first two, active in the car and light commercial vehicle market, are the result of a strategic alliance with Hengst, a producer of filters, and a joint venture with TMD Friction, a manufacturer of braking system and related components and owner of the Pagid brand. On the other hand, Don, also part of the TMD Group, is very active in the industrial sector. Following these new agreements, Hella Italia’s catalogue will expand significantly, which justifies the recent warehouse enlargement (see the box on page ???). 


Filters for everyone

The Hella Hengst range consists of 1600 codes able to cover 95% of the vehicles currently circulating in Italy, and are supplied as OEMs to Audi, Bentley, BMW, Bugatti, Chevrolet, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Porsche, Skoda, Volkswagen and Volvo, to mention just a few. The aftermarket range boasts the same premium specifications as the OEM filters. Hengst is a family owned German company founded in 1958 in Munster, with 3,000 employees and fifteen branches in nine countries. For the HellaHengst distribution network, Italy represents the third largest market in Europe, after the United Kingdom and Spain / Portugal. Hengst products, complementary to the Hella catalogue, will be handled by aftermarket distributors and will benefit from everything the German company has already made on our market in terms of efficient and fast logistics, technical and commercial support and orders management via the web.


Brakes: from city cars to heavy duty trucks

Additionally, also HellaPagidBrake Systems (HPBS), an equally-owned joint venture between Hella and TMD Friction, established in Essen back in 2013 and now in Italy five years later, will also benefit from what Hella has already achieved in Italy. With a catalogue of almost 9 thousand codes between brake pads, brake discs (unpainted and painted in the two Pro and High Carbon ranges in addition to the Two Composite Brake Disc), drums (230 codes) with or without bearing and integrated ABS sensor, callipers (570 codes) and calliper covers. Furthermore we find hydraulic components for the braking system (4100 codes) to be launched on the market at a later date, brake pad wear sensors and other accessories such as screws, mounting kits and springs which account for about 230 and 560 codes respectively. In 2017 alone, HPBS introduced around 700 new items. The development of brake pads alone, totally produced within the company through internal production processes, meant investing 20 million euro last year alone, besides using 40 test vehicles over three million kilometres and 1000 hours of dynamic bench tests. Moreover, starting from January 2018, Hella S.p.a will begin the distribution of Don products, specialized in trucks and busses braking systems. The offer covers discs, pads and calliper covers; the products are developed entirely in-house. The Light Technology solution adopted for the pad support plates allows, thanks to its reduced weight a significant saving in fuel and emissions. The Don range will take advantage, in Italy, of Hella’s widespread and consolidated network of spare parts specialists for industrial vehicles.


A modern training centre

Hella’s approach to the market has never neglected giving great importance to training. The Hella Tech World platform perfectly describes the support given to aftermarket specialists in finding the right solutions for their work; technical data, instructions and tutorials as well as The Workshop Friend concept are, in fact, just an example of this approach. In Italy, customer support means a new Hella Academy technical centre, opened in Caleppio di Settala, to be used in collaboration with its commercial partners. The centre, which reproduces a modern workshop (something not often possible at the customer’s premises), boasts a calibration CSC-Tool for radars and cameras used by ADAS systems, and a SEG V camera head light tester  perfect for vehicles with LED technology. The training room, designed for courses with lectures, can also be used for meetings with the sales teams.


More space and efficiency for the Italian warehouse

The warehouse in Caleppio di Settala, near Milan, handles over 180,000 shipments a year and works together with the German hub in Erwitte, Westphalia, from which many orders are sent directly to the customers, including slow moving items. It was built thinking about occupying a small area with a high turnover ratio of the stock, despatched by two working shifts with the last shipment leaving at around 8:00 pm. Transportation and delivery are taken care of by premium logistic operators, and depending on the destination, shipments can take between 24 to 96 hours to reach the customer. The 2017 expansion of the facility, which took place in two phases between April and August, increased the stocking space from 3000 to 3400 square metres and by a good 30% the picking area; the space allocated to pallets has thus increased and is now able to hold 2300 pallets compared to the previous 1200. The warehouse has been using pick-by-voice technology since 2009, which, in addition to speeding up operations, has significantly reduced errors during the preparation of the orders. Each collection can handle up to 30 orders.

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