Illuminating history

In June 2023, Business Update3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 3, 2023

HELLA New Zealand is celebrating its 50th anniversary in the automotive and marine lighting industry. Since launching in 1973, HELLA New Zealand has focused on designing and manufacturing premium quality products.

Over the past five decades, HELLA New Zealand has grown significantly as a business by incorporating modern production techniques and heavily investing in new lighting technology. One of the biggest achievements was becoming the first in the world to achieve ECE compliance for a high-level brake light using light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

The foundational product range, DuraLED, has revolutionised the transport industry, offering energy-efficient LED lighting with unparalleled reliability and durability. To date, the DuraLED and Jumbo ranges continue as benchmarks for transport operators across New Zealand and Australia.

Waihi electronics manufacturing

Every product that leaves HELLA New Zealand’s facilities is individually tested, and every order line is QA inspected. On-site testing facilities subject products to extremes of temperature, intense UV light and exposure to chemicals. They are also trialled in humid and salt-laden conditions to ensure that they perform under stresses that greatly exceed those of most real-world situations.

The Auckland facilities cover some 7500m2 and boast state-of-the-art, highly automated manufacturing capabilities. Huge investment has been made in computer-controlled moulding machines that enable extremely precise moulding tolerances to be achieved, down to as little as plus or minus 0.02mm.

Additionally, the Waihi electronics plant, purpose-built in 2007, boasts the latest automated, high-precision assembly systems. In 2013 the plant became self-sufficient in printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs) production. This facility places a staggering 53,000 LEDs onto PCBAs every working day, totalling 12.8 million LEDs per year (in 2022).

The HELLA DuraLED Combi taillight

In accordance with HELLA’s commitment to environmental sustainability, the Auckland factory uses 100% renewable energy, and 95% of waste material generated during the moulding process gets recycled into packing trays and glue tubes, and for purging machines between different types of plastics.

New Zealand’s maritime history, world-class boat building and yacht racing success saw HELLA New Zealand become the global headquarters for Hella marine in 2004. The company has since created the iconic NaviLED LED navigation lamp range, which has cemented its position as a leader in marine lighting.

Fifty years on, HELLA New Zealand is a world-class design and manufacturing facility with the latest high-tech equipment. With strong customer loyalty and support, the company looks forward to continuing to provide the transport and marine industries with the best possible lighting solutions for many years to come.

Electronics design in action

To commemorate this significant milestone, HELLA is celebrating by offering weekly and monthly giveaways, with a total prize pool of $50,000. To enter, head to