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Hella and Gutmann Start Cooperation With Mega Macs 42

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FRANKFURT – September 18, 2008: The corporate cultures fit together well, and Hella and Gutmann are together setting themselves ambitious targets. With the new joint venture Hella Gutmann Solutions, the founding of which was announced on August 17, 2008, the partners are aiming for a decisive role in future on the European market for diagnostic systems. The aim of the joint venture Hella Gutmann Solutions is the provision of garage-oriented technical solutions in relation to the diagnosis of vehicles. The union combines the competence of Gutmann Messtechnik GmbH in the field of automotive diagnosis equipment and service units with the activities of Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. in the field of the provision of technical data for automotive servicing on the independent aftermarket.

As Dr. Jürgen Behrend, Chairman and President of Hella KGaA Hueck & Co., and Kurt Gutmann, President of Gutmann Messtechnik GmbH, explained today on the occasion of a press conference at the Automechanika fair in Frankfurt, there have been good relations between the two companies for a long time already. "Both companies complement each other excellently with their respective competence and fit together well with regard to corporate culture," emphasized Dr. Behrend.

Via its international sales network, Hella offers a wide and deep product range of automotive spare parts worldwide. In German-speaking countries in particular, Gutmann has a high level of competence in the field of automotive diagnostics. The increasing demand for combined packages consisting of a high level of spare-parts and data competence, as well as complete automotive diagnostics, can be met fully by Hella Gutmann Solutions. In addition, in the age of globalization, speed with regard to innovations and internationalization will play a decisive role in the next few years.

Furthermore, additional important synergies in the field of technical data result from the cooperation with the Danish company Tolerance A/S, Viborg. Hella took over the majority of shares in Tolerance at the end of August 2006. The company develops and distributes software for Internet-based technical service, as well as for the diagnosis and repair of passenger cars and commercial vehicles for automotive garages in Europe. "A win-win situation arises from the combining of the strengths of our companies, and because even the simplest repairs cannot be carried out without diagnostic competence, it is important to occupy this strategic field," Dr. Behrend emphasized.

Since its founding 40 years ago, Gutmann has developed into one of the leading specialists for vehicle diagnostic systems. "In the last almost 20 years, our company has grown extremely rapidly, and we are proud of the fact that we play a leading role in the field of vehicle diagnostics," said Kurt Gutmann, President of Gutmann Messtechnik GmbH. "In order for this position to remain secure in the future as well, it is good to have a strong partner at one's side. With this in mind, I think in particular of our long-term customers and of our approximately 200 employees."

Hella Gutmann Solutions will start with the "mega macs 42". This is an entry-level unit that is established in the lower price segment, but which already allows connection to the Gutmann portal with its top databases, and to the Gutmann call center. mega macs 42 therefore includes the entire Gutmann service package, which guarantees customers considerable added value. The complete integration of the functions of the previous Hella Data and Diagnostic System DDS will take place by the end of the first quarter of 2009. This includes the connection to the Hella spare-parts range, and optionally to other TecDoc-based catalogue systems. Also still in the first quarter of 2009, the diagnostic testers mega macs 50 and mega macs 55 with connection to the DDS will follow. In addition, all exhaust-emission testers of the GM3 family and the motorcycle tester mo macs 50 as well as bike macs are part of the portfolio of Hella Gutmann Solutions.

Consequently, the new joint venture makes available to its currently already existing approximately 20,000 customers and sales partners a wide range of modern service units for vehicle diagnostics, with corresponding data and services. The operational start of the new joint venture based in Ihringen is planned still to take place in the year 2008.