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The HELLA Academy: Completing the circle

By autotech-nath on June 8, 2024

While Hella‘s reach extends far beyond lighting, the company views its foray into training as completing its aftermarket services, leading Rob Marshall to visit its UK HQ in Chipping Warden, Oxfordshire, to find out what is new.

Presumptions can be dangerous. Underestimating people, be they friends, or foes, is a common mistake. Yet, compartmentalising companies is even easier. Out of all the corporations that support VMs and the aftermarket, Hella is, probably, one of the easiest firms to presume is a one-trick pony. This assumption is a mistake.

Casting the light…

Perhaps its proficiency in the OEM and aftermarket automotive lighting arenas has resulted in many of Hella’s other products and services being left in the dark. It is not easy to appreciate just how vast its OE-quality replacement electrical component range is, which varies from trailer tow bar modules to radiator temperature switches and from exhaust gas pressure sensors to air mass sensors.

Yet, Hella realises that supplying quality parts alone into the aftermarket is a vital but incomplete part of the picture, without the necessary diagnosis. Its first serious statement of intent arrived in the mid-1990s, with the mega macs 55 tablet, the granddaddy of a dynasty that culminates in today’s WiFi hotspot-generating mega macs X. Even this powerful equipment is pointless, if the correct parts cannot be identified and technicians informed of any fitting peculiarities. Hella realises this too, responding with the comprehensive Tech World platform:

Yet, the world is changing and the obsession with anything that a human driver can do, technology can do better, has the downside of serious security holes that red-faced OEMs have had to plug. The resultant manufacturer security gateways have given the aftermarket grave headaches, especially all makes/models repairers. With different carmakers developing individual security solutions, keeping up to date with access data is not always straightforward. This is before costs come into the equation, which, again, vary considerably.

After 125 years, 65 in the UK, Hella opened its new Academy as a contribution to help reduce the skills gap in our industry. Putting the facilities together was only part of the story; Hella also had to assemble suitable people to deliver quality training.

By leveraging its OEM contacts, Hella’s all-in-one Cyber Security Management solution is GDPR compliant and involves no extra fees payable to either OEMs, or Hella. A single registration fee gives aftermarket garages access to Fiat, Chrysler, Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Kia and all marques within the Volkswagen Group. Hyundai, BMW, Nissan and JLR are expecting to join shortly.

Despite this powerful information being at your fingertips, even the latest update might not contain the most recent data, or provide access authorisations for new, or nearly- new, cars. To relieve aftermarket workshops from stress and lost labour time, Hella has created macsRemote, a gap- filling service between new vehicle information arriving on OEM servers and being added to the mega macs software. Currently, three full-time UK engineers conduct at least 75 remote tasks daily, varying from coding, software activation and calibration. Bodyshops are especially popular users, where coding replacement headlamps, ADAS hardware and new keysets are typical requirements. Even garages conducting routine maintenance make use of the facility, too, such as resetting BMW/MINI service reminders. Hella reports that macsRemote is not restrictive solely to mega macs users – but you will need a macsRemote VCI ( ~£900) and a stable internet connection. Costs are dependent on the task but they are quoted upfront and operate on a pay-per-job principle. So far, Mercedes-Benz has been the service’s most popular marque.

The Hella Academy was welcomed as a formal IMI Approved Centre at its opening ceremony on 17th April. Pictured are Stephen Fox, Hella’s UK Technical & Training manager, and Michelle Barrett, the IMI’s Business Development Manager. Hella has since joined the SMMT to help raise awareness about how new technology is changing vehicles, and the wider industry.

The missing link…

So, Hella can help you diagnose the fault. It can assist with identifying the right electrical replacement OE-quality part. It provides fitting instructions. It can help you negotiate manufacturer security gateways but, should you be unable to unlock new component software, Hella’s remote team can do this task for you. When viewed in isolation, other providers can also do these things but few of them can offer everything from start to finish. Neither could Hella – until now.

Most aftermarket users of Hella diagnostic tools employ either a mega macs 56 (launched in 2015), or a mega macs 77 (2017). Pictured is Riccardo Sorano (National Key Account Manager) with the current mega macs X. It emphasises that garages need to consider hard and software upgrades to keep up with the latest vehicle features.
Hella’s ADAS calibration portfolio comprises the app-based CSC Tool Digital (Pictured being demonstrated in the Hella Academy workshop), the flat-packed CSC Tool mobile and the tailored CSC Tool SE, which is ideal for marque specialists.

Training was the missing piece to Hella’s portfolio but now it offers the aftermarket a one-stop service. Its HQ has been revamped to not only include a ‘Customer Experience Centre’, to promote the company’s range of products and services, but it also is home to the new Hella Academy.

Comprising a bespoke training classroom and practical workshop, the Hella Academy is IMI-approved. Boasting a resin floor, the workshop has been designed to future-proof the company’s training offerings, by boasting an earthed copper grid beneath it, to protect electrostatic sensitive equipment.

Considering Hella’s prowess with ADAS, it offers a pair of IMI- accredited courses, the ADAS AOM 230 ( and an ADAS Level 2 calibration award, costing £500+VAT per applicant. Calibrations are conducted with the company’s latest CSC- Tool digital, for which the targets are downloaded via the dedicated app and displayed digitally.

Two high-voltage courses are also being offered: the IMI Level 2 in Hybrid/Electric routine and maintenance, plus the IMI Level 3 in Electric/Hybrid vehicle system repair and replacement. Hella Academy also intends to provide extra flexible training and support for aftermarket repairers, varying from business advice to advice on producing social media material as well as day and evening courses that earn Hella Academy certificates.

To find out more about the Hella Academy, or to book training, email:

You can also stay updated with training announcements, along with workshop tips and advice, by signing up to the Hella Tech World newsletter:



About Autotechnician
Autotechnician is a magazine published nine times a year, delivering essential information to independent garage owners and technicians in the UK. Delivered both digitally and in print, autotechnician provides readers with technical, training, business advice, product and news, allowing our readers to keep up to date with information they need to run and work within a modern workshop.
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