Bosch Automotive Technology: driving forward innovation in established and emerging markets Dr. Bernd Bohr,
Chairman of the Bosch Automotive Group, at the Auto Expo 2012
New Delhi, January 4, 2012

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  • January 04, 2012
  • Business/economy
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press release

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Much has happened since we last met at the New Delhi Auto Expo in 2010. The world economy and the global automotive industry bounced back from a major economic crisis. In 2011, political and economic developments in different parts of the world have given rise to new uncertainties. In the midst of all this, India’s economy has continued to develop strongly compared with established markets, and is expected to see steady growth in the coming years.

As India’s middle class grows, the number of cars on the country’s roads will continue to rise. Today, there are about 12 cars per 1,000 inhabitants in India. By 2025, we expect this number to increase more than threefold. In view of this development, the Indian government has launched initiatives to promote green technologies and fuel economy. In doing so, the Indian authorities have addressed several important mobility challenges, which the global automotive industry is also tackling. These include:

· the tightening of fuel economy and emissions standards,
· the technological demands of a growing low-cost vehicle segment
· the vision of accident-free driving,
· the transition to electromobility,
· and the need to keep the car attractive for the internet generation.

Today, I will discuss the paths Bosch is taking in response to these challenges. I will focus particularly on the points that are most relevant for our customers in India and other emerging markets: namely, providing affordable technologies that contribute to environmental protection and accident prevention. But before I do this, I would like to take a brief look at the current situation.

The global economy cooled after the first quarter of 2011. The consolidation of public finances in highly indebted economies has since dampened growth. Emerging automotive markets have also recently experienced a slow down. Despite this, the catching-up process in Asia’s emerging markets will continue for quite some time still. According to Bosch forecasts, growth in vehicle production in India will likely be between 10 and 12 percent in 2012. In contrast, global automotive production grew four percent in 2011, and we expect three to five percent growth in 2012.

Against this backdrop, we are confident that Bosch Group sales topped 50 billion euros in 2011, up from about 47.3 billion euros in 2010. In Automotive Technology, we expect the figures to show a business volume of over 30 billion euros, compared with about 28.1 billion euros in 2010. And we continue to invest considerable sums in our future. In automotive technology alone, we spent around 3.3 billion euros in research and development in 2011.

Our growth in 2011 is also reflected in our global workforce. By the end of the year, the Bosch Group was expected to have about 15,000 more associates on board, bringing the total number to some 300,000. In the Automotive Group, headcount grew by around 10,000, to some 177,000.

In India, Bosch Group sales exceeded 110 billion rupees in 2011, up from some 95 billion rupees in 2010. At present, there are about 25,000 associates working for Bosch companies in India, about 4,000 more than at the start of 2011. By the end of 2013, we expect to have around 32,000 associates on board.

The figures demonstrate the importance of the Indian market, as well as the significant role that India plays in the Bosch Group’s global development and production network. For Bosch, increasing investment and strengthening our presence in the country are natural and necessary steps. Between 2012 and 2013, the Bosch Group plans to invest some 22 billion rupees in India.

Most of these funds will go into further expanding our local activities. For instance, Bosch is currently building a new plant for electrical drives in Chennai, which is set to open this year. In addition, our experts in India are playing an increasingly important role in our worldwide software engineering activities for electronic control units. Over 800 engineers were recently recruited in Bangalore and Coimbatore to further strengthen our global team. Their work will focus on ECUs for vehicles with conventional drivetrain technologies, as well as hybrid and electric vehicles.

The Bosch InterCampus program is another major investment which reflects the company’s lasting commitment to India. Launched in the spring of 2011, our initiative aims to drive forward academic research in the areas of environment, energy, and mobility. Over a period of ten years, Bosch will contribute some 320 crore rupees (50 million euros) to support research activities at universities in India, China, Germany, and the United States. Our ultimate goal is to make lasting improvements to the research conditions of students and scientists. This will in turn help accelerate technological progress.

Some 140 crore rupees (23 million euros), almost half of the total investment, will support educational and research initiatives in India. Most of this sum will go toward the “Robert Bosch IISc Center for Research in Cyber Physical Systems”, which was inaugurated in November 2011 by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President of India. Located at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, its activities focus on cyber-physical systems, mobility solutions, and renewable energy.

Activities such as these reflect a global Bosch Group strategy: by drawing on and investing in regional strengths, we have built a worldwide network of specialists who benefit from each others’ expertise and market intelligence. At 50 development centers in all the world's major economic regions, our engineers work in diverse international teams that develop specific solutions for emerging economies and the established markets.

This set-up has put Bosch in an excellent position to support Indian OEMs in all of their endeavors, both in India and in global markets. Bosch Automotive Technology continues to strengthen its presence worldwide, particularly in the Asian growth regions. Today, Asia is home to 10,000 of our global total of 29,000 engineers. In India, some 6,300 engineers work for our automotive businesses. They are located at 13 manufacturing sites and four development centers across the country.

As Asia’s emerging economies develop, demand for small, low-cost vehicles will continue to grow. In response to this trend, we continue to focus our efforts on developing affordable technologies that meet local needs.

In India, Bosch engineers have successfully brought several low-cost products to the market. For instance, we already supply our Indian customers with an adapted version of our common rail system, which enhances fuel economy in the low-cost segment. The system helps meet Bharat 3 norms, and we are working to increase injection pressures to meet future emissions standards. In addition, we also provide diesel injection technologies that are tailored to the special requirements of India’s small commercial vehicles. And our ZF Steering Systems joint venture recently entered into an agreement to supply Tata with locally produced electric power steering systems for several vehicle models.

Developed by a team of Indian, Chinese, and German engineers, the Value Motronic engine management platform was also designed with the needs of emerging markets in mind. But technologies such as this one have also had a positive influence on the Bosch Group’s global product development activities. Indeed, our joint efforts with Indian engineers have provided valuable insights into how Bosch technologies can be made more cost-effective across the board.

As the number of cars on the world’s roads increases, the importance of safety has also grown. Driven by legislation for newly registered vehicles, the safety systems which Bosch brought to market first are seeing rises in their installation rates.

By 2015, 90 percent of all new vehicles worldwide are expected to be fitted with the ABS antilock braking system, up from 75 percent in 2010. In India, ABS is currently featured in about 13 percent of locally sold vehicles. Bosch is in a strong position to support Indian OEMs in meeting the growing demand for safety systems at home and in global markets. In fact, Bosch is the only automotive supplier that manufactures ABS in India: we produce about 300,000 ABS systems per year at our facility in Chakan, Pune. In addition to ABS for passenger cars, Bosch has also developed an affordable ABS system for two wheelers. This system has made a valuable contribution to increasing motorcycle safety worldwide.

As I’ve already mentioned, making Bosch automotive products accessible and affordable everywhere is one of our central aims. Another is continuously improving Bosch technologies and services to make driving even cleaner, safer, and more economical. This is in line with our strategic imperative “Invented for life”.

Using a broad range of technical measures, we are in a position to reduce the fuel consumption of both diesel and gasoline engines by another 30 percent. The turbocharging of downsized engines is an important example, and the main focus of our Bosch Mahle Turbo Systems joint venture. Such technologies not only help comply with ever-tightening fuel economy and emission standards. They also contribute to the market success of our economical direct injection and port-fuel injection systems. We are planning to sell seven million gasoline direct injection systems worldwide in 2013 – three times as many as in 2010. Over the same period, sales of our common-rail diesel-injection systems are set to rise from nine million units per year to over twelve million units.

Continuing to enhance existing technology is only half the challenge. We must also tackle new technological demands, for instance in the transition to electromobility.

Bosch invests some 400 million euros annually in e-mobility, and 800 developers are currently working in this field worldwide. We offer a full portfolio of products, from motors and power electronics to auxiliary systems. With SB LiMotive, our joint venture for lithium-ion batteries, we are working to increase the range and reduce the cost of this key component. Bosch has already achieved a number of goals on the way to powertrain electrification. By 2013, we will be delivering to 21 projects for 13 automakers. And our hybrid technologies are already featured in Porsche, Volkswagen, and Peugeot vehicles. All of this shows that we have taken decisive steps to prepare for an electric future.

We don’t expect a major shift toward purely electric driving until the middle of the next decade. However, transitional solutions will likely be accepted before then. For instance, we see good opportunities for the plug-in hybrid, whose battery can be charged simply from a wall socket. Its all-electric range is sufficient for day-to-day urban trips, and its supplemental diesel or gasoline engine makes greater distances possible. We also see strong potential for small e-vehicles, especially for commuting in megacities.

In the coming years, complex driver assistance systems based on radar and video sensors will make the vision of accident-free, autonomous driving reality. Bosch has dedicated more than 600 engineers to further developing technologies in this field. At the same time, we are also working to come up with improved vehicle networking technologies, which are becoming an important purchasing factor for the internet generation.

At first, demand for driver assistance systems and internet-based mobility solutions will mainly be concentrated in established markets. But Bosch companies in India are making an important contribution to our research and development activities in these areas, too. With about 9,700 associates, Robert Bosch Engineering Services and Business Solutions is the largest Bosch development center outside of Germany. The company provides a full range of software for automotive electronics applications, and has customers in all of the world’s major economic regions.

Our activities in India clearly demonstrate how drawing on regional strengths plays a decisive role in the Bosch Group’s success and fuels our capacity for innovation. Indeed, our strong global presence has enabled us to cope with an increasingly volatile business environment. And our deep local roots have helped us establish lasting partnerships with our Indian customers. Now, more than ever, partnerships for innovation between producers and suppliers depend on reliability. At Bosch, it goes without saying. Our partners can rely on us.

Thank you for your attention.

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2015, its sales came to 41.7 billion euros, or 59 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector combines the group’s expertise in three mobility domains – automation, electrification, and connectivity – and offers its customers integrated mobility solutions. Its main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and automated functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch is synonymous with important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

Further information is available online at and,

RF00141 - January 04, 2012

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