Dr.-Ing. Stefan Hartung, President of the Power Tools Division of Robert Bosch GmbH" />

Power Tools

Bosch Power Tools creates markets Dr.-Ing. Stefan Hartung, President of the Power Tools Division of Robert Bosch GmbH

  • on the occasion of the press conference in Leinfelden on March 15, 2012
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  • March 15, 2012
  • Power Tools
  • Presentations

press release

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Bosch Power Tools can look back on 2011 as a successful year of business. We are in the top two in all markets that we operate in worldwide: we are number one for power tools, accessories and measuring tools, whereas for electric garden tools we are number two. And we were able to gain additional market shares in 2011.

We generated sales of about 3.8 billion euros in the past year. This is an increase of more than seven percent year-on-year. Exchange rates have however curbed the growth, especially the rate of the resurgent euro against the US dollar. After adjusting for these effects, sales actually increased by about nine percent. We achieved 90 percent of our sales outside of Germany.

Our headcount averaged some 19,000 associates over the course of 2011, which is 1,000 more than the previous year. New associates were recruited mainly in Miskolc/Hungary, where Bosch manufactures DIY and garden tools. However, we also recorded an increase in employment in Germany: the number of associates increased by about 200 to about 3,200. These recruitments were made predominantly in the areas of development and sales. We further enhance our innovative strength with the newly acquired engineers and sales specialists.

The world market for power tools grew in the past year by about 5 percent and now stands at 23.1 billion euros. The main driver of growth was the construction industry. Especially in Asia/Pacific and Latin America, infrastructure projects in many countries have boosted growth. For example, initial prepara­tions are already underway in Brazil for the 2014 Football World Cup, for which numerous construction projects are being implemented.

All of the submarkets also grew in 2011 – albeit to different degrees. The major power tools submarket increased by six percent to about ten billion euros. Accessories increased by five percent, while measuring tools even increased by eleven percent – but from a low prior-year level. The market for electric garden tools grew only slightly by one percent.

There was a clear worldwide trend on the power tools market towards high-quality brandname tools: the growth in value was six percent compared to the growth in volume of only four percent.

The power tools market developed very differently in the individual regions. The most dynamic growth was recorded by Latin America with 22 percent, followed by Asia/Pacific with eight percent. Demand in Europe grew by four percent, in North America by five percent and in Asia/Pacific by eight percent.

Bosch Power Tools also achieved the highest growth rates in the most dynamic regions for power tools. The division's sales increased by 20 percent in Latin America (22 percent following currency adjustment), and by 17 percent in Asia/Pacific (17 percent following currency adjustment).

Innovative strength remains high
We generated just less than 40 percent of sales in 2011 with products that were launched onto the market less than two years ago. This is a result of our consistently high innovative strength. A significant number of our new products are power tools and garden tools with a lithium-ion battery. We were the first manufacturer to use lithium-ion batteries for a power tool. Prior to that, these batteries were only known from cellphones or laptops. We have been the technology leader since 2003 when we launched the now legendary Ixo, about eleven million of which have since been sold.

In recent years, Bosch Power Tools has launched many lithium-ion battery powered products that were groundbreaking innovations in their class, creating new demand and significant­ly stimulating the markets as a result: these include the first professional power tool with lithium-ion battery, the Uneo “all-in-one” power tool, the first lawnmower, the first multifunction tool and the first 36 volt hedgecutter.

Successful measuring tools sector achieves high sales growth
We were very successful in enhancing business with electric measuring tools. More and more professional tradespeople and do-it-yourselfers are using these tools to replace traditional tools such as the spirit level and meter stick. We have again succeeded in increasing our market share in this sector - by two percentage points to a current level of about 21 percent according to preliminary figures from the consumer research association. The market leadership acquired by Bosch in 2010 has therefore been further strengthened. Our sales have increased in this time by 68 percent.

These successes are the result of a strategy consisting of several factors: we arouse interest in the products by using not only classical, but also new communication channels, such as the “Youtube” channel on the internet. We combine sophisti­cated technology with simple operation concepts in our innovations. When doing so, we develop products that are versatile due to their many functions and are easy to operate at the push of a button. With convincing, user-oriented tool developments we have also been able to win over new target groups, such as surveyors or exhibition stand builders, for Bosch measuring tools. To do this, we analyze the needs of our customers very precisely and we actively include the relevant target groups in the product development.

The innovative strength of Bosch measuring tools is, for example, demonstrated this year by a world first: the GSL 2 Professional surface laser. Professional tradespeople can use this handy instrument, for example when laying screed, to detect surface irregularities at the push of a button without having to painstakingly check the entire surface with a slat and a spirit level. This instrument enables the professional to work more reliably, precisely and quickly.

We are again presenting many more innovations this year in addition to the GSL 2 Professional. With more than 100 new products, we want to strengthen and further increase our market leadership in tools and accessories for professionals and do-it-yourselfers. Even if the overall economy weakens slightly, we want to continue to grow and gain market shares in 2012. We are in a good position to do so. We rely on our highly qualified and motivated associates and on the trust customers all over the world place in our brands, especially the Bosch brand.

RF00147 - March 15, 2012

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