Power Tools

Bosch garden tools: Strong growth and new product segments Speech by Henning von Boxberg,
Member of the executive management of the Power Tools Division, of Robert Bosch GmbH

  • on the occasion of the press conference in Stuttgart on August 23, 2012
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  • August 23, 2012
  • Power Tools
  • Presentations

press release

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Bosch Lawn and Garden business unit can look back on 2011 as a successful year of business. Sales rose by seven percent to 239 million euros. The engine powering this growth was not only the favorable market development in Europe, but mainly the high level of innovative strength: 39 percent of sales were generated with products that were less than two years old. Cordless tools accounted for 31 percent of sales, which underlines our leading position in this technology.

Western Europe is our most important market with an over 80 percent share of sales. We achieved growth of seven percent in this region. Business also performed well in eastern Europe with growth of eight percent. Sales increased by twelve percent in the Asian countries.

Return of market growth
The two-year-long negative trend on the European market for electric garden tools changed into positive development in 2011. Whereas market volume in terms of value declined in 2009 by nine percent and in 2010 by two percent, it increased in 2011 by five percent. However, the demand for tools in terms of units sold declined again in 2011, with three percent fewer tools being sold.

Bosch again managed to grow faster than the market with its electric garden tools and further strengthen its position as market leader in Europe.

Unabated pace of innovation
Our business success with garden tools is in large part the result of our unabated pace of innovation. We have launched more than 100 new products onto the market in the past five years. One current success story is the Keo garden saw that we launched in 2011. It was the first product of its kind and opened up a new market segment. In Germany, the Keo is number one among all comparable saws according to the consumer research association (GfK). It has already won awards in France and the UK, which are both important European markets.

But not only new Bosch products are driving the gardening market. Garden tools that we launched years ago also trigger growth impulses time and again. For example, the Isio shrub shear has made the market grow enormously. In the period from 2006 to 2011, the market segment of electric shrub shears grew by 230 percent. From 2009, the second Isio generation with even more power, endurance, ease of use and the new “Anti-Blocking System” also contributed significantly to this growth. As with our other gardening products, we will continue to enhance the Isio concept in future and ensure additional market growth as a result.

25 percent market share in Europe
We have managed to continually gain new market shares in recent years with innovative products and new product segments. Seven of the ten best-selling garden tools in the most important European countries are from Bosch. We have been the market leader in Europe since 2009, with our market share rising in 2011 by one percentage point to 25 percent.

Cordless tools on the increase
We very carefully observe the trends important to the gardening market, in order to meet customer requirements as closely as possible. Two very distinctive requirements are apparent: gardening work has to be effortless, and people living in cities want to create a green oasis for themselves where they can relax and recuperate.

Lithium-ion battery powered tools accommodate these trends perfectly: there are no annoying cables, the tools are lightweight and always ready to use due to their extremely low self-discharge. Thanks to these advantages, the market share of cordless garden tools increased from 17 percent in 2008 to 20 percent in 2011. Lithium-ion tools clearly dominate the cordless segment, now possessing a share of 73 percent.

In 2007, Bosch was the first manufacturer to introduce this innovative battery technology in the gardening segment and is the market leader for lithium-ion battery powered tools with a market share of 43 percent. With a constant focus on the wishes of users, we are continually expanding this cordless range. When it comes to hedgecutters, for example, we offer the right tool for every hedge size: Our tools with 36 volt battery are designed for large hedges. We offer hedgecutters with 18 volt battery for medium-sized hedges. They are part of the “Power4All” 18 volt tool family. Today we are presenting hedgecutters with a 10.8 volt battery for gardeners who want to cut smaller hedges and are looking for a lightweight, handy tool with which to do it. These hedgecutters will also amaze users.

Bosch innovations in the cordless hedgecutters segment ensure clear growth impulses on the market: in 2008 it was the first 18 volt hedgecutters, in 2009 it was the powerful 36 volt hedgecutters. In 2013 we expect another strong market impulse, triggered by our new 10.8 volt hedgecutters.

Autonomous lawnmowers for effortless gardening
The prime example of a suitable tool for effortless gardening are autonomous lawnmowers. The demand for these tools increased significantly last year. In Germany alone, the market volume grew by 35 percent to 18 million euros in only one year, while the amount of tools sold grew by no less than 50 percent.

Our market research has shown, however, that customers see shortcomings in the application and mowing result of the tools offered so far. They complained that these tools were ineffi­cient, took too long, were too complicated to program and delivered an uneven mowing result. With its Indego robotic lawnmower, Bosch is now presenting an autonomous lawn­mower that overcomes these difficulties and delivers on the claim of effortless work with good results.

New communication concept for the house and garden
The vast majority of gardening enthusiasts are also do-it-yourselfers, and vice versa. The needs are the same in both cases. Our new communication concept is based on this. The entire Bosch brand identity with its new appearance consists of a joint communication and a joint packaging design. They convey the information in an emotional and appealing way. With the slogan “Make it your home”, they encourage people to shape their home and garden themselves. We also consistently offer joint cordless systems for DIY and garden tools. Above all else, however, projects in the house and garden require easy-to-operate tools that enable effortless work.

Popularity of urban gardens is increasing
More and more people are living in cities. In 2010, it was 73 percent in Europe. The forecast for 2020 is 75 percent, and the trend continues to rise. The influx of people into cities, however, does not mean that people want to live without their own “patch of green”. On the contrary: the popularity of small urban gardens is rising. The desire for urban green areas is growing, and increasing numbers of people are planting their own even in large cities. In doing so, they are creating their oasis of relaxation.

The “Urban Series” from Skil offers practical solutions for price-conscious gardeners in cities. This range of tools is now very extensive and features good ergonomics and easy storage of the tools in very small spaces.

The latest confirmation of this strategy is the sales success of the Skil “Weedbuster”. This tool cleans joints in the garden and in driveways in an easy and environmentally friendly way. It is very handy thanks to its adjustable handle height. Customers describe cleaning joints with the “Weedbuster” as “a thousand times nicer” than doing it with a hand brush.

Innovations continue to create new markets
We want to further strengthen the leading position of the Bosch Lawn and Garden business unit with innovative strength, high pace of innovation and excellent marketing. Our innovations create new markets and needs. We are well positioned and will do everything we can to grow faster than the market again in 2012, so that we again win market shares.

RF00166 - August 23, 2012

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