Power Tools

Bosch Power Tools continues its success Speech by Henning von Boxberg,
President of the Power Tools Division, of Robert Bosch GmbH

  • on the occasion of the press conference in Stuttgart on March 13, 2013
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  • March 02, 2013
  • Power Tools
  • Presentations

press release

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Bosch Power Tools continues to be successful. The division achieved sales of four billion euros in 2012, which equates to nominal growth of six percent year-on-year. We are number one or two worldwide in all markets in which we operate – power tools, accessories, measuring tools and garden tools. The power tools and accessories submarkets grew by four percent in 2012. Measuring tool sales increased worldwide by nine percent, and garden tools sales by three percent. The overall market therefore grew by four percent to 24.5 billion euros. With a growth of six percent, Bosch outperformed the market and managed to gain market share.

The important submarkets “portable electric power tools”, and “benchtop tools” grew worldwide in terms of volume and value by four percent. However, these markets developed differently from region to region. The markets in North and Latin America performed strongly, with six and twelve percent growth respectively. The Asia/Pacific market grew by four percent – significantly short of industry expectations. This was mainly due to the effect of the economic slowdown in China. The European market felt the Southern European financial and economic crisis in 2012, and stagnated overall.

Contrary to these market trends, we performed especially well in Asia in 2012, where a market growth figure of just four percent makes it all the more remarkable that we were able to increase sales in the Asia/Pacific region by 16 percent. I will go into this in more detail later. Bosch Power Tools managed to grow by three percent on the stagnating European main market, therefore also strengthening its own position in this difficult environment. Overall, we generated around 90 percent of sales outside of Germany.

Strategic direction is the basis for success
Another important basis for the success of Bosch in the market is our innovative strength and pace of innovation. We generated about 40 percent of sales in 2012 with products that were launched within the last two years. In addition to this, we are strategically expanding areas we consider to have the potential for overproportionately high growth:

  • the cordless segment,
  • the so-called “emerging markets”,
  • the accessories segment,
  • the measuring tools sector.
Since 2003, we have been the worldwide technology leader for lithium-ion cordless tools. The success story began with the launch of the Ixo, which celebrates its tenth birthday this year. It was the first cordless screwdriver with lithium-ion technology, which was until then only known from cellphones or laptops. Following this technological leap, we launched lithium-ion powered world “first’s” almost annually. They have not only sold very successfully, but have also created new markets. The latest example of this is the PSR Select, which was launched in mid 2012 and is the first cordless screwdriver with built-in accessories. Its integrated bit cylinder contains twelve standard bits. Do-it-yourselfers therefore always have their accessories with them when screwdriving, and they will never lose a bit again. We are convinced that we can continue this success story in 2013 with more innovative products.

In the Asia/Pacific region, in which we include the “emerging markets” of China, India and the ASEAN countries, we were able to grow more than two times as fast as the market in 2012 with 11 percent growth without currency effects (16 following currency adjustment). Consistently gearing our products towards the needs of the target groups makes an important contribution to this success. We successfully launched robust and reliable professional tools in these “emerging markets” – at a price level that tradespeople with less spending power can also afford. Available tools include a rotary hammer, an angle grinder, cordless drill/drivers, cordless impact drivers and a five-kilo breaker hammer. The range is continually being expanded.

When it comes to accessories, especially abrasives which account for the largest share of sales in the accessories business unit, we focus on development and manufacturing expertise from a single source. The investment of about 45 million euros in a state-of-the-art production site in Frauenfeld, Switzerland – the headquarters of sia Abrasives, which has been part of the Bosch Group since 2008 ? is a clear commitment to sustained expansion of our abrasives business. With this new plant, Bosch Power Tools is able to produce an additional 40 million square meters of abrasives a year – at an assumed manufacturing width of one meter, this is equivalent to the circumference of the Earth. Overall, our production capacity has been more than doubled. This enables us to meet the increasing demand for our abrasives, therefore meeting requirements for further growth. In 2012, we grew nearly twice as fast as the market in the accessories segment.

Jump in sales with measuring tools
Our Measuring Tools business unit, formed in 2009, has by the end of 2012 doubled its annual sales since the time of its founding. We have been the market leader since 2010 and now hold a worldwide market share of 22 percent. Innovation drives our growth. We offer solutions that make work easier for tradespeople and do-it-yourselfers alike. With the GSL 2 Professional surface laser, for example, we launched a world first onto the market last year which enables professional tradespeople to check the flatness of a surface in seconds, instead of having to go through the trouble of fiddling around with a caliber and spirit level. This year, we are presenting the GLM 100 C Professional – a laser rangefinder with an interface for quick, easy data transfer to smartphones, tablet PCs and PCs.

We offered do-it-yourselfers the first very easy-to-operate leveling instrument in 2010 with our Quigo cross-line laser. We made this technology accessible to people who had little experience with using measuring tools, and impressively proved how easy the precise alignment of pictures and furniture can be. Our PTD 1 thermal detector, which was launched in 2012, is just as easy to handle: it reliably indicates thermal bridges and mold risk areas at the press of a button. This year, we will be launching the smallest laser rangefinder onto the market with the PLR 15. It fits in any trouser pocket and offers the same self-explanatory operation as the Quigo: simply slide up the switch, measure, and you’re done.

In addition to innovative measuring tools, we will again launch more than 100 new products onto the market for professionals and do-it-yourselfers in 2013. In doing so, we want to amaze our users, win new target groups and create new markets. This goal is the foundation on which we will build our success.

RF00186 - March 02, 2013

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