Power Tools

Bosch Lawn and Garden: Cultivating marketing efforts yields strong growth Henning von Boxberg
President of the Power Tools Division
of Robert Bosch GmbH
on the occasion of the press conference
in Stuttgart on August 20, 2013

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  • August 20, 2013
  • Power Tools
  • Presentations

press release

Ladies and Gentlemen,
the Bosch Lawn and Garden business unit can look back on 2012 as a successful business year: sales increased by five percent to 251 million euros. At 44 percent, the share of sales generated with new products was especially high. During the same time, the European market for electric garden tools grew by only two percent to 900 million euros, which was weaker than its growth in the previous year. The number of tools sold actually declined by one percent. Bosch has therefore again succeeded in growing faster than the market and gaining market share.

The basis for our business success is the consistent cultivation of marketing efforts. This requires us to continuously observe and respond to the wants and needs of private gardeners in a targeted manner to quickly identify and address trends in such a way that every element of our product portfolio, communication, and market approach is optimized to stay with or ahead of the expectations of the gardening world – for example the desire for effortless gardening with high mobility and flexibility. With this desire in mind, Bosch has been offering battery-powered garden tools since 1969 – that's over 40 years now. We are also the inventor of lithium-ion mowers: the first of which came onto the market in 2007. They were a breakthrough in the industry. Bosch has sold 400,000 lithium-ion mowers since their market launch. Our cordless products already account for about a third of total sales. In 2012 alone, gardening enthusiasts purchased about one million cordless tools from Bosch worldwide.

We offer a high pace of innovation and have launched more than one hundred new products onto the market in the past five years. Seven of the ten best-selling electric garden tools in the most important European markets are from Bosch.

Strong growth in the lawnmower segment
Our Rotak lawnmowers are particularly well received by customers. Users are amazed by their high cutting power, low weight and good handling. With Rotak mowers, Bosch has succeeded in achieving disproportionate growth in an established segment which is characterized by strong competition: whereas the market for electric lawnmowers only grew by one percent per year on average from 2007 to 2012, Bosch recorded average annual growth of ten percent. Four of the seven best-selling electric garden tools in 2012 were Rotak mowers. According to market surveys, Bosch has been the market leader for electric lawnmowers in France, Belgium and the Netherlands since 2010, and in Germany since 2011. We want to build on this success with the Rotak lineup for 2014.

Bosch remains market leader in Europe
Bosch has been the market leader for electric garden tools in Europe since 2009. Bosch's market share in value continually increased from 23 percent in 2009 to 26 percent in 2012. A major success factor is the fact that we carefully observe trends that are important for the gardening market – which for a number of years have included the desire for effortless gardening and for an oasis in the city. We consistently gear our products toward these trends; our cordless tools enable especially effortless work because they offer maximum mobility due to cordless freedom. Moreover, they can be used at any time because their lithium-ion batteries have hardly any self-discharge. Compact design, low weight and easy handling are just a few of the many advantages of our cordless tools.

Cordless technology has become increasingly popular among hobby gardeners due to its many advantages. The share of cordless tools among that of total electric garden tools has increased in the five most important European markets from 19 percent in 2009 to 25 percent in 2012.

Cordless segment: consistent cultivation of marketing efforts
Due to our consistent cultivation of marketing efforts in the cordless segment, Bosch has repeatedly provided this cordless market with strong growth impetus. We were the first manufacturer to deliver a series of lithium-ion premiers to the market, catering to the needs of a wide variety of users:
  • Rotak LI, the first LI cordless mower, and Isio, the first cordless grass and shrub shear, in 2007,
  • Ciso, the first LI cordless secateur, and ASH 54-20 LI, the first 36 volt hedgecutter, in 2009,
  • Keo, the first LI cordless garden saw, and Rotak LI, the first LI cordless lawnmower with certified Ergoflex handles, in 2011,
  • Indego, the first LI cordless robotic mower with navigation system for systematic mowing in lanes, this year.
Bosch is consistently expanding the cordless segment. Of the new products for 2014, 80 percent are cordless tools – including trimmers with new cutting technology and powerful lithium-ion mowers in the Rotak series.

Bosch innovations prevail in the market
Demand for autonomous lawnmowers is increasing with help from the trend towards effortless gardening. This demand has caused the cordless segment of the garden tools market to grow significantly since 2009 – and especially after 2011. Whereas robotic mowers accounted for a market share of nine percent of the cordless market in 2009, their market share tripled by 2012 to 27 percent. In the first quarter of 2013 it was already 30 percent. The most popular robotic mower in homecenters is the Indego. This tool made Bosch the market leader with a market share of 48 percent within just four months of the tool's launch. This means that nearly every second robotic mower sold in homecenters is an Indego. We intend to continue this success with following Indego generations.

Skil offers solutions for the price-conscious urban gardener
In addition to the trend towards effortless gardening, the trend towards urban gardening is also continuing. This is where the “Urban Series” from Skil comes in: the now very extensive product range is designed for users who live in cities and want to create a “green oasis” for themselves even in a limited amount of space. The range excels due to its good ergonomics and the specially developed “Easy Storage” system for convenient storage in the tightest of spaces. The “Urban Series” is comprised of lawn mowers, line trimmers, hedge cutters, grass and shrub shears, a joint cleaner, a high-pressure washer, a shredder, a chainsaw, and a garden vacuum to offer a suitable tool for the most typical gardening jobs.

Success due to multi-channel communication
In addition to the orientation towards customer needs, the innovative strength and the pace of innovation, major components of the success of Bosch garden tools is our clear communication of product benefits and our continual dialog with users. Launched in 2012, the joint Bosch brand identity for DIY and garden tools has the motto “Make it your home”. With this we want to encourage our users to design their house and garden personally and individually. We address both do-it-yourselfers and private gardeners when doing so because they have many common needs. We are concentrating our communication more than ever on sharing information, advice and facilitating user dialog. We accompany our product launches across all channels with comprehensive activities at retail, in print campaigns, through user dialog via social media platforms, and through online and mobile information offerings – therefore consistently pursuing a strategy of multi-channel communication.

Forecast
We want to use consistent market cultivation, innovative strength and networked communication to again be successful in the 2014 gardening season and further strengthen our market position. Our new products are precisely tailored to the needs of users and will – supported by our communication and service offers – again stimulate the gardening market.

RF00200 - August 20, 2013

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