Power Tools

Bosch innovation creates markets Henning von Boxberg
President of the Power Tools Division
of Robert Bosch GmbH
on the occasion of the press conference
in Leinfelden on March 19, 2014

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  • March 19, 2014
  • Power Tools
  • Presentations

press release

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Bosch Power Tools Division generated sales of 4.0 billion euros in 2013, a result on the same level as the preceding year. Our sales development was negatively impacted by unfavorable currency effects, especially due to the weakening of exchange positions with Brazil, Turkey, South Africa, and India. After adjusting for currency effects, sales grew by three percent.

We are still a model of great innovative strength. A total of 35 percent of our sales in 2013 was generated with products that were launched onto the market within the last two years. The size of our worldwide workforce remained constant at about 19 000 associates in 37 locations.

Sales development differed regionally. We achieved growth of four percent in Europe and five percent in Asia/Pacific, but sales in North America declined by three percent. This decline was due to adverse weather conditions and a conscious decision to favor profitability over giving in to prevailing pricing pressure. In the emerging Latin American market, however, we grew by twelve percent. In the power tools, accessories, and measuring tools business segments, we are the world market leader in value, while for garden tools we place second.

Worldwide market growth of three percent
Adjusted for currency effects, our market grew worldwide by three percent overall to a total 25.4 billion euros in 2013. The larger power tools and accessories markets both registered three percent growth. The measuring tools market grew at a much stronger rate of eight percent over previous year, while the market for electric garden tools, on the other hand, shrank by one percent.

The highly important worldwide submarket for portable electric power tools and benchtop tools grew by four percent in volume to 220 million pieces and by three percent in value to 11.6 billion euros. This submarket grew in all regions except for Europe where it shrank by one percent, mainly due to declining development in Southern Europe where the effects of the financial crisis were noticeable in individual countries, especially Spain and Portugal. The regions North America, Asia/Pacific and Middle East/Africa each managed to grow by five percent. Latin America achieved a double-digit growth rate of ten percent.

The cordless strategic growth segment
The share of cordless power tools in the market is continually increasing, and we continue to strengthen our leading position by focusing on this strategic growth segment. Whereas one in three tools was cordless in 2007, nearly half of them now have a battery. Lithium-ion technology is still on the increase. Of all cordless tools in Europe, 83 percent are already equipped with it. This figure was still 52 percent in 2009. In 2013 we further strengthened our market leading share in the European cordless segment from a 2012 base of 32 percent.

Users trust Bosch products. We have been a technology leader for lithium-ion tools since launching the Ixo in 2003. With this cordless screwdriver, we were the first manufacturer to launch a power tool with lithium-ion technology onto the market. Numerous other cordless products from Bosch were the first in their respective categories to use the innovative lithium-ion technology. Examples of these are the Rotak LI cordless lawnmower, the Uneo “all-in-one” cordless power tool, the Ciso pruning shears, the AHS 54-20 LI hedgecutter, the PSR Select cordless screwdriver with integrated bit cylinder, and the Indego robotic mower with navigation system for systematic mowing in parallel lines.

Our unending enhancement of cordless technology drives us to apply our innovative strength to solve the problems of our users, including both tradespeople and do-it-yourselfers alike. For example, tradespeople can use our powerful and compact cordless tools to work freely without an annoying cord and without having to constantly recharge their battery. With our “Power4All” cordless system, do-it-yourselfers no longer have to buy and store a battery and a charger for each of their tools. One battery and one charger are enough for all power tools within a given voltage class.

Success with easy-to-use measuring tools
We have also further strengthened our market leadership in measuring tools. While the market grew by eight percent, Bosch grew by 13 percent – considerably faster than the market. As a result, in 2013 we further increased our market share from a 2012 basis of 21 percent. We offer professional tradespeople simple solutions for complex processes. For example, the GLM 100 C Professional laser rangefinder enables a tradesperson to easily measure without the assistance of another tradesman, and to save the results to a marked photo on his or her smartphone. Its exceptionally easy handling also makes this tool attractive to first-time users of this technology.

We have also been able to win over many new DIY users with our handy, easy-to-operate measuring tools. Our PLR 15 laser rangefinder, for example, has for the first time made laser technology accessible to people who have little experience with using measuring tools thanks to its self-explanatory, single-button operation.

Strong growth with accessories
The accessories market is also an area of particular strategic focus for us. Whereas this market grew worldwide by three percent in 2013, Bosch achieved a growth of almost double that rate, growing by five percent. Our market share has continually increased in recent years and we further strengthened our 2012 market leading twelve percent share (in value) in 2013.

In the accessories market we continue to focus on differentiation, innovation, and presentation. Through our portfolio of strong brands, we are able to offer tailor-made solutions for do-it-yourselfers, tradespeople, and industry. We use our innovative strength in the accessories segment to increase application effectiveness and therefore also the efficiency of the user's work. With clearly arranged, self-explanatory, and attractive product presentations we make it easier for the user to find the right accessory for the task at hand, and we help retailers to increase sales.

Success in emerging markets
We are also dedicated to further developing our sales and the state of the industry in emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil or Russia. In the area of portable electric power tools and benchtop tools, these markets grew in total by seven percent in 2013. Our sales, however, grew by eleven percent, well ahead of the market and therefore indicating a further increase over our 2012 market share of 27 percent. In Russia we even managed to grow twice as fast as the market to achieve a sales increase of 14 percent, therefore successfully further increasing upon our 2012 market share of 20 percent.

Launching products which are tailored to the needs of users in emerging markets and taking into consideration the purchasing power in these markets has enabled us to succeed in winning market share. For example, we offer a cordless drill/driver for professional users in Russia, which has a narrower range of features than the tools offered in industrialized markets, but is robust and reliable to work with. Its charging time is longer, its torque lower, the chuck is smaller and it does not have convenience features such as an LED light or a belt clip. However, because of these feature adaptations it costs less than half that of a comparable cordless drill/driver which we sell in markets with higher purchasing power and “feature focus”. In Russia, we currently offer a total of ten such products which are tailored to the needs of users in emerging markets – including rotary hammers, angle grinders, an impact drill, a hand-held circular saw, a jigsaw, and a dust extractor.

We will again launch more than 100 new products onto the German market in 2014. These launches will come across the power tools, accessories, measuring tools, and garden tools segments, and will once again create new markets and amaze users. Our goal is to strengthen our leading position by again growing faster than the market and wining additional share in what will surely be a tough, competitive environment. We will do so by relying on systematic analysis of user needs, the innovative strength of our associates, and our customer's trust in our strong brands.

RF00219 - March 19, 2014

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