Power Tools

Record year for Bosch: Growth in all business segments Bernd Müller
Sales Director for Germany, Austria, Switzerland
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,
In 2013, Bosch managed to further strengthen its leading market position with power tools, measuring tools and accessories in Germany. Record sales were achieved and market shares won in all business segments. With four million power tools, 16 million accessories and 300,000 measuring tools, we sold more products than ever before in a year. Our online offerings also set a record with more than ten million visitors.

Growth in a stagnating market
Bosch achieved this success despite unfavorable circumstances. The German market for portable electric power tools stagnated in 2013 both in units sold and in value. The number of tools sold was 5.3 million , and their value was 686 million euros1. Bosch, however, increased its sales in this segment by five percent. The market share of 39 percent therefore increased further. The market for measuring tools performed better, growing by four percent. Bosch managed to increase its sales by 18 percent and significantly strengthen its market share. In the stagnating accessories market, Bosch registered growth of seven percent and also increased its own market share.

Trends that moved the market
More and more users are choosing to buy innovative products, increasingly also cordless tools, and are increasingly obtaining their information online. Bosch succeeded in taking advantage of these trends and was also instrumental in shaping them.

Our innovations create markets. The market for portable electric power tools grew from 2007 to 2013 by nine percent. Bosch was able to increase its sales by 41 percent in the same timespan, which means that whilst the market had average annual growth of about one percent, Bosch achieved average annual growth of six percent. Our successful innovations included, for example, professional tools such as the GBH 5-40 DCE Professional rotary hammer and the GSR 10,8-2-LI Professional cordless drill/driver, and DIY tools such as the PMF 180 E multifunction tool, the Uneo and Uneo Maxx multi-talented tools for hammering, drilling and screwdriving, the PSR Select with integrated bit cylinder, and many more.

Cordless tools now account for 43 percent of the overall market for portable electric power tools in Germany. This figure was still 38 percent in 2009. We managed to increase sales by twelve percent with our extensive cordless range in 2013, whereas the market volume of this segment only grew by two percent. Our success is based on innovative tools, marketing geared towards customer wishes, and attractive presentation of the products at retail outlets.

We were also able to participate successfully in the online trend. The estimated share of all online purchases in the market for portable electric power tools was 14 percent in 2013. The percentage of purchases influenced by the internet is many times higher. Bosch managed to further strengthen its market share of 40 percent in the online market for power tools. This shows that we are well positioned in internet communication, and our product, application and service information is being well received on the internet and by users.

Market share gains with professional tools
2013 was a difficult year for the professional segment. The long winter resulted in suspensions of building work at the beginning of the year and consequently falls in demand for power tools. The market for professional power tools shrank by two percent – both in units sold and in value. The number of tools sold was two million , and their value was 438 million euros2. Bosch was able to detach itself from this negative market development, increasing its sales in this segment by three percent and further strengthening its own market share of 26 percent2. This makes Bosch the highest-grossing brand for professional tools at German specialist retail outlets.

Our broad range of innovative cordless tools is being especially well received by professional tradespeople. Whereas the market for professional cordless tools grew by only one percent in Germany in 2013, we managed to increase sales in this segment by eight percent. The key building blocks of our success are:
  • product innovations with noticeable added value for the user, for example due to increased user protection,
  • the offer of cordless tools with 10.8 or 18 volts in the so-called “Clic & Go” system at a fixed price,
  • marketing of cordless tools through “Bosch Cordless Specialists” at specialist retail outlets.
Increased user protection due to “Rotation Control”
A current example of our innovations with increased added value are the GSR 14,4 and 18 VE-2-LI Professional cordless drill/drivers and the GSB 14,4 and 18 VE-2-LI Professional cordless combis. They offer special user protection thanks to their “Electronic Rotation Control”, ERC for short. If the integrated sensor detects sudden jamming during work – for example due to tilting in metal or a hard object in wood or masonry – the motor shuts down immediately and minimizes unwanted run-on of the power tool. Carpenters, roofers, electricians and plumbers therefore always have their tool under control – even in the toughest screwdriving and drilling applications.

Simplified “Clic & Go” system with fixed price
We offer our 10.8 and 18 volt tools in the so-called “Clic & Go” system. With this system, professional tradespeople can combine two tools of their choice with their base set, consisting of two batteries and a charger. A total of eleven tools with 10.8 volts are available to choose from, while there are 21 tools with 18 volts. A new feature is the fixed price per package. Regardless of which tools the user chooses, he receives every 10.8 volt combination at the recommended retail price of 289 euros and every 18 volt combination for 599 euros, each excluding VAT. Every tool comes with a matching L-Boxx. Multiple L-Boxxes can be easily clicked together and then conveniently transported in a stack. The user therefore benefits from the “Clic & Go” system in three ways at once: he can individually compile his tools whilst simultaneously saving money, and he can easily transport his tools as well. We were able to increase our sales with cordless screwdrivers by four percent over the past year thanks to this concept, and the increase was 68 percent for all other tools in this system.

Successful sales through “Bosch Cordless Specialists”
Success is also being enjoyed by specialist retailers who focus on Bosch cordless tools in their marketing – the so-called “Bosch Cordless Specialists”. These retailers benefit from the marketing support for the salesroom, while their customers benefit from the free “24-month ProService” – a two-year repair service which goes well beyond the usual manufacturer’s guarantee and covers the tool, battery pack and charger. “Bosch Cordless Specialists” achieve higher sales increases than their competitors. From 2010 to 2013, sales with cordless tools at specialist retail outlets grew by ten percent in total. Bosch retailers who are not “Cordless Specialists” achieved sales growth of 33 percent, while “Bosch Cordless Specialist” retailers increased their sales by 52 percent. This corresponds to annual average growth of only three percent at specialist retail outlets, ten percent for non-“Bosch Cordless Specialist” retailers and 15 percent for “Bosch Cordless Specialist” retailers.

Professional tradespeople appreciate Bosch’s online offerings
The importance of the internet as a communication and information medium is also growing in the trades. Our online offerings are increasingly popular: In 2013, the Bosch website for professional power tools registered more than 3.7 million visitors, which is about 23 percent more than in the previous year. Our newsletter is subscribed to by over one million interested tradespeople and industrial companies, which is 20 percent more than in the previous year. The number of registered members in our Bosch Professional Community “Bob” grew at the same time by 28 percent. About 28,000 registered members already use “Bob” to discuss specific everyday work problems with expert colleagues, pose their questions directly to the Bosch expert team and give suggestions themselves. Rising membership figures are also being registered by our Facebook community for professionals. Among the 23,000 fans, the age group of 20 to 40 year-olds is especially prevalent.

Significant sales increase with DIY tools
Our offerings for do-it-yourselfers continue to be very popular. As a result, Bosch performed much better than the market in this segment again in 2013. The number of power tools sold in Germany grew by two percent to 3.3 million , while the value grew by three percent to 248 million euros3. Bosch, however, managed to increase its sales with DIY tools from the Bosch and Skil brands by nine percent.

Bosch is the most sought-after brand among German do-it-yourselfers. Our market share is 48 percent3. The Ixo cordless screwdriver again led the way, continuing to be the best-selling power tool in Germany again in 2013. The enthusiasm it generates is demonstrated by customer reviews such as “My Ixo willingly screws together an entire company of furniture”. Other tools also receive top scores, such as the PSR 18 LI-2 cordless drill/driver referred to as “powerful and smooth-running” or the PRR 250 ES sanding roller recommended as an exceptionally versatile tool due to its various attachments.

The willingness to buy our quality products and innovations remains high, with 17 of the 20 best-selling power tools in German homecenters in 2013 made by Bosch. Cordless tools with lithium-ion technology are especially important here, with 77 percent of all German cordless tools in 2013 equipped with this technology. This figure was only 56 percent4 in 2009. Bosch holds a market share of 60 percent4 for lithium-ion battery-powered tools. This strong position in the market is based on the continuous launching of innovative cordless tools, our “Power4All” cordless systems with tools for cordless freedom in the house and garden, and our successful multi-channel marketing.

Innovative PST 10,8 LI multi saw
The PST 10,8 LI multi saw was launched as a 10.8 volt system tool last year and again demonstrates the innovative strength of Bosch. It combines the functions of a jigsaw, saber saw and branch saw in one tool. This is made possible by its innovative SDS system: for the first time, the jigsaw blade can be fitted in the tool in two different directions. If you turn the saw teeth forwards, the tool is guided as a jigsaw. If you turn the saw teeth backwards, the PST 10,8 LI can be used as a saber saw and can, for example, also prune branches.

Continual expansion of the “Power4All” systems
We meet the wishes of users exceptionally well with our “Power4All” cordless system. Do-it-yourselfers can operate different tools within the same voltage class with only one changeable battery, thus foregoing superfluous batteries and chargers and at the same time saving money. In March 2013 we launched the 10.8 volt system in addition to the 18 volt system and expanded it in July from six to nine tools. It currently comprises the PSR 10,8 LI drill/driver, the PSB 10,8 LI-2 combi drill, the PMF 10,8 LI multifunction tool, the PSM 10,8 LI multi-sander, the Uneo multi-talented tool for hammering, drilling and screwdriving, the PST 10,8 LI multi saw, the PLI 10,8 LI light, and the AHS 35-15 LI and AHS 45-15 LI hedgecutters. We expanded the tried-and-tested 18 volt cordless system in October from nine to eleven tools, adding the PKS 18 LI hand-held circular saw and the PSA 18 LI saber saw.

Success due to multi-channel marketing
We attract great attention for the supply and demand for our products by means of our multi-channel marketing. We network online and offline offers in order to communicate with and reach our users across all channels – be it through advertisements in print media, placements at retail outlets, or our DIY community. In addition to this, retail promotions and customer reviews on the internet help to strengthen our presence and the trust in our brand.

Bosch strengthens market leadership in measuring tools segment
We have further strengthened our leading position for DIY measuring tools. Whereas the market volume in Germany grew by 13 percent in 2013, Bosch managed to grow three times as fast as the market with a sales increase of 41 percent5. We achieved this above all due to convincing innovations. An example of this is the PLR 15 laser rangefinder, which has made laser technology accessible to people with little experience of using measuring tools. As small and handy as a marker pen, the PLR 15 excels due to its self-explanatory single-button operation and replaces the classical folding rule. Bosch is also market leader by some distance in all three disciplines – measuring, detecting, leveling. All ten of the best-selling measuring tools in German homecenters are from Bosch.

Do-it-yourselfers appreciate Bosch’s online offerings
Our online offering, which serves the purpose of both information and communication, is popular with do-it-yourselfers. Our website for DIY tools registered 1.9 million visitors in 2013, which was 15 percent more than in the previous year. 23,000 do-it-yourselfers subscribe to our newsletter, which corresponds to an increase of 35 percent. The Bosch 1-2-do.com community is Germany’s biggest DIY community with around 80,000 members – which is 60 percent more than in the previous year. The number of visitors to the corresponding websites increased by 67 percent to five million, while the number of member’s projects grew by 40 percent. About 7,000 projects now inspire members to do DIY and decoration. Rising membership figures are also being registered by our Facebook community for do-it-yourselfers. It now has 140,000 fans, which is more than twice as many as the previous year. 22.5 million people have seen the content at “Bosch DIY & Garden Germany” over the past year. We achieved this high coverage by means of interactive communication with users, games, promotions and campaign-related Facebook adverts.

New communication platform: “MyBosch”
We will be using our new communication platform called “MyBosch” in order to enable us to speak to our users even more personally in future and to individually enter into dialog with them. This platform offers do-it-yourselfers information, service offers and expert advice from Bosch which are individually tailored to them. For example, there are projects, ideas and inspirations which are especially geared towards their interests. Registered users will obtain very quick and individual advice from Bosch experts and can rely on the Bosch repair service in the event of a problem: a tool sent in for repair is returned to the user within only five days – including free pickup and delivery.

How “MyBosch” works
Anyone wanting to use “MyBosch” only has to register and log in. If, for example, you want to build a birdhouse and are looking for corresponding inspiration or tips, you simply choose a matching project on “MyBosch” and save it under “My Projects”. “MyBosch” then automatically generates a shopping list for this project. Once you have purchased the required tools and registered with “MyBosch”, you will receive exclusive services: extensive product information, the Bosch repair service, a warranty extension to three years, and other services such as maintenance and calibration, and a “MyBosch” account. Thanks to this account, Bosch experts can answer questions about the project or the right tool or accessories very quickly and individually. The initial registration ensures that the Bosch experts do not have to ask one question too many when phoning, chatting or e-mailing, and there are no misunderstandings. When the birdhouse is finally finished, the do-it-yourselfer can publish his project, request feedback from the community and make new contacts – if he hasn’t done this already.

Our previous success has strengthened the trust of users in the Bosch brand. We want to use our innovations to generate enthusiasm for our products again in 2014. We are rising to the challenges of the dynamically changing market and are convinced of being able to win additional market shares.

The Power Tools Division of the Bosch Group is one of the world’s leading providers for power tools, power tool accessories and measuring tools. In 2015, its roughly 20,000 associates generated sales of 4.5 billion euros, about 85 percent of which outside of Germany. With brands such as Bosch, Skil and Dremel, the division stands for customer focus and great engineering progress. The core success factors are innovative strength and pace of innovation. The division generated about one third of its sales in 2015 with products that have been on the market for less than two years. In 2016, Bosch Power Tools will again launch more than 100 new products onto the German market in its four business segments power tools, accessories, measuring tools and garden tools.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

Further information is available online at www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

RF00222 - March 19, 2014

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