Power Tools

Bosch garden tools: Innovation creates markets Henning von Boxberg
President of the Power Tools Division
of Robert Bosch GmbH
on the occasion of the press conference
in Stuttgart on August 26, 2014

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  • August 26, 2014
  • Power Tools
  • Presentations

press release

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Bosch Lawn and Garden business unit managed to increase its sales again in 2013 – despite the long, cold winter which significantly shortened the gardening season in Europe and resulted in retailers selling fewer garden tools overall. Bosch's garden tool sales increased by one percent to 253 million euros, or three percent after adjusting for currency effects. The key factors for this success were our innovative strength and our know-how in battery technology. We generated about 35 percent of our sales in 2013 with products which have been on the market for under two years, and cordless tools accounted for about 35 percent of sales.

Bosch impresses in established and new segments
In the European core market, where we have been market leader with electric garden tools since 2009, a total of 11.1 million garden tools were sold in homecenters, discount stores, and through online marketplaces – two percent less than in the previous year. Market volume stagnated. We nevertheless succeeded in increasing sales by five percent in this difficult environment. With nine of the ten best-selling electric garden tools in European homecenters made by Bosch, our products clearly impress gardening enthusiasts. We focus on consistent cultivation of marketing efforts. In the past five years we have launched more than 100 new tools onto the market – both enhancements in established segments, such as lawnmowers and shrub shears, and innovations with which we successfully open new segments. These include our Indego robotic mower, launched in 2013, with its “LogiCut” navigation system for systematic mowing in lanes. Not only did it receive top scores on online platforms, it also impressed Stiftung Warentest (a German consumer safety group) which tested a total of eight robotic mowers and rated only the Indego and one other tool as “Good”.

“Smart Gardening” from Bosch
We want to continue our robotic mower success story with a new Indego model, the Indego 1200 Connect. Its conception considers a strong trend of our time, namely the rapid spread of mobile communication and networking. More and more people own a smartphone. With “Lawn care at your fingertips” as its motto, the Indego 1200 Connect combines easy operation by means of an app with its tried-and-tested, unique “LogiCut” navigation system for efficient mowing in lanes. The result is that you can conveniently control your robotic mower from anywhere and at any time – in the living room from your sofa, while traveling on a bus or train, or even while on holiday. At the same time, the Indego 1200 Connect mows 30 percent faster than robotic mowers that mow in a random pattern. This is what we imply by “Smart Gardening”.

Entry into professional segment
Innovation and the use of new technology have always been key factors of our growth strategy. This year we are taking a major step in implementing this strategy by entering into the professional garden tools segment. In 2013, the for us relevant market, which are the product segments walk-behind lawnmowers, brushcutters, chainsaws, hedgecutters and garden blower/vacuums, had an estimated overall value in Europe of about 2.6 billion euros and was dominated to the tune of 93 percent by gasoline-powered tools. However, the advantages of cordless electrical tools have hardly been noticed by professionals so far, with cordless electrical tools accounting for only seven percent of this market. Our research shows that many professionals are reluctant to use cordless electrical tools because they believe that the currently available cordless systems do not provide the necessary level of performance required for professional applications, and because cordless systems can be sensitive to moisture.

Above all, professionals expect their tools to have high performance and long runtime, be weather-resistant and robust, and to have low operating costs. In addition to this, there are health and convenience aspects to consider such as a low noise level, easy starting, low vibration, and minimal exhaust fumes. Gasoline-powered tools can only meet some of these requirements. They do combine high performance, long runtime, weather resistance and robustness. However, they have high gasoline costs and produce noise, vibration and exhaust fumes. In addition to this, they do not always start right away. Cordless tools offer major advantages in this respect.

Cordless expertise – now also in professional garden tools
Bosch has been instrumental in shaping the market for powerful tools which run on lithium-ion batteries, and has now enhanced them for professional garden care. In future, a 36 volt, 6.0 Ah system will be made available in four professional tools at first: two lawnmowers and two brushcutters. They offer the same performance as gasoline tools, but are at most only half as loud. As a result, professionals can perform their work much more conveniently than before and have a powerful alternative to gasoline tools in future: the 36 volt garden tools from Bosch.

Forecast
We will develop the market for professional garden tools just as consistently as we have been developing the garden tools segment for private users, and we will remain true to our principles when doing so. In future we will continue to
  • focus our product development on the user,
  • be in constant dialog with him or her,
  • offer the user innovative products that cater to unmet needs,
  • offer comprehensive information and services across all channels in order to be very close to the user.
In short, we will continue to do everything we can to make gardening easy. We are convinced that with this strategy, our innovations for private users and our entry into the professional garden tools business, we are in an ideal position to continue growing and to strengthen our position in the market.

RF00233 - August 26, 2014

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