Bosch to invest some 160 million euros in India in 2014
Boost for local research and development
Research and Technology Center will focus on software solutions for internet of things and services
Stuttgart/Bangalore – The Bosch Group is further expanding its business in India. This year, the supplier of technology and services intends to invest some 160 million euros in extending its locations in the country. The investments will focus on extending existing manufacturing sites and research and development facilities. The company announced this at today’s official opening of the new Bosch research center in Bangalore. “India will continue to play a key role for the Bosch Group, even if the next few years will present a few challenges given the recent drop in automotive sales in the country,” said Peter Tyroller, the Bosch management board member responsible for Asia Pacific.
The Research and Technology Center (RTC) Bangalore will focus on the development of connected technologies for the internet of things and services. Other focal points will be methods and tools for the efficient design of software-intensive systems, as well as image processing. The research center is part of the Bosch Group’s second largest development site, employing 10,500 researchers and engineers. One example of the effectiveness of localized development is the two-wheeler engine management system developed for the Indian market. This is now available in Europe as well. Customers from around the world will be able to see such innovations for themselves at a separate Bosch event. This is being staged to coincide with the Auto Expo trade show from February 5 to 8. Further information are available here.
Expansion of Indian manufacturing facilities Over the past two years, the Bosch Group has increased its presence in India. In 2013, its subsidiary Bosch Rexroth opened a new plant in Ahmedabad. And, as India’s largest automotive supplier, Bosch has expanded its manufacturing facility for automotive parts in Chennai. Chennai is also the site of a new Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte plant, currently under construction. In 2012, Bosch opened a new, larger manufacturing facility for packaging machinery in Verna and a manufacturing facility for heating systems in Kumbalgodu. By 2015, a diesel plant will have been moved from Adugodi in the center of Bangalore to a larger site in Bidadi, roughly 30 kilometers away. In the future, the existing Adugodi location will be used for administrative purposes as well as for research and development work.
Bosch in India Bosch has been present in India since 1922. The company currently employs some 26,000 associates at 10 manufacturing sites and 7 research and development locations in the country. The leading global supplier of technology and services is well positioned in India. Its four business sectors Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology are all present in the country. In 2012, Bosch generated sales of 1.5 billion euros in India. Over the medium-to-long term, the company expects stable growth in the region.
Footage (download-links): http://bit.ly/1lv8E6M: Scenes of typical Indian traffic in Bangalore, renowned Mekhri Circle underpass mural http://bit.ly/1n6bM4B: Outdoor shots: Grounds, buildings, and the immediate environment of the Bosch software site in Bangalore http://bit.ly/1djUBXL Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions: Software development in Bangalore: Practical testing of multimedia and satellite navigation software on the test rig
Bosch CEO Denner: “The breadth of our technological expertise and our presence in diverse sectors of the economy are crucial advantages in a connected world.”
Sales up 2.7 percent to 46.4 billion euros
Disregarding extraordinary burdens from photovoltaics, EBIT margin at roughly 6 percent
Stuttgart – According to preliminary figures, the Bosch Group increased its sales by 2.7 percent in 2013, to 46.4 billion euros, and this despite the difficult economic environment (adjusted previous-year figure: 45.2 billion euros). In the form of negative exchange-rate effects to the tune of some 1.5 billion euros, the strong euro places a considerable burden on the sales revenue disclosed by the supplier of technology and services. Earnings have developed fundamentally better, but are once again affected by the situation of the Solar Energy division, which remained difficult in 2013. In early 2013, the company announced its decision to exit its activities in crystalline photovoltaics.
*Note: Due to changes in the law, Bosch no longer includes its fifty-fifty joint ventures in its accounting. This mainly concerns Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH and ZF Lenksysteme, whose consolidated sales comes to some 7 billion euros. Due to these changes, current figures for sales, result, and headcount are only partially comparable with the figures previously published for 2012.
Progress in earnings According to preliminary figures, and leaving aside the extraordinary burdens caused by photovoltaics, the Bosch Group EBIT margin comes to some 6 percent. This is roughly one percentage point more than in the previous year. Including the extraordinary burdens as a result of photovoltaics, which are likely to total 1.3 billion euros, EBIT margin some 3 percent. “The many measures taken to improve profitability are clearly working. In fact, we have made better progress with result than expected,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. In 2014, Bosch will continue to work without let-up on improving its competitiveness and fitness for the future. As regards the targets for sales growth and margin, Denner said: “We have already made progress. We will continue to focus on profitability, growth, and agility.”
Seizing growth opportunities – opening up new market segments The company wants to unlock existing potential for growth and open up new market segments. Various future trends are relevant for Bosch here. Apart from energy efficiency and connectivity, there is the high-spending aging population in the industrialized countries and the rapidly growing middle class in the emerging markets of Asia and South America. Bosch is also working intensively on the mobility of the future, which will be electric, automated, and connected. In 2013, Bosch launched many products and services related to these trends. They include highly efficient gasoline and diesel injection systems, driver assistance systems such as motorcycle stability control, mySPIN smartphone integration solution, telematics services for the management of vehicle fleets, and robotics applications such as the “Indego” lawnmower.
Shaping and participating – Bosch in the connected world Bosch especially wants to open up new market segments with solutions for connected living. “The breadth of our technological expertise and our presence in diverse sectors of the economy are crucial advantages in a connected world. We want to play an active role in shaping that world, and at the same time take advantage of the business opportunities it offers. Bosch’s strategic objective is to create solutions for a connected world,” Denner said. For many, connectivity is already a reality. By 2015, some 75 percent of global population will be online, along with more than 6 billion devices. In Bosch’s view, however, this only scratches the surface of the potential opportunities. In the future, the company will make all its electronic appliances web-enabled. “Connectivity will open up new possibilities for all our areas of work. This goes for mobility, for industrial technology, and especially for energy and building technology – also in connection with our consumer goods,” Denner said.
Systematic preparation: activities and partnerships As the world’s leading sensor manufacturer in terms of sales, the web-enabled MEMS sensors supplied by Bosch are a key technical component for connectivity on the internet of things and services. Moreover, at the beginning of the year Bosch set up a subsidiary for the development and sales of connected terminal devices and solutions based on them. Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH is headquartered in Reutlingen, where the electronics competence center is based. The company was originally an innovation cluster. Bosch uses these cross-divisional clusters to develop new business ideas for a connected world. There are further clusters related to connected buildings, connected mobility, and connected energy. For example, Bosch will be working with partner companies to make a software platform available for standardized data exchange in smart homes. “Alliances are key drivers of the trend toward connectivity,” Denner said. Since November 2013, Bosch has been testing technologies that will allow the digital networking of an entire city in the “Monaco 3.0” pilot project. “Our broad footprint and technological expertise, combined with the creativity and motivation of our associates, are absolutely essential for innovation and growth,” Denner said. Apart from exploiting new market opportunities for connected living, Bosch will continue to make use of every opportunity that presents itself for its traditional business.
Volatility calls for agility Driven mainly by internet technologies, the connected world is dynamic, complex, and volatile as well. “The way the internet has risen over the past 20 years, as well as some of its repercussions, could not have been predicted. This will be true of future developments as well. As a result, we have to be fast and agile when dealing with a connected world,” Denner said. Increasingly, therefore, Bosch will be starting up new business activities to test their potential. Here, a key role will be played by Bosch Start-up GmbH, a company recently set up in Ludwigsburg, Germany. It will assume the role of an incubator for new business ideas and models. The team will help Bosch researchers quickly launch products and services. Bosch Start-up GmbH will make things such as infrastructure and business economics know-how available to new units with potential for growth. “An entrepreneurial mindset on the part of all associates and a culture that sees failure as part of the learning process are key factors for success. We want to further encourage and strengthen these factors,” Denner said. “We have to boldly venture into new territory and push back boundaries.
Business developments by business sector and region in 2013 The sales developments of the business sectors are also affected by significant exchange-rate effects. The Automotive Technology and Consumer Goods business sectors are especially hard hit by these effects. Regardless of this, the Automotive Technology business sector developed extremely positively in 2013. Its business with gasoline direct injection and diesel injection systems grew significantly. The Car Multimedia division was very successful with display instruments and infotainment systems. In Industrial Technology, the packaging machinery business was able to record good growth. By contrast, the global weakness of the mechanical engineering sector caused a considerable slump in the Drive and Control Technology division. In Consumer Goods, Bosch was once again successful with power tools in 2013, both for professional and DIY users. Developments in the Energy and Building Technology business sector were overshadowed by the situation in the Solar Energy division, which was again difficult in 2013. The Security Systems division was able to generate strong growth with communications services, while the Thermotechnology division was successful with energy efficient condensing appliances.
Significant sales growth outside Europe The strong euro had significant negative effects on the development of regional sales. Nonetheless, nominal Asia Pacific sales exceeded their previous-year level by some 5 percent. After adjusting for exchange-rate effects, sales growth even reached double digits. In North America, nominal growth was more than 3 percent according to preliminary figures. At roughly minus 3 percent in nominal terms, sales developed negatively in South America. When adjusted for exchange-rate effects, however, sales grew by a high single-digit figure. Despite an economy that remained very weak, nominal sales in Europe grew slightly, by some 2 percent.
Slight increase in headcount in Asia and North America Worldwide, the Bosch Group had a total of some 281,000 associates at the beginning of 2014 (adjusted previous-year figure: 273,000 associates). In current business, headcount increased by roughly 1,000. Most of these new jobs were in Asia and North America.
Moderate economic prospects for 2014 According to current forecasts, Bosch expects the economy to develop moderately in 2014. As things stand at present, global GDP is expected to grow by 2.8 percent. The company sees risks in the further development of the countries affected by the euro crisis, as well as in a further appreciation of the euro. Against this background, the Bosch Group expects sales to grow slightly in 2014, with its earnings situation continuing to improve.
Digitalization of daily life is also generating business for small and medium-sized companies
Networking changes the competitive landscape
A dynamic world needs a new culture of entrepreneurialism – in established companies too
Politics must be “open to technology”
Reutlingen – German companies need to work together to seize the opportunities and possibilities presented by networking over the internet. These were the words of Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management, at a gathering of industry representatives in Reutlingen. He went on to say how important it is to work together in both interdisciplinary and cross-sector ways, and that collaborations between companies with complementary know-how are a major driver of the connectivity trend. Bosch, for example, is working with ABB, Cisco, and LG to develop a software platform for the smart home. The networking of industrial production also holds out the promise of joint innovations and joint successes.
Digital networking: Seizing opportunities together Denner stressed that the opportunities presented by the trend of connectivity are not reserved for major international corporations. “We all need to get a handle on these opportunities – in industry, trade, the service sector, and skilled trades. And we need to go about it in a more ‘connected’ way.” Denner challenged the 750 guests in the audience to take a chance on something new more often – perhaps even together. “Our goal must be to develop new products and new business models that enhance the quality of life.” Digital networking offers undreamed-of technological possibilities, he went on. The economic order and the competitive landscape will also increasingly be subject to change.
A new culture of entrepreneurialism – in established companies too According to Denner, the connected world is a highly volatile and dynamic one, and the task for entrepreneurs is to actively shape this world and make the most of the opportunities it presents. At the same time, external changes are demanding a more dynamic process of development within companies. “What we need is a new culture of entrepreneurialism – in established companies too. We need entrepreneurs who dare to sail uncharted waters, who aren’t put off by the risk of failing from time to time, and who have the experience to limit the fallout from any setbacks.” When Bosch enters new and generally highly dynamic markets, it does so with units that are small, agile, and independent. One recent example is the company it has founded to cater to the internet of things and services. Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH develops and sells networked end-user devices as well as solutions based on them.
A task for politics: openness to technology Denner wants policymakers to support the development of technology across the board. “Politicians should avoid backing certain technologies over others, as it is becoming less and less clear which technologies will ultimately win out and prove successful.” Denner had words of praise for the German government’s aim of expanding its high-tech strategy to become an interdepartmental strategy to support innovation. “What’s important now is to see these policies fleshed out. We need a little less bureaucracy and a little more dialog and collaboration between science and business, as well as a more flexible way to award funding.” In Denner’s view, the primary role for politics is to create a climate of openness to issues of relevance to the future.