Growing demand for locally produced automotive technology
Stuttgart/Samara – The Bosch Group has laid the foundation stone for its new plant in Russia: from 2015, Bosch automotive technology will also be rolling off the assembly line in Samara. The site itself covers a total surface area of some 200,000 square meters, the equivalent of about 29 soccer fields. The buildings will offer some 22,000 square meters of floor space and will be used for manufacturing, administration, and logistics. They will also house the site's power and media supply as well as a cafeteria. By the end of 2016, the global supplier of technology and services will have invested some 50 million euros in Samara. When work is completed, some 500 associates will be working there.
As a result of low vehicle density and vehicle age – almost every second car in Russia is older than ten years – Bosch expects the country's annual vehicle production to grow continuously, from almost two million today to some three million in 2020. "The new manufacturing site in Samara is the next step in our long-term strategy. We aim to expand our presence in this region and seize the opportunities that the market offers," says Gerhard Pfeifer, president of the Bosch Group in Russia and CIS, at the official laying of the foundation stone. "This investment reflects our positive expectations of the Russian market."
Nikolai Merkushkin, the governor of the Samara region, is also pleased about the Bosch Group's investment. "The commitment of a major global player like Bosch is significant for the Samara region's economic and social development. The location is becoming more attractive for investors and local specialists alike," Merkushkin said.
Production for local customers Until now, the Chassis Systems Control, Starter Motors and Generators, and Diesel Systems divisions have been present in Samara. In the future, the Electric Drives division will also have a home here. With the new plant, Bosch aims to manufacture automotive technologies primarily for local customers. These will include, for instance, anti-lock braking systems, starters and generators, common rail injectors for commercial vehicles, and windshield wiper systems. "By adding another local production site, we will be closer to our customers and will thus be better able to respond to their needs," said the Bosch representative Gerhard Pfeifer. "The location in the European part of Russia is perfectly suited to this aim, not least because of the region's highly-qualified specialist workforce and excellent infrastructure."
Presence in Russia The Bosch Thermotechnology division is currently building a new manufacturing site at its Engels location. From the summer of 2014, Bosch and Buderus wall-hung boilers and industrial-scale boilers will be produced there. Bosch's Automotive Aftermarket, Gasoline Systems, Diesel Systems, and Power Tools divisions already have a presence in Engels. After Engels, Samara will be the second Bosch plant to manufacture automotive technology in Russia. In addition to this, Bosch is investing more than 100 million euros in its new Russian headquarters in Moscow, which will have a total floor space of 57,000 square meters. The official opening of the new headquarters is scheduled for the second half of 2014.
Bosch has been present in Russia since 1904. The country was one of the first outside Germany in which a sales organization was established. The Bosch Group locations in Engels, Togliatti, and St. Petersburg manufacture automotive equipment, power tools, packaging technology, and household appliances. Once thermotechnology production begins, all four Bosch business sectors – Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology – will have a presence in Russia. With its more than 3,000 local associates, the company generated sales of about one billion euros in Russia in 2012.
Buildings and industrial facilities offer major potential for energy savings
Bosch moving closer to efficiency targets at its own locations
Environmental protection requires more and better technology
"The aim of energy efficiency must be pursued here and now with the policy instruments already available," said Franz Fehrenbach, the Chairman of the Bosch Supervisory Board, during his talk at the Sustainability Conference organized by “Die ZEIT,” the German weekly. Fehrenbach bemoaned that commitment to energy efficiency had abated at all levels. The European Union, for instance, is not likely to meet its 2020 target of increasing energy efficiency by 20 percent. In Germany, tax incentives for improving buildings’ energy efficiency were ditched in the new government's coalition agreement. According to Fehrenbach, there are many long-term goals for the move toward alternative forms of energy. However, “if we keep waiting, we will not achieve any of them,” he said. “When it comes to alternative forms of energy, Germany must get moving once and for all.”
Energy management alone can cut consumption by 20 percent Fehrenbach warned that this move is at risk of turning into empty rhetoric. While the entire political spectrum is in favor of alternative forms of energy, energy prices continue to rise and the brown-coal economy, which is hardly eco-friendly, persists. The fastest way to act, in Fehrenbach’s view, is by improving energy efficiency; doing so does not even require a solution to the conflict on new power grids and the allocation of the cost of renewables. The modernization of old heating systems would already enable significant energy savings. “Houses,” said Fehrenbach, “are the number one consumers of energy.”
The Chairman of the Bosch Supervisory Board also noted the significant potential for energy savings in industry. However, to reduce the energy consumption of large and complex facilities, systematic energy management is required. Bosch can offer the services needed for this, both in capital goods and commercial buildings. Improved energy management alone can reduce their energy consumption by an average of 20 percent.
Bosch grows with less energy and lower CO2 emissions Fehrenbach emphasized that Bosch’s protestations of sustainability will only be taken seriously if resource conservation starts with its own production activities. By 2020, the Bosch Board of Management aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at its locations around the world by at least 20 percent over 2007 levels. According to Fehrenbach, as early as 2012 the company has already achieved a relative reduction of 13 percent. In absolute terms, the company’s CO2 emissions have decreased five percent within five years. During this time, Bosch sales have increased 13 percent, while the company's global energy needs have decreased by 7.7 percent.
More growth, lower energy consumption – in Fehrenbach’s view, this can only be achieved with modern technology. For this reason, the Chairman of the Bosch Supervisory Board is critical of anti-growth and anti-technology attitudes, which remain widespread. “Our engineers work hard for every percentage point of fuel and energy savings, for every gram of carbon dioxide that can be reduced,” said Fehrenbach, who argued that protecting the environment calls for more and better technology. This is a central tenet of the way Bosch sees itself, he said: “Especially because we don’t want to compromise our standard of living, we strive to come up with eco-friendly innovations.”
Dr. Volkmar Denner: “We aim for giant leap forward in the development of battery technology.”
Lithium Energy and Power GmbH & Co. KG joint venture starts operations in 2014
Doubling of energy density is basis of the 2020 mass market
Stuttgart / Kyoto / Tokyo – Robert Bosch GmbH and the Japanese companies GS Yuasa International Ltd., based in Kyoto, and Mitsubishi Corporation, based in Tokyo, have set up a joint venture. Known as Lithium Energy and Power GmbH & Co. KG, the new company will be headquartered in Stuttgart. It will develop next-generation lithium-ion battery technology. This next generation is needed in order to make the electric vehicle a successful mass product in the next decade. “In setting up this joint venture, we want to achieve nothing less than a giant leap forward in the development of battery technology. Our aim is to make lithium-ion batteries twice as efficient,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, who, as chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, is responsible for research and development.
For electric vehicles, more efficient batteries will mean greater range. For consumers, the car will also be more affordable, since the rechargeable batteries can be smaller. Robert Bosch GmbH and its partners are confident that electromobility will become a mass market from 2020 onward. Electromobility is an important step toward making mobility climate-friendly and sustainable.
The joint venture Lithium Energy and Power GmbH & Co. KG was set up in November 2013. Bosch holds a 50 percent stake with GS Yuasa International Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corporation each holding 25 percent. The composition of the board of management reflects these shareholdings. Its members are Dr. Rolf Speicher from Robert Bosch GmbH, Toshio Ohara from GS Yuasa International Ltd., and Yutaka Kashiwagi from Mitsubishi Corporation. They will initially head up a team of some 70 associates in Germany and Japan.
Battery-pack know-how meets battery-cell competence Bosch will support these joint activities with its entire portfolio of components for electromobility. With its competence in the area of battery packs and battery management systems, Bosch specializes in the monitoring and control of cells and complete systems, as well as in integrating them into vehicles. In addition, it will contribute its know-how in production processes and quality management relating to the large-scale series production of complex products.
GS Yuasa will contribute its many years of experience in manufacturing lithium-ion battery cells whose high density makes for a longer range, as well as its expertise in materials systems and electrochemistry. As an established manufacturer of automotive and non-automotive lithium-ion battery cells, GS Yuasa has a strong engineering team and modern production lines with a high level of automation.
Mitsubishi Corporation will contribute its global sales network and experience as an integrated global business enterprise. In addition, Mitsubishi will use its strengths in the establishment of global value-added chains – which include raw materials, semi-finished products, and marketing – to take the joint venture forward.
Since it was founded in 1961, the Bosch Vocational Center (BVC) has trained some 2,400 apprentices in seven trades
Hardly any other Indian vocational training institute has received as many awards as the BVC
Bangalore – The German Federal President Joachim Gauck today visited the Bosch Vocational Center (BVC) in Bangalore. On his tour of the center, the president was given insights into the Bosch Group's activities in vocational training, and in particular how it trains young people in India for technical trades. “Bosch as a company has always been acknowledged for its commitment to building talent and contributing back to the industry, thus looking beyond immediate financial gains,” said Germany's Federal President. “The number of people being trained at the Bosch Vocational Center exceeds the company's own personnel needs; this demonstrates its responsibility to Indian society and makes it a true role model.”
President Gauck's tour took in the apprentices' workshop and the mechatronics laboratory, where state-of-the-art equipment and machinery are used to prepare apprentices for their later careers. The president used the opportunity to speak with a number of Indian Bosch apprentices about their experience with the German vocational training model.
A proven model for developing skills Each year, 60 young people start a three- or four-year apprenticeship at Bosch in India. Bosch trains more people than it actually needs in India, and in this way fulfills its social responsibility to provide vocational training for young people.
“We see it as an essential part of our corporate philosophy to offer apprenticeships, thus enabling many young people to get a head start in their careers,” said Peter Tyroller, the Bosch board of management member responsible for Asia Pacific. “For more than 50 years, Bosch in India has developed extensive expertise in the realm of occupational training. The proven Bosch model helps us ensure the high quality-standard of our products and maintain our competitive edge.”
A success story since 1961 Training at the BVC in Bangalore takes its lead from the German vocational training model. More than 20 percent of the curriculum is taken up with theory, while 30 percent focuses on gaining practical skills and abilities in the apprentices' workshop. The apprentices spend roughly 50 percent of their time on the shop floor, where they put what they have learned into practice. Sixteen instructors train the young people in seven trades – as electricians, for example, or as mechatronics engineers, toolmakers, and machine operators. A total of 172 apprentices are currently being trained, of which 28 are young women.
Since the Bosch Vocational Center was set up in 1961, just under 2,400 young people have been trained at Bosch. During this time, the company's apprentices have won 211 gold medals in national competitions run by the Indian Ministry of Labor and Employment to find the best apprentice. In addition, the BVC has won the Indian president's “Best Establishment Award” 46 times – a distinction that no other company in India has received.
German vocational training reaps benefits worldwide Many Bosch locations outside Germany now offer training according to the proven German method – for example, in China, India, and Brazil. In Asia especially, there is a great need for qualified skilled workers. Bosch is currently setting up a vocational training center in Vietnam. And in Thailand, a vocational training alliance is being launched. In Russia, Bosch has been offering vocational training based on the German dual model since January 2014, initially for twelve apprentices.
Moreover, an international apprentice exchange has been offered at Bosch for 50 years now. Currently, some 20 percent of each year's trainees in Germany have the opportunity to discover other countries' ways of working, and to gain intercultural experience. The aim is to help young people develop into independent and responsible professionals who are also efficient team players.
Roughly 6,100 young people around the world receive occupational training at Bosch, around 4,300 of them in Germany. In addition, the company is providing an extra 100 technical and industrial apprenticeships in Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain for young people from southern Europe. Since the company’s first apprentices’ workshop was set up by the company founder Robert Bosch 100 years ago, it has trained more than 100,000 young people.
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. In 2012, Bosch generated sales of 1.5 billion euros in India. Bosch is further expanding its business: in 2014, it will invest some 160 million euros in extending its Indian locations.