Strategically complements acquisition of Ampack GmbH in 2012
Addition to portfolio of product division Liquid Food
Meyreuil / Waiblingen – Bosch Packaging Technology, a leading supplier of process and packaging technology, finalized acquisition of the assets of Tecsor Machines et Systèmes S.A.S., based in Meyreuil near Marseille, France. The antitrust authorities have approved the appropriate documents. Agreements to this effect have already been signed in June this year. Tecsor develops and sells machinery for making and filling PET containers for liquid and paste-like foodstuffs, which are used in the food and beverage industry – as milk bottles or yogurt cups, for example. Set up in 2005, the company generated sales of roughly two million euros in 2012. Tecsor employs 14 associates. It has been agreed that the purchase price will not be disclosed.
Addition to filing and packaging portfolio for liquid food “With Tecsor, we are further adding to our activities in the area of liquid foods,” said Friedbert Klefenz, president of the Bosch Packaging Technology division. In October 2012, the packaging specialist took over Ampack in Königsbrunn, Germany. Its portfolio includes filling machinery for cups and bottles. This machinery is mainly used to fill and package highly sensitive foodstuffs such as dairy products, baby food, and hospital food. Ampack is the technology leader in the segment of near-sterile and aseptic processing of pre-formed cups and bottles. Following the acquisition of Tecsor, Bosch can round out its existing portfolio of products in this area to include its own production of cups and bottles. “The new machinery we offer will save our customers materials, energy, and costs. For its part, Bosch Packaging Technology will improve its chances in the market,” Klefenz said.
Executive management maintains with company founders Tecsor’s business activities have been assigned to Bosch Packaging Technology’s Liquid Food business unit with immediate effect. Founded in 2005, the company will remain an independent unit and will be operated as a Bosch subsidiary. Its products will in future be marketed under the name of Bosch.
Executive management stays with the two company founders, Olivier Bedin, general manager, and Jean Tristan Outreman, technical director. “It is my pleasure to warmly welcome associates in Meyreuil, and I am certain that with their expertise we will unify the competencies of both companies to take another great step towards achieving further growth," said Jürgen Katzenbach, business unit vice-president for Liquid Food at Bosch Packaging Technology.
Market share in European core market increased to 26 percent
Bosch becomes leading brand for robotic mowers in homecenters
80 percent of new products for 2014 are cordless tools
Stuttgart – The Bosch Power Tools Division strengthened its market leading position in 2012 with its Lawn and Garden business unit. Bosch's sales of electric garden tools in the past year totaled 251 million euros, a growth of five percent over the previous year. The overall market for garden tools only managed to grow by two percent in the same period. Bosch therefore has once again grown faster than the market. The division expects a similar growth rate this year.
Bosch strengthens market leadership with garden tools in Europe In their core European market, where the division generates about 90 percent of its sales, Bosch Power Tools managed to strengthen its leading position with electric garden tools to a share of 26 percent despite the crisis in the southern European countries. In 2008 the market share was still 22 percent. “The key to our success continues to be our innovative strength”, emphasized Henning von Boxberg, president of Bosch Power Tools. He said that 44 percent of sales in 2012 were generated with products that were launched within the last two years. All in all, Bosch has launched more than 100 new garden tools onto the market in the past five years. “With our numerous innovations we meet the expectations of customers who are asking for made-to-measure solutions for an ever greater number of applications in the garden”, von Boxberg pointed out. He said that the demand for small, handy and powerful products is increasing – especially among users in urban regions. Moreover, Bosch has benefited from the trend towards higher-quality garden tools, which has been continuing for a number of years. “More and more customers are going for quality and reliability, and therefore opting for brand-name products”, explained von Boxberg. Evidence of this is provided by the market figures from the past year; although the number of units sold was one percent less than in 2011 (at 13.1 million tools), the market value of these products increased by two percent to 900 million euros. Seven of the ten best-selling electric garden tools in Europe were from Bosch.
Innovations prevail in the market Bosch has consistently opened new product segments with innovative lithium-ion garden tools. A current example of this is the Indego robotic mower. It was launched with great success in January of this year. In the first quarter of 2013, nearly every second robotic mower sold in European homecenters was an Indego – leading Bosch to very quickly become the market leader. “We have obviously set a new standard with our robotic mower”, noted von Boxberg. The Indego works with the “Logicut” navigation system and mows systematically in lanes. As a result, it only needs about a third of the time to mow the same lawn area as one of the robotic mowers in its class that mows randomly.
Now with 40 years of experience in cordless garden tools, Bosch continues to concentrate strongly on developing further cordless products. “More and more customers appreciate the low weight of cordless tools and the independence from cables”, said von Boxberg. In 2012 alone, Bosch sold about a million cordless garden tools – and will also continue to expand the cordless segment for garden tools in future: 80 percent of new products for 2014 are lithium-ion battery powered – including grass trimmers with new cutting technology and powerful lithium-ion mowers in the Rotak series.
Strong growth in the lawnmower segment With the Rotak mowers, Bosch has succeeded in achieving disproportionate growth in an established segment characterized by strong competition. Whereas the market for electric lawnmowers grew by only one percent per year on average from 2007 to 2012, Bosch recorded average annual growth of ten percent. Four of the seven best-selling electric garden tools in Europe in 2012 were Rotak mowers.
The most popular lawnmowers in France, Belgium and the Netherlands since 2010 have come from the Rotak series – and Bosch has also been the market leader in Germany since 2011. The Power Tools Division wants to build on this success with the Rotak generation in 2014. The new Rotak mowers are even more efficient than their predecessors, and they ensure an especially even cut due to their coordination of motor, special blade geometry and airflow, which reliably feeds the cut grass into the collection box.
Stuttgart – If employees in Germany and elsewhere are currently packing their suitcases, it doesn’t always mean they’re heading off on vacation. Many are being sent abroad by their employers. Among these are specialists and executives who spend a few years abroad for their company. The objective is for them to share their knowledge with local colleagues, acquire new specialist competence, and gain international experience. At Bosch, the supplier of technology and services, several thousand associates also work abroad each year in regional subsidiaries around the globe. In 2012, more than 5,600 associates were on assignments outside their home countries. To help associates settle into their new cultures and to facilitate their re-integration into their home countries, systematic support before, during, and after the assignment is important.
“Right from the beginning of their time abroad, associates should start thinking about their return,” says Andreas Bäuerle, who is in charge of international assignments at Bosch. “This explains why our international assignments are limited to four years. Moreover, our associates receive a guarantee that they will be able to return to a job in the company that sent them abroad.”
An poorly prepared return often means dissatisfied associates. In some cases, they may even change employers shortly after returning. At Bosch, by contrast, the rate of turnover one year after the end of an international assignment is very low. The number of people who end their assignments prematurely is likewise under one percent. According to the HR expert Bäuerle, associates who want their long-term assignment to be successful should pay particular attention to the following points:
Pre-assignment talk: Two to four months before the assignment, its labor-law, tax-related, and financial aspects should be discussed. The associate’s partner should also be involved in the discussion, particularly when they also intend to find work abroad. The company can often help its associates’ partners in this respect.
Reconnaissance trip: This gives associates the chance to get to know their new place of work, new city, and new country together with their partner. The associated costs are usually paid by the company.
Intercultural preparatory seminar: This prepares associates and their partners for the new culture, its lifestyle, and its idiosyncrasies, and makes it easier to overcome any culture shock.
Language course: These help associates and their partners integrate into their new surroundings better, also in their private lives.
Mentoring program: A mentor from a higher hierarchical level supervises the associate and supports them on their return. He or she also helps with the internal job search ahead of time.
Network: Future expatriates can benefit from the country-specific expertise of associates who have completed international assignments. The exchange of experience is useful for preparation and for re-adjustment.
International assignments encourage diversity and networking At Bosch, international assignments are a key element of HR policy. The cross-border exchange that happens when associates are sent abroad helps to facilitate two-way knowledge transfer between the regions. “International assignments play an important role in networking our associates. They also help us see things from different perspectives,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH. “This global knowledge transfer and intercultural exchange are part of our program to promote the diversity we need as a seedbed of new ideas.”
International experience as career stepping-stone The majority of executives at Bosch have spent at least two years abroad over the course of their careers. But shorter assignments are also attractive for both employers and employees. Last year, Bosch sent some 2,900 associates on short-term assignments, which last between approximately three and twenty-four months. An assignment abroad is one of five career stepping-stones which executives must fulfill in order to reach the next hierarchical level. International assignments have a long tradition at Bosch. As early as 1905, when the first Bosch manufacturing facility outside Germany was established, senior engineers came from Paris to Stuttgart in order to transfer knowledge and the corporate culture to the French location.
Products to improve road safety in world’s largest automotive market
Strengthening local production for local customers
Chengdu - Bosch opened a new plant in Chengdu, western China. In the future, the plant will manufacture safety systems such as the ABS antilock braking system and the ESP(R) electronic stability program for local customers. The new site covers a total of some 127,000 square meters. Bosch, a supplier of technology and services, will be investing roughly 100 million euros in the location in the years ahead. Of this amount, 35 million euros have already been spent on the first construction phase.
The new manufacturing facility will strengthen the company’s local presence. “Chinese drivers are placing increasing importance on road safety. Like in other regions, this is causing increased demand for safety systems,” said Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, who sits on the Bosch board of management, at the official opening ceremony. “Our new Chengdu plant underlines our great confidence in the world’s largest automotive market. And by manufacturing locally, we can react better and faster to the requirements of our western Chinese customers.”
In organizational terms, the new plant will belong to the Chassis Systems Control division. This Bosch division manufactures and develops components and systems for active and passive safety, as well as driver assistance systems. Worldwide, Chassis Systems Control employs some 16,000 associates at more than 35 locations. It has had a manufacturing facility in Suzhou, near Shanghai, since 2002. To allow these safety systems to be tested, Bosch opened a further test track in Donghai, in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu, in June this year.
Bosch in China A global supplier of technology and services, Bosch has been present in China since 1909. Today, Bosch China has some 34,000 associates, working in the Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology business sectors at 58 locations. Following Germany and the U.S., China is Bosch’s third largest market. It generated sales of some 5.1 billion euros in 2012.