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Strong in the U.S.: Bosch increases capital expenditure – 400 million euros for the current year

Innovation driver U.S. offers a promising market

  • Headcount also growing: 18,800 Bosch associates in the U.S. by 2017
  • Plans to expand production capacity for automotive components in Charleston, SC
  • Major potential for connectivity business, whether smart cities or Industry 4.0

Palo Alto, U.S. / Stuttgart, Germany – The Bosch Group is expanding in the U.S.: the supplier of technology and services plans to invest nearly 400 million euros (around 450 million dollars) in the U.S. over the course of the current year, about one-fifth more than in 2015. Bosch’s headcount is also expected to rise, from 17,800 associates at present to more than 18,800 by early 2017. Speaking at a press conference in Palo Alto, the Bosch board of management member whose responsibilities include the Americas, Dr. Werner Struth, said: “This underscores our confidence in the United States as an established market and a strong driver of innovation.”

This underscores our confidence in the United States as an established market and a strong driver of innovation

Dr. Werner Struth, Bosch board of management member

The company also announced its plans to continuously expand its oldest plant in the U.S.: the manufacturing facility in Charleston, SC, and the occupational training and professional development activities there. The more than 1,700 associates currently employed at the plant manufacture original equipment for vehicles, including components for the ABS and ESP® automotive safety systems.

Bosch also recently intensified its development activities in the U.S. For instance, it expanded its engineering center in Pittsburgh, PA, and consolidated its local activities at a new, central location. The associates there will develop internet and security technologies for the internet of things (IoT). Bosch also expanded its technical center in Plymouth, MI, where developers are working on key technologies for the mobility of the future, such as automotive electronics and driver assistance and safety systems. Over the past five years (2011 to 2015), the company has invested a total of 1.5 billion dollars (just under 1.2 billion euros) in the United States.

Bosch is pursuing its expansion strategy in the U.S. with acquisitions as well: “The U.S. market is a highly promising one. Moreover, U.S. companies are among the most innovative in the world. For this reason, we will continue our high level of acquisition activity in the United States.” Just recently, Bosch purchased Skyline Automation, a leading specialist in building automation located in Clifton, NJ, in a move that increased the company’s market presence. Skyline Automation specializes in building automation and systems integration, which includes the installation and networking of various technical systems in buildings. This follows Bosch’s 2015 acquisition of Climatec, a leading U.S. provider of energy-efficiency, building-automation, and security solutions.

Major potential for business in connectivity

With a population of more than 320 million, the world’s biggest economy by gross domestic product offers enormous potential for Bosch, especially in the IoT sector. The company expects this market to be worth some 250 billion dollars (or about 280 billion euros) by 2020, and 35 percent of this to be generated in America. According to an OECD study, the U.S. is one of the top five countries as ranked by the number of connected devices – making it a key market for IoT business. “There are so many different opportunities for Bosch to generate genuine value with connected solutions that make everyday life easier and enhance quality of life,” Struth said. The goal, he continued, is to offer solutions in many areas – such as smart cities, homes, energy, industry, and mobility – that offer more safety, convenience, and efficiency.

On the road to the smart city

The trend towards smart cities opens up new possibilities for connected solutions. The energy efficiency potential in cities is enormous: cities consume 75 percent of the energy produced globally, with buildings alone accounting for 40 percent. Market experts estimate that by 2019, cities could cut approximately 11 billion dollars or about 12 billion euros) in energy costs.

One such project can be found in San Francisco, where new, attractive, waterfront communities are being built on the site of a Navy shipyard and the Candlestick Park stadium: The San Francisco Shipyard and Candlestick. With plans for 12,100 homes, over 350 acres of parks and open space, an urban outlet shopping mall, up to five million square feet of commercial space comprised of research/development, makers space and office space, along with nearly 300 artists’ studios. This is the biggest urban redevelopment project in San Francisco since the 1906 earthquake. FivePoint and Bosch technologies are working together to bring connectivity to The SF Shipyard, offering a taste of life in a “smart city” with solutions for smarter homes and communities and widespread mobility and connectivity. Bosch is working as a technology partner to FivePoint, on smart solutions for these modern districts, including a Smart Community app, which will provide residents with localized, real-time information on public transport as well as access to intelligent surveillance solutions. There are also plans for future-oriented solutions for efficient traffic management and smart buildings, which will promote a high quality of life.

Connected manufacturing improves efficiency

Bosch is driving connectivity forward in manufacturing as well, and is also implementing Industry 4.0 solutions in its own plants in the United States. In its 23 facilities across the country, Bosch makes products for its four business sectors. Seven of these plants manufacture components for industrial production. The associates in the Anderson, SC, plant were the first at Bosch to employ smartwatches for data communication and the description of conditions in manufacturing operations. Connected solutions are also applied in the Charleston plant in the same state. With respect to Industry 4.0, the company favors open standards, since they make it easier to connect machines and software made by various manufacturers between companies and across national borders. This is why Bosch welcomes the recently adopted collaborative agreement between Germany’s Industrie 4.0 platform and the U.S.-based international Industrial Internet Consortium. The company is represented in both bodies and is thus playing a role in promoting the cross-border implementation of standards.

U.S. as a driver of innovation for Bosch

Bosch employs more than 2,300 researchers and developers in the United States. In 1999, Bosch’s corporate research and advance engineering opened its first branch outside Germany, the Research and Technology Center (RTC) in Palo Alto. Today, some 100 highly qualified associates research future trends there. These include web technologies, automated driving systems, and robotics. In its research and development activities, Bosch relies on the expertise of its associates and its long-term partnerships with renowned U.S. universities, such as Carnegie Mellon or Stanford.

Start-up culture in California

The Bosch Research and Technology Center in Palo Alto also benefits from its proximity to many high-tech companies. Through its internal start-up platform and its subsidiary Robert Bosch Venture Capital (RBVC), the Bosch Group manages to keep its finger on the pulse of Silicon Valley’s vibrant start-up culture. Some 55 percent of the world’s venture capital is invested in the United States. “Silicon Valley is a mecca of the American start-up scene, so it’s no wonder that start-ups spring up like mushrooms there,” Struth says. “Bosch believes it is important to regularly share information and make well-judged investments, since this allows it to respond early on to new trends and in this way acquire access to disruptive industry developments.” One example is the start-up Aimotive, which receives funding from RBVC. Like Bosch, it is working on further developing automated driving. Overall, RBVC holds a stake in 30 start-ups around the world. Eight of them are located in the U.S., and four of those in Silicon Valley.

Bosch has also achieved success with its own start-ups, such as Bosch eBike Systems, whose portfolio includes drive systems and on-board computers for pedelecs. Founded in 2009 as a start-up within the Bosch Group, it is now a global market leader. In March 2014, the company penetrated the U.S. and Canadian markets by establishing Bosch eBike Systems Americas in Irvine, California. Key technologies for e-bikes include the lithium-ion battery, which Bosch is working to refine in Palo Alto and elsewhere, as well as motors and their control units.

Bosch’s success story in the U.S.

Bosch has a long history of success in the United States. As a young man, Robert Bosch voyaged to the New World back in the 1880s, and found a job at Edison Machine Works in New York City. One decisive milestone in his company’s journey from start-up to global corporation was its entry into the U.S. market in 1906. After all, at the start of the 20th century, the American automotive market was 40 times larger than Germany’s. Today Bosch is ideally positioned in the U.S. to tap the potential of this highly promising market. Its business saw excellent growth there over the past year (2015), with sales rising to 12.2 billion dollars (or 11 billion euros). And despite some economic challenges, the Bosch Group expects its business to have developed steadily in the region in the current year.

Experience Bosch’s connected solutions in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.

At the CES 2017, Bosch will show how the Internet of Things is getting personal – turning things into partners. Connected technology enables personal assistance across all domains of people’s lives: improving mobility, shaping the life in the cities of the future, making homes smarter, healthcare more efficient and working holistic. Exhibiting at CES for the fifth year, Bosch will introduce an extended portfolio of solutions that are “simply.connected.”

BOSCH PRESS CONFERENCE: Wednesday, January 4, 2017, 9:00 – 9:45 AM (local time) with Werner Struth, member of the Bosch board of management at Mandalay Bay Hotel, South Convention Center, Ball Rooms B, C & D

FOLLOW Bosch’s CES 2017 highlights on Twitter: #BoschCES

BOSCH BOOTH: Thursday until Sunday, January 5-8, 2017: Central Hall, #14128

BOSCH EXPERTS AT PANELS:

• Thursday, January 5, 2017; 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM (local time): Conference track “MEMS & Sensors: Personalizing Consumer Technology”, Session “Where are Consumer Electronics Taking the Sensors Industry?” with Dr. Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO and General Manager, Bosch Sensortec; Venetian, Level 4, Marcello 4501

• Friday, January 6, 3:30 – 4:30 PM (local time): Conference track “Vehicle Technology”; Session “Redefining the Automotive Infotainment Experience” with Mr. Torsten Mlasko, Las Vegas Convention Center N258

Contact persons for press inquiries:

Trix Böhne, phone +49 711 811-6831

About Bosch

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 410,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2018). The company generated sales of 78.5 billion euros in 2018. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. 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.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 460 subsidiary and regional companies in over 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At nearly 130 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 68,700 associates in research and development.

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant upfront investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com, www.iot.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, www.twitter.com/BoschPresse.

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