Technology supplier Bosch South Africa plant director Armin Volk says the global company’s Automotive Technology division has the greatest growth potential of all group components and is the biggest contributor to turnover.
In its 2010 annual report, the group reported that the global automotive market had recovered faster than expected, with global vehicle production up 23% on 2009 figures.
This benefited Bosch’s Automotive Technology division, which recorded a 29% year-on-year increase in revenues to €28.1-billion in 2010. The group earned revenues totalling €47.26-billion in 2010.
Bosch Group, which celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, notes that it has played a decisive part in shaping the automobile’s evolution into the mass means of transport of the twentieth century.
The product range has steadily expanded over the years.
The year 1913 saw the launch of the Bosch automotive lighting system, with its own power supply from a generator and a battery. It was followed by innovations such as electric starters, horns, windshield wipers, power-assisted brakes and direction indicators.
These products have made a major contribution to improving comfort and safety, the group states.
Further, with the establishment of the Bosch Service business unit, in 1921, and the development of its network of sales rooms and branch offices in other countries, Bosch created an extensive repair service for its customers.
Simultaneously, it laid the foundation for an internationally comprehensive automotive aftermarket business.
The group, which established its first subsidiary in South Africa in 1906, has expanded its service centre footprint in Southern Africa to 165 operations.
Bosch opened its first subsidiary in China in 1906 and its first service centre in Shanghai in 1926, and, this year, launched its thousandth car service centre in China.
The centre is equipped with the newest workshop technology from Bosch, such as the FSA 740 diagnostic unit, the KTS 570 test system and the BML 2415 battery tester.
Meanwhile, Bosch reports that about 45% of the group’s total research and development budget is devoted to products that help protect the environment and conserve natural resources.
The company is developing solutions for future electric vehicles that will help to make tomorrow’s vision of sustainable mobility a reality, it states.
In a joint venture with environmental and clean energy company Samsung SDI, Bosch is developing lithium-ion batteries for integration into electric powertrain systems. Bosch has been gaining experience in electric and hybrid powertrain designs since the 1970s.
Its parallel full-hybrid technology, which allows vehicles to run in all-electric mode, has already been incorporated into Porsche and Volkswagen standard production models.
Meanwhile, the group is also celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of its founder, Robert Bosch, this year, along with its 125th anniversary.
Volk says the company’s 125th anniversary signifies its consistency and reliability in the market.
Moving forward, the company is striving to be successful in meeting customer requirements on a competitive level, he says.