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Big Bosch

The m43.7-billion Bosch group is further upping the stakes in the country. Following investments of Rs 1,800 crore from 2005 to 2008, the group plans to pump in another Rs 850 crore. This takes the total investments in the country to Rs 2,650 crore by 2010.

T.V. Mahalingam        Print Edition: December 30, 2007

The m43.7-billion Bosch group is further upping the stakes in the country. Following investments of Rs 1,800 crore from 2005 to 2008, the group plans to pump in another Rs 850 crore. This takes the total investments in the country to Rs 2,650 crore by 2010.

Dr Bernd Bohr, Chairman of Bosch’s Automotive Group, announced these investments last fortnight. “These investments demonstrate the growing significance of our Indian subsidiaries. Including exports, sales of our Indian subsidiaries this year will come to more than Rs 5,700 crore, which is nearly m1 billion. Our sales to Indian consumers will amount to some Rs 4,700 crore. This is equivalent to a sales increase of nearly 20 per cent. In 2008, we expect our sales growth to approach even 30 per cent,” says Bohr.

Bosch also made a couple of other key announcements. For one, Bosch plans to bring all its subsidiaries, including automotive major MICO, under the banner of Bosch Ltd (the company has four subsidiaries in the country).

Other than expanding its common rail diesel production, the investments would go into manufacturing of gasoline systems components from 2008. The company also plans to start local production of anti-lock braking systems by the end of 2008 and of electronic control units in 2009. “We will manufacture a total of 1,00,000 common rail systems in India this year. The figure will rise to 1.3 million by 2010, and we hope to reach the 2-million mark by 2013,” says Bohr.

Bosch is also making changes in its top management in the country. Dr Albert Hieronimus, who has headed MICO’s operations in India for the past four years, has been elevated as Chairman of the company as well as the Chairman of the board of management of Germany-based Bosch Rexroth AG, effective from February 2008. Current Joint Managing director V.K. Viswanathan will take over as full time Managing Director.

Recently, the company also upped its stake in MICO from 60 per cent to nearly 70 per cent. Bohr says that the parent company is comfortable with its holding in MICO and does not plan another increase in the nature future.

Bosch is betting big on India as a key geography in the Asia Pacific region, considering the fact that India’s share of vehicle production is expected to increase from 6 to 9 per cent by 2015. Bosch is also closely monitoring the progress of the ‘low price vehicles’ and specifically the small car projects in India. “The experience we are gathering in India will benefit us in other countries. In the area of low price vehicle equipment, we aim to generate global sales of m1 billion by 2010,” says Bohr.

Bosch expects to employ 18,000 people in India—nearly 1,800 people up from the year ago. Mark this as yet another MNC that’s shifting into higher gear in the country.

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