The 2015 fiscal year was a good one for Bosch, more so within the Asia Pacific region (which happens to be the largest overseas market for the Bosch group). Total sales were pushed to RM 83.3 billion, which is a 17 percent growth on a comparable basis while 2.8 percent growth when adjusted for fluctuations in exchange rate. Worldwide, the group filed 5422 patents for 2015- which justifies the more than RM 138 million invested purely in our country. In 2014, Malaysia was the third largest in terms of revenue within South East Asia, and 2015 saw us move to second position- just behind Thailand.
Despite this, Malaysia still holds the claim as the largest manufacturing hub in the region. There are currently 2,600 associates at Bosch in Malaysia alone, which represents 38% of the workforce within South East Asia. The sales figure of RM 664 million for the 2015 fiscal year is purely for our local market; it doesn’t include the products exported to foreign countries, and if this figure would be included it would be much, much higher. For example, Malaysia has the largest Bosch multimedia production plant and it supplies the brunt of these units to General Motors in North America.
For 2016, Bosch is confident in their performance despite the slowdown in the automotive sector. Their diverse portfolio is what helps them to maintain their sales, but even so they do not see a potential problem with demand for automotive components. As of now, they supply their Electric Power Steering systems to Proton and BMW, while working with Perodua in the development of the Bezza.
There are plenty of exciting projects on the way as well. Bosch has acquired projects for Connectivity Control Units, and Malaysia has become the designated global R&D facility to build upon this base for the Chinese and European markets. The eCall system relies on the CCU, and it is similar in concept to the OnStar concept found in American cars in that it relays position and time to monitoring centres for accidents. The development of CCU will help to reduce response time in the event of an accident, especially in less urban areas.
Later this year we will also see Bosch launching their ‘Stop the Crash’ campaign, which will be aimed at promoting awareness for Bosch’s active safety technologies in Malaysia. This will no doubt be a push for vehicle stability control systems, along with the lane assist features that Bosch are also developing locally.
Bosch expects worldwide sales growth to be between 3 and 5 percent for 2016, as the shift their focus on the “3S’s”: sensors, software, and services. The aim is to get ahead of the connected services trend that is fast becoming common in modern cars and houses, and build on this from a hardware standpoint.