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Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology and services, reports an increase in third party sales in Malaysia by 14 percent to almost RM552 million in 2014. Total net sales also increased in 2014 by 24 percent to RM3.6 billion. This figure includes sales of non-consolidated companies and internal deliveries to other companies.

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“Malaysia is an important location for Bosch, both as a production base as well as a market for our products and services. In view of the increasing global and local demand, especially in the areas of car infotainment and power tools, we expect to achieve positive sales development also in the coming years,” said Simon Song, managing director of Bosch Malaysia.

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As of April 2015, Bosch Malaysia employs a workforce of more than 2,500 associates. This figure includes associates from the Bosch Group’s global acquisitions of BSH Hausgeräte GmbH (formerly BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH) and Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH (formerly ZF Lenksysteme GmbH) that were previously joint ventures.

Both companies have already been present in Malaysia with a BSH Hausgeräte GmbH sales office in Petaling Jaya and Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH manufacturing arms in Penang. Excluding these acquisitions, the workforce of Bosch Malaysia grew to around 2,200 associates, accounting to 40 percent of the overall Bosch workforce in Southeast Asia. Bosch expects the number of its associates in Malaysia to further increase in the coming years.

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Enhance skill sets of Malaysian students and workforce

According to Simon Song, the education of Malaysian talents is an important part of Bosch’s localization strategy in the country: “A highly skilled workforce is imperative not only to develop expertise for innovative excellence, but also to enhance the sustainability and competitiveness of Malaysian economy.”

Through initiatives in training and education, Bosch actively shapes the industry by enriching skill sets of Malaysian students and its local workforce. In May 2015, the company signed a strategic partnership with University Malaysia Pahang through which it offers two scholarships for students in the field of mechatronic and automotive engineering. The partnership also includes topical and practical workshops on Bosch technologies in the mobility solutions field, mentorship as well as internship placements at the Bosch’ research and development centers for car multimedia and power tools in Penang.

“Besides educational institutions, we are keen in partnering with industrial leaders from government bodies to public and private to further focus on trainings, education and the sharing of best practices,” Song added.

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Solutions from the car multimedia plant in Penang for the global market

In 2014, the car multimedia plant in Penang was selected as the worldwide development center catering several of the company’s car multimedia product lines. Alongside engineering services, the center provides navigation and infotainment systems for passenger cars, entertainment systems for trucks and coaches as well as connected vehicle applications for the global market.

“With the appointment of our car multimedia plant in Penang to service its global product lines, Malaysia became an even stronger strategic country within the Bosch Group,” said Song.

Key reasons why the car multimedia plant in Penang was chosen as Bosch global development center include the availability of qualified engineers and the strategic location of the plant to supply and export its products worldwide. The car multimedia engineering unit in Penang intends to double its headcount to 200 associates over the coming years.

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Investment in upgrading local Bosch sites

To further strengthen Bosch’s presence in Malaysia, Bosch has invested around RM260 million into the country in the past three years. Three out of the six Bosch locations in Malaysia underwent expansions and enhancement in 2014. The corporate office Petaling Jaya got fitted with newly enhanced training centers for power tools, vehicle diagnostics, diesel technologies as well as security systems.

The power tools plant in Penang moved to a new location, situated in Phase 4 of the Bayan Lepas Industrial Park. Bosch’s car multimedia plant expanded by taking over the previous power tools plant site. These expansions and enhancement will translate to additional research projects, an increase in manufacturing output and quicker service time.

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Bosch Group business outlook for 2015

The Bosch Group expects global sales to grow within an exchange rate-adjusted range of 3 to 5 percent in 2015. Speaking at the company’s recent annual press conference in Germany, the Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner said: “Our economic and technological strength in established business fields is enabling us to tap into new market segments.”

Web-enabled products and internet-based services are one of the focal points of the company’s future business.

“We are driving connectivity forward in all our business sectors and playing an active role in shaping it,” Denner added.

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In 2014, Bosch launched many new products and connected solutions, including software solutions for smart heating systems and buildings as well as for connected industry and connected mobility. With the complete acquisitions of BSH Hausgeräte GmbH and Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH, Bosch has strengthened its position in the fields of smart homes and automated driving.

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In Asia Pacific, Bosch grew its sales 17 percent (19 percent after adjusting for exchange rate effects) in 2014 to RM56 billion. At just under 27 percent of total sales revenue, the region’s share of sales reached a new high. Sales growth was especially strong in China, rising a nominal 27 percent to RM28 billion. In Southeast Asia, Bosch achieved a year-on-year sales growth of around seven percent by generating RM3 billion.

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