Bosch goes electric and autonomous
Bosch, the biggest supplier in car business, warns for a difficult year 2019 and announces huge investments in new types of mobility with electric drivetrains and autonomous cars to ensure its number one position in the future.
At 5,3 billion euro the operational result (Ebit) of the group was the same as in 2017, but for 2019 the company employing 410.000 people worldwide announces a stabilization at around 5 billion.
Brexit and trade wars
“We see a number of economic dangers weighing on consumption and investments”, says Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, CFO of the group. He is, of course, referring to Brexit and the trade war between the US and China.
The turnover of the company grew 1,5% to 77,9 billion euro, the car department of the group progressed with 2,3% last year. Nevertheless, Bosch foresees a difficult year in the car sector, especially in China, but it will try to do better than the market.
Bosch therefore foresees an investment of 4 billion euro in four years in the autonomous car as well as quadrupling its staff working on it to 4.000. On the electrical side, Bosch wants to become the leader on the mass market, with a turnover for the electric department of 5 billion euro in 2025, ten times more than today.
Apart from recruiting 3.000 engineers and technicians on the theme of artificial intelligence (AI) ,Bosch also wants to hire 25.000 (!) IT specialists the coming years. The decline of the diesel, on the contrary, has already led to 600 employees leaving the company from the 15.000 that work on diesel technology.
With a little help
Meanwhile there’s a lot of discussion going on between several car manufacturers and their suppliers to eventually forge alliances. “We talk with a lot of people”, confirms Volkmar Denner, CEO of Bosch, “we will see what the final results are.”
Bosh is already associated with Daimler, but the German business magazine, Manager Magazin, suggested talks between those two and BMW, Volkswagen an another big German automotive supplier, Continental.
“Spreading the investments over as many shoulders as possible is an economical must”, added Denner. Comments on the negotiations are scarce and prudent, but nobody is denying.
The necessity for big investments and the uncertainty about where to go and how fast, causes nervousness. It invites everyone to share the risks. That’s why Honda has recently invested in the autonomous technology department of General Motors, Cruise.
Just today German mobility provider, Sono Motors, announced that its so-called integrated car Sion, scheduled to reach production at the end of this year, will have a central control unit and connectivity software coming from Bosch.
Sono Motors recently announced that Continental will supply the electric drive system of the Sion and that ElringKlinger is the partner for the development and production of the battery. Until now the company has received 9.300 pre-orders for this electric car with solar integration.