Bosch Malaysia yesterday presented its previous year’s annual report to the media at its headquarters in Petaling Jaya. The Malaysian Chapter posted a 10 percent increase to RM 664 million in overall sales gain, making Malaysia the second largest contributor in the Southeast Asia region.
Despite the downturn in the country, Bosch still address Malaysia as a key research and development location for the Group. Last year alone, Bosch invested over RM 138 million into the country and a majority is spent on research and development efforts. The expansion of Bosch’s car multimedia plant in Penang in April this year was a testament of this. Besides increasing production capacity, the plant expansion will enable Bosch to take on more projects in developing future connectivity solutions for worldwide markets, and integrating them into today’s cars. Another key investment in 2016 is the retrofitting of the car multimedia plant with Industry 4.0 technologies.
With the full acquisition of Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH last year, Bosch expanded its mobility solutions portfolio in Malaysia with an increased product range and offerings, making cars even more comfortable, economical, and safer. Since last year, the Automotive Steering plant in Penang began supplying electric power steering systems to local automotive manufacturers.
Bosch also acquired projects for Connectivity Control Units (CCU), and Malaysia is the company’s designated global R&D facility for further development of the CCU for markets worldwide such as China and Europe. The CCU is an integral part of the eCall system, an innovative emergency system that transmits data such as location and time to centralized monitoring centers when an accident occurs.
To foster greater awareness on safe driving, Bosch became a partner of the Malaysian ‘Safe Steps’ program. The programme, initiated by the Prudence Foundation, is a first-of-its-kind pan-Asian public service campaign to raise awareness on road safety. Bosch is also collaborating with international institutions such as NCAP, ASEAN NCAP and other partners to launch the ‘Stop the Crash’ campaign in November 2016 to promote awareness of active safety technologies.
For Mobility Solutions Business sector and Automotive Aftermarket, Bosch reported a well-rounded increase. The Automotive Aftermarket’s pick up was largely attributed to new product segments such as car lubricants and more fast-moving items that fit over 90 percent of cars for the Asian market. The Car Multimedia division likewise saw an increase in sales and forecasts a strong outlook in 2016 based on higher customer demands for its products. The Automotive Steering division achieved record sales with a double-digit growth, driven by the strong demand for mechanical steering gears, particularly for Japanese vehicles worldwide.
In other sectors, the OE (Original Equipment) business posted healthy sales growth in contrast to the previous year. The Industrial Technology business sector’s development reflected the difficult situation in the mechanical engineering market, as well as slowdown of the oil and gas industry. Overall, sales in this business sector maintained its performance, slightly on par with 2014.
The Consumer Goods business sector, comprising power tools and home appliances, recorded strong growth. Sales through online platform, the launch of a new “Contractor’s Choice” affordable range of power tools, as well as a nationwide campaign that reached approximately one million users, contributed to the success of the business sector. The power tools plant in Penang performed well in 2015, with the development and manufacturing of 15 new products. In addition, the power tools research and engineering team in Penang are now focusing efforts in developing internet-enabled products, for example the GLM 100 C laser range finder.
Bosch Malaysia has a total workforce of 2,600 employees, which translates to the Group’s largest workforce in the S.E.A. region at 38 percent.
Bosch Global and Asian region
Following a record year in 2015, the Bosch Group wants to continue its growth trend this year. The leading global supplier of technology and services expects worldwide sales to grow within an exchange rate-adjusted range of 3 to 5 percent in 2016.
In the connectivity business, Bosch focuses on the “3S’s”: sensors, software, and services. The company is increasingly using connected services to build on its broad basis in the hardware business. As it does so, Bosch benefits not just from its technological diversification, but also from its wide-ranging industry and domain expertise. The newly created Bosch Global Service Solutions division, the recently established Bosch IoT Cloud, as well as the Bosch Smart Home System launched at the start of 2016, contribute to this strategy.
In Asia Pacific, the Bosch Group boosted its sales in 2015 to a total of RM 83.3 billion, thus registering a nominal growth of 17 percent on a comparable basis (2.8 percent after adjusting for exchange rate effects). At 27 percent of total Bosch sales revenue, the region’s share of sales remained at the high level of the previous year.
Edited: Bosch Malaysia