Now in the country for twenty years, leading automotive systems, technology and services provider Bosch has had a good year globally, and a banner one here. Bosch Philippines finished 2014 with EUR32M (or USD42.5M) in consolidated sales for the Philippines, achieving exceptional growth of 45% from EUR22M in 2013.
Started by Robert Bosch back in 1886 in Stuttgart as a workshop for precision electro-mechanical engineering, the Bosch group now does business in four diverse sectors: (1) Mobility Solutions for all automotive products; (2) Industrial Technology for automation of manufacturing and related processes; (3) Consumer Goods for household appliances and power tools, their most visible products in the market; and (4) Energy and Building Technology for building heating, surveillance and audio systems.
Consumer Goods, local top sector
In the Philippines, the top performing sector was Consumer Goods with its eight consecutive years of double-digit growth rates, followed closely by Mobility Solutions which did grow by a double-digit rate last year, and finally supplemented with major contracts secured by their Energy and Building Technology division which started operations just last year.
This year, Bosch Philippines will start working the remaining Industrial Technology sector with the opening of its Cagayan de Oro hub which puts it in proximity of the concentration of mining and energy businesses in northern Mindanao.
Mobility Solutions, global top sector
“ 95% of the vehicles running in the world have at least one Bosch component ”
– Paulo Duarte, Country Sales Director, Automotive Aftermarket
Globally, it’s Mobility Solutions that contributed the most with 68% of global sales and the strongest growth at 9.9%. As asserted by Paulo Duarte, Bosch Philippines Automotive Aftermarket Country Sales Director, “95% of the vehicles running in the world have at least one Bosch component.”
A distant second was Industrial Technology with 14% of sales though with the lowest growth rate at just 1%. Both Consumer Goods and Energy and Building Technology each brought in 9% of total global sales but with the former bringing the second best growth rate at 7% and the latter the second lowest at just 2.6%.
Asia-Pacific drives growth
” while the country is not among their larger markets … the Philippines [is] a leading indicator of how much Bosch can grow their business in the region “
Worldwide, 53% or more than half of Bosch’s sales came from their home continent of Europe but growth there of just 2.5% shows how saturated that market has become. For all-important growth, the main driver has been the Asia-Pacific region which, with 27% of total sales, managed to grow by 19% in 2014, that figure already adjusted for currency effects. In this context, while the country is not among their larger markets, its 45% growth makes the Philippines (along with Indonesia) a leading indicator of how much Bosch can grow their businesses in the region.
Unsurprisingly, Andrew Powell, Managing Director of Bosch Philippines, attributes most of the region’s growth to the momentum of China’s emerging automotive industry, and reports that most sales are for B2B transactions with original equipment manufacturers that engineer Bosch components into their finished product.
Brand recognition through product information
” like silent speechwriters to the carmaker brands “
When asked if he thinks the market is sufficiently aware of Bosch being the source of advanced automotive components such as the electronic stability control (ESC) systems that they pioneered back in 1995 (coincidentally the year that Bosch established their local affiliate), Powell said that they, as original equipment manufacturers, have always deemed it appropriate to conduct themselves like silent speechwriters to the end-product carmaker brands which rightly upstage Bosch in the market.
But Powell acknowledged that Bosch product info can be made available online with the intent to inform consumers of their options for keeping advanced systems like ESCs, which are critical to vehicle safety, in top condition. If this happens, such an information campaign would dovetail nicely with the expansion of their automotive parts line, their distribution network, and their Bosch service centers for car and specialized diesel engine maintenance (now up to 40 locations) that they’ve reported as integral 2014 milestones.
Bosch on the frontline
Aside from specializing in precision cleaning and maintenance of diesel systems as well as the other automotive components most likely to suffer flood damage, local automotive sales’ Duarte confirms that Bosch service centers can also test and calibrate the components of ESC systems which enhance vehicle traction and control in emergency situations. While these operations in their automotive business line could be construed as implicitly putting them on the frontline of the country’s efforts to cope with climate change through technology, their culture of philantrophy does so explicitly for coping through CSR initiatives.
In response to the Yolanda disaster, Bosch Philippines started Tindog Pilipinas, a program that started out to rebuild typhoon-stricken communities but has since gone beyond this mission. Under Tindog Pilipinas and in partnership with NGOs such as Habitat for Humanity, construction of an elementary school and library in Daanbantayan, Cebu was completed in 2014. A computer lab for Alang-Alang Agro-Industrial School and a math and science center for Alang-Alang National High School have both been inaugurated at the start of 2015. Early in July, an industrial center will be completed for the Tanauan II Central School in Leyte. And for all these beneficiary schools, Bosch will be working closely to develop learning modules for new Kto12 applications in the coming months. Also in 2014, under their Paint the Town Red project for constructing basketball courts for underserved barangays, Bosch completed their 56th court in Yolanda-stricken Tacloban City.