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Growth fuels Bosch's confidence in China

Updated: Feb 6, 2024 Print
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Bosch showcases an intelligent turning assistance system fitted to BYD's Fang Cheng Bao SUV on Jan 29 in Guangde county, Anhui province. [Provided to China Daily]

The German auto parts supplier Bosch is confident in the Chinese market and committed to increasing investment in local research and development as well as manufacturing capabilities in the world's largest automotive market, according to a company executive.

The newly appointed president of Bosch China, Xu Daquan, said that despite challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and chip shortages in the past two to three years, the development of China's auto industry, especially in electrification and smart sectors, has not slowed down.

"China is vital for Bosch, emerging as Bosch's largest single market globally since 2020. Bosch remains confident in China's future prospects. Chairman Stefan Hartung consistently stresses increased investment, a strong presence and comprehensive service for Chinese customers," Xu said at the Bosch Mobility Innovation Day held last week in Guangde county, Anhui province.

In 2023, Bosch China saw strong growth with record sales, accounting for more than a quarter of the group's global sales. It was mainly driven by the auto sector, while the non-auto segment showed less favorable performance. Specific data has yet to be disclosed, according to Xu.

The Chinese committee of the newly structured Bosch Mobility, an independent unit of its mega supplier parent, marked its inaugural appearance at the event.

The committee takes charge of all relevant business units in China, aiming to boost decision-making and technological innovation efficiency in the country.

Wang Weiliang, president of the Chinese committee of Bosch Mobility, referred to the restructure as "one of the largest adjustments in Bosch's 138-year history".

With annual sales of more than 100 billion yuan ($13.98 billion), Bosch Mobility China currently has more than 35,000 employees and operates 24 manufacturing bases in China.

At the event, the company showcased an array of local innovations in electrification and intelligent mobility, including locally developed Vehicle Motion Management, One Parking Solution and a third-generation Multi-purpose Camera.

The Intelligent Turning Assistance System, debuted at the event, applies forces to the four wheels using precise algorithms and sensor signals, effectively reducing the turning radius. Mass production of the system has started this year.

Bosch notes that the Chinese market also leads in technology innovation, production and application so the company will continue to invest in local R&D and manufacturing capabilities in key areas across the country.

In March, Bosch invested around 7 billion yuan in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, for the R&D and manufacturing of core components for new energy vehicles and autonomous driving. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by summer.

The new site of Bosch Hydrogen Powertrain Systems (Chongqing) started operation in November, accelerating the industrialization of hydrogen technology.

Facing the opportunities for Chinese automakers to expand internationally, Bosch said it can help them to go global by utilizing its global R&D and manufacturing expertise, in-depth understanding of overseas market regulations, evaluation systems and industry standards.

Over the course of 2023, the Bosch Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division assisted the entry of more than 60 models into overseas markets.

In particular, it assisted two models of a Chinese automaker to achieve five-star 2023 European New Car Assessment Programme, or Euro NCAP, safety ratings in terms of the protection of vulnerable road users and safety assistance.

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