Robert Bosch GmbH
Robert Bosch GmbH (//; German: [bɔʃ] (listen)), or Bosch, is a world leading multinational engineering and electronics company headquartered in Gerlingen, near Stuttgart, Germany. The company was founded by Robert Bosch in Stuttgart in 1886. Bosch is 92% owned by Robert Bosch Stiftung.
|GmbH (Private company)|
|Founded||15 November 1886|
|Volkmar Denner (CEO), Michael Bolle (CTO, CDO)|
|Products||Automotive parts, power tools, security systems, home appliance, engineering, electronics, cloud computing, IoT|
|Revenue||€78.0 billion (2017)|
|€5.3 billion (2017)|
|€4.1 billion (2017)[* 1]|
|Total assets||€83.87 billion (2017)[* 1]|
|Total equity||€36.08 billion (2016)[* 1]|
|Owner||Robert Bosch Stiftung (92%), Bosch Family (~8%)|
Number of employees
|400,500 (31 December 2017)|
|Subsidiaries||BSH Hausgeräte, ETAS|
|Footnotes / references|
Bosch's core operating areas are spread across four business sectors; mobility solutions (hardware and software solutions), consumer goods (including household appliances and power tools), industrial technology (including drive and control) and energy and building technology.
The history of the company started in a backyard in Stuttgart-West as the Werkstätte für Feinmechanik und Elektrotechnik on 15 November 1886. One year later, Bosch presented the first low voltage magneto for gas engines. Twenty years later, the first magneto for automobiles followed.
The first factory was opened by Bosch in Stuttgart in 1901. In 1906, the company produced its 100,000-th magneto. In the same year, Bosch introduced the 8-hours day for workers. In 1910, the Feuerbach plant was founded and built close to Stuttgart. In this factory, Bosch started to produce headlights in 1913.
In 1917, Bosch was transformed into a corporation.
In 1926, Bosch started to produce windshield wipers, and in 1927, injection pumps for diesel. Bosch bought the gas appliances production from Junkers & Co. in 1932. In the same year, the company developed its first power drill and presented its first car radio.
As early as the end of 1933, negotiations between Robert Bosch AG and the National Socialists began on relocating parts of armaments production to the interior of Germany. Bosch founded two such alternative plants in 1935 and 1937: Dreilinden Maschinenbau GmbH in Kleinmachnow near Berlin and Elektro- und Feinmechanische Industrie GmbH (later Trillke-Werke GmbH) in Hildesheim. Both plants were used exclusively for armaments production. These "shadow factories" were built under great secrecy and in close cooperation with the Nazi authorities. In 1937, Bosch AG became a limited liability company (GmbH).
The Bosch subsidiary Dreilinden Maschinenbau GmbH (DLMG) in Kleinmachnow near Berlin employed around 5,000 people, more than half of whom were forced laborers, prisoners of war, and female concentration camp prisoners, including many women from the Warsaw Uprising. They had to produce accessories for German Luftwaffe aircraft. In Hildesheim, a secret plant for the entire electrical equipment of tanks, tractors, and trucks of the Wehrmacht was built. In 1944, 4,290 men and women worked in the Trillke factory, 2,019 of whom were forced laborers, prisoners of war and military internees. During the Second World War, a total of 2,711 people who had been deported to Germany from the occupied countries had to work at the Bosch plant in Hildesheim.
In the last years of the war, no new German tank ever drove without the starter elements from the Bosch factory in Hildesheim. Bosch also had a monopoly position in the outfitting of German Luftwaffe aircraft.
During the war, production was further decentralized, Bosch produced in an ever larger number of factories, and relocated parts of its production to 213 plants in more than 100 locations.
On 12 March 1942, the company's founder, Robert Bosch, died at the age of 80.
Angela Martin and Ewa Czerwiakowski interviewed numerous former forced laborers and concentration camp prisoners of Dreilinden Maschinenbau GmbH and Trillke-Werke as part of a Berliner Geschichtswerkstatt project, researched the history of the two shadow factories, and published several books and exhibitions on the subject. In 2016, they published the website z.B. Bosch. Zwangsarbeit im Hildesheimer Wald.
After the second world war, Bosch established a partnership with the Japanese company Denso.
In 1964, the Robert Bosch Stiftung was founded. Bosch founded a new development center in Schwieberdingen in 1968, and headquarters moved to Gerlingen in 1970.
In 1981, the company participated on an equity basis in the Telefonbau & Normalzeit GmbH that was renamed Telenorma in 1985, and acquired completely in 1987. In 1994, this part of the company was renamed as Bosch Telecom GmbH.
The most relevant inventions of the company until 2000 were the oxygen sensor (1976), the electric motor control (1979), the traction control system (1986), the xenon light for cars (1991), the electronic stability control (1995), the common rail direct fuel injection (1997), and the direct fuel injection (2000).
In 2001, Bosch acquired the Mannesmann Rexroth AG, which they later renamed to Bosch Rexroth AG. In the same year, the company opened a new testing centers in Vaitoudden close to Arjeplog in north Sweden. A new developing center in Abstatt, Germany followed in 2004.
In 2002, Bosch acquired Philips CSI, which at the time was manufacturing a broad range of professional communication and security products and systems including CCTV, congress and public address systems.
Important inventions in these years were the electric hydraulic brake in 2001, the common rail fuel injection with piezo-injectors, the digital car radio with a disc drive, and the cordless screwdriver with a lithium-ion battery in 2003.
Bosch received the Deutsche Zukunftspreis (German Future Prize) from the German president in 2005 and 2008. A new development center was planned in 2008 in Renningen. In 2014, the first departments moved to the new center, while the remaining departments followed in 2015.
In 2006, Bosch acquired Telex Communications and Electro-Voice.
In 2009, Bosch invested about 3.6 billion Euro in development and research. Approximately 3900 patents are published per year. In addition to increasing energy efficiency by employing renewable energies, the company plans to invest into new areas such as biomedical engineering.
China has developed into an important market and manufacturing base for Bosch. In 2012, Bosch had 34,000 employees and a revenue of 41.7 billion Yuan (about 5 billion Euro) in China.
- 2012 - Purchased SPX Service Solutions
- 2012 - Bosch sold its foundation brakes activities to KPS Capital Partners, that led to the establishment of Chassis Brakes International
- 2013 - Bosch announced, it would exit its solar business
- 2014 - Bosch entered talks to acquire Red Bend Software.
- 2014 - Bosch takes over 100% of the shares from the former BSH Bosch and Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH joint venture (home appliances) 
- 2014 - Bosch received the 2014 U.S. Smart Partner award for Physical Security from Ingram Micro Inc.
- 2015 - Bosch takes over 100% of the shares of the former ZF Lenksysteme (Steering Systems) GmbH joint venture (was 50/50 with ZF Friedrichshafen)
- 2015 - Bosch purchases Seeo, Inc, a start-up working on solid state lithium ion batteries.
The Mobility Solutions business sector accounts for 61 percent of total Bosch Group sales. Its main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, steering systems, safety and driver-assistance systems, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket.
The sector combines the group’s expertise in three mobility domains – automation, electrification, and connectivity – and offers its customers integrated mobility solutions that allow cars to interact with other means of transportation such as bicycles, trains, and buses.
At the beginning of 2018, the sector restructured itself by bringing its Gasoline Systems and Diesel Systems divisions, as well as the electromobility unit, together under one roof in a new Powertrain Solutions division. This will allow it to serve its customers with the optimum combination of technologies, since even with electrification increasing, efficient gasoline and diesel engines will continue to play a significant role for a long time to come. In addition, the newly-formed Connected Mobility Solutions division brings together the connected mobility solutions and services that had previously been spread across various units within the Mobility Solutions business sector.
Brands within this sector include:
- Bosch Car Service
- Robin Air
- HC Cargo
In the 2017 business year, the Industrial Technology business sector generated roughly 8 percent of total Bosch Group sales. The sector includes the Drive and Control Technology division, whose portfolio includes customized drive, control, and linear motion solutions for factory automation, plant construction and engineering, and mobile machinery. It also offers a comprehensive range of services, carries out large-scale international projects, and is a leading user and provider of connected manufacturing solutions.
The Packaging Technology division provides process and packaging solutions for the pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs industries. Its range includes stand-alone machines, systems solutions, and an extensive service portfolio. In addition, the new Bosch Connected Industry business unit has been part of the Industrial Technology business sector since the start of 2018. It combines the software development and projects relating to Industry 4.0 that had previously been spread across different units.
The Consumer Goods business sector contributed some 24 percent of total Bosch Group sales in 2017. Its Power Tools division is a supplier of power tools, power-tool accessories, and measuring technology. In addition to power tools such as hammer drills, cordless screwdrivers, and jigsaws, its comprehensive product portfolio also includes gardening equipment such as lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, and high-pressure cleaners. One of the division’s focal points is convenient, high-performance cordless tools, and increasingly also web-enabled tools and services.
The Consumer Goods business sector also includes BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, which offers a broad range of modern, energy-efficient, and increasingly connected household appliances. Its product portfolio ranges from washing machines and tumble dryers through refrigerators and freezers, stoves and ovens, and dishwashers, to small appliances such as vacuum cleaners, coffee makers, and food processors.
Brands within this sector include:
Energy and Building TechnologyEdit
In 2017, the Energy and Building Technology business sector generated roughly 7 percent of total Bosch Group sales. Its Building Technologies division (formerly Security Systems) has two areas of business: the global product business for innovative security and communications solutions, and the regional integrator business. The latter offers solutions and services for building security, energy efficiency, and building automation in selected countries. Both units focus on commercial applications. The product portfolio encompasses video-surveillance, intrusion-detection, and voice-alarm systems, access-control and software management systems, as well as professional audio, conference, and fire-detection systems.
The Thermotechnology division supplies energy efficient heating products and hot-water solutions, primarily in Europe. With a view to functions such as remote diagnosis, web enabled devices are becoming increasingly important. The Bosch Global Service Solutions division offers outsourcing for business processes and services. Within Bosch, it also provides shared-service functions. Robert Bosch Smart Home GmbH brings Bosch’s smart-home products and services together under one roof, including the associated systems and software expertise.
Brands within this sector:
Through a complex network of over 440 subsidiaries and regional entities, the company operates in over 60 countries worldwide. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. At 125 locations across the globe, Bosch employs roughly 64,500 associates in research and development.
North American OperationsEdit
In North America, Robert Bosch LLC (a wholly owned Bosch subsidiary) has corporate headquarters in Farmington Hills, MI. Three Research Technology Centers are located in Pittsburgh, PA, Palo Alto, CA and Cambridge, MA. Factories and distribution facilities are located in Mt. Prospect, Illinois; Hoffman Estates, Illinois; Broadview, Illinois; Kentwood, Michigan; Waltham, Massachusetts; Clarksville, Tennessee; Anderson, South Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; South Bend, Indiana (to close 2011); and 11 other cities. There are also two corporate sites in Brazil and ten in Mexico where a central purchasing office for all divisions of Bosch Group is located in Broadview, Illinois. In North America, Bosch employs about 24,750 people in 80 locations, generating $8.8 billion in sales in 2006.
In May 2015, Bosch Security Systems opened its newly constructed distribution center in Greer, South Carolina. The distribution center adds more than 50 new associates in the state and will receive, store and ship more than 50,000 different products for video surveillance, intrusion and fire detection, access control and management systems and professional audio and conference systems.
Bosch entered India in 1922, when Illies & Company set up a sales office in Calcutta. For three decades, the company operated in the Indian market only through imports. In 1951, Bosch set up its first manufacturing plant in India.
Currently, Bosch India has a turnover of over $3 billion and over 31,000 employees spread across 10 locations and 7 application development centers. 84% of Bosch India revenues come from its automotive business, with the remaining 16% split between its non-automotive businesses that include packaging, energy and building solutions, power tools and consumer retail. Bosch also has an R&D facility in Coimbatore and Bangalore, India. This is Bosch's largest R&D facility outside its home market of Germany. In September 2014, Bosch announced the launch of a locally developed eye-care solution in India. The company’s new eye screening and detection system offers a combination of hardware and software and provides affordable eye care.
BSH Bosch und Siemens HausgeräteEdit
BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH, in which Bosch acquired all shares in 2014, is one of the world's top three companies in the household appliances industry. In Germany and Western Europe, BSH is the market leader. Its portfolio includes the principal brand names Bosch and Siemens, Gaggenau, Neff, Thermador, Constructa, Viva and ufesa brands, and further six regional brands. Bosch household appliances for the North American market are mainly manufactured at its factory near New Bern, North Carolina. The distribution of manufacturing workforce in household appliances is:
- 36% in Germany
- 20% in India
- 30% in Western Europe (excluding Germany, but including Turkey)
- 15% in Asia
- 10% in Eastern Europe
- 5% in North America
- 4% in Latin America
with 61,800 employees overall.
Bosch owned 50% of the home appliance manufacturer Bosch-Siemens Hausgeräte until it acquired the other half from Siemens AG in 2015 and renamed it to BSH Hausgeräte GmbH. The vehicle audio equipment company Blaupunkt was a subsidiary of Bosch until March 2009.
In June 2008 Bosch formed SB LiMotive, a 50:50 joint company with Samsung SDI. The company held ground breaking ceremony for a 28.000 m2 lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing plant in September 2009 and it is scheduled to start production for hybrid vehicles in 2011 and for electric vehicles in 2012. The plant will generate 1,000 jobs in Ulsan, Korea in addition to the 500 employees in Korea, Germany and the United States. SB LiMotive was officially ended in September 2012 with both companies focusing on automotive batteries alone.
Robert Bosch GmbH, including its wholly owned subsidiaries such as Robert Bosch LLC in North America, is unusual in that it is an extremely large, privately owned corporation that is almost entirely (92%) owned by a charitable foundation. Thus, while most of the profits are invested back into the corporation to build for the future and sustain growth, nearly all of the profits distributed to shareholders are devoted to humanitarian causes.
As shown in the diagram (above), the Robert Bosch Stiftung (Robert Bosch Foundation) holds 92% of the shares (Beteiligung) of Robert Bosch GmbH, but no voting rights (Stimmrecht). The Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG (Robert Bosch Industrial Trust KG), with old members of the company management, agents of the Bosch family, and other eminent people from the industry (such as Jürgen Hambrecht, CEO of BASF), have 93% of the votes (Stimmen), but no shares (0.01%). The remaining 8% of shares and 7% of voting-rights are held by the descendants of the company founder Robert Bosch (Familie Bosch).
For example, in 2004, the net profit was US$2.1 billion, but only US$78 million was distributed as dividends to shareholders. Of that figure, US$72 million was distributed to the charitable foundation, and the other US$6 million to Bosch family stockholders. The remaining 96% of the profits were invested back into the company. In its core automotive technology business, Bosch invests 9% of its revenue on research and development, nearly double the industry average of 4.7%.
Role in emission cheating softwareEdit
In 2006, Volkswagen executives asked Bosch for help in developing software for their emission defeat devices. Volkswagen is one of Bosch's biggest customers. Volkswagen engineers provided detailed specifications to Bosch, which wrote the necessary code. Bosch was apparently concerned about the legality of software and asked Volkswagen to assume responsibility if the fraud was discovered, but Volkswagen refused.
On 1 February 2017, Bosch agreed to pay consumers in the United States $327.5 million as compensation for its role in devising the software.
Bosch also provided emissions software for Fiat Chrysler's 3.0 L V6 diesel engine used in 100,000 model year 2014–2016 Grand Cherokee SUVs and Ram trucks and agreed to pay affected consumers $27.5 million as part of a broader settlement in January 2019.
- "A successful business year in 2017" (Press release). Robert Bosch GmbH. January 30, 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- "Robert Bosch Stiftung - The Robert Bosch Stiftung". Robert Bosch Stiftung. Archived from the original on 28 November 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
- "Robert Bosch GmbH Company Profile". Yahoo! Finance. Yahoo!.
- "Bosch Today 2018" (PDF). Bosch Global. 22 May 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
- Angela Martin: Ich sah den Namen Bosch. Polnische Frauen als KZ-Häftlinge in den Dreilinden Maschinenbau GmbH. Metropol, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-932482-79-4; Ewa Czerwiakowski, Angela Martin (Hrsg.): Muster des Erinnerns. Polnische Frauen als KZ-Häftlinge in einer Tarnfabrik von Bosch. Metropol, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-936411-69-7. Exhibitions in cooperation with Hanna Sjöberg: Rathaus Kleinmachnow 2006 ... auf dem Boschgelände; Dokumentationszentrum NS-Zwangsarbeit Berlin 2008 z.B. Bosch; History Meeting House Warsaw 2011 Versteckt im Wald
- Philips CSI sold to Bosch, 12 August 2002
- Bosch in talks to buy Israel's Red Bend Software. Reuters, 20 August 2014
- . Siemens an Bosch, 22 September 2014
- By Press Release, Security Info Watch. "Bosch recognized as a top-performing U.S. technology company by Ingram Micro." 4 December 2014. 8 December 2014.
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- Sam Abuelsamid, Auto Blog. "Bosch and Samsung to team up on battery development." 27 June 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
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- Joann Muller (2005-11-28). "Parts for the Sensitive Car". Forbes magazine.
- "Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2010" (PDF). Bosch. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
- Ewing, Jack (2017-02-01). "Supplier's Role Shows Breadth of VW's Deceit". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
- McGee, Patrick (2017-02-01). "Bosch reaches $328m settlement in VW emissions scandal". The Financial Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
- Shepardson, David (10 January 2019). "Fiat Chrysler agrees to $800 million U.S. diesel-emissions settlement". Reuters. Retrieved 11 January 2019.