Bosch entered China eight years ago with three plants to produce gasoline injection systems and a development center. The supplier began production of diesel components in 1996. Currently the Stuttgart-based corporation employs 8,590 in China and is working on a second development center in Suzhou.
Bosch entered Japan 90 years ago and today employs 10,600 working at 14 production locations. "Today Japan is one of our most important foreign markets," said Bohr. Last year the Bosch Automotive System Corporation (Bosch AJ), which is based in Japan, had sales of 300 billion yen (2.54 billion euros) through three business sectors: power train, chassis and electronic engineering. In 2003, sales are forecast to increase by 7 percent to 320 billion yen.
Sales of diesel injection, ABS and stability systems will drive growth. In 2002 Japan's Bosch subsidiary had sales of 115 billion yen from its diesel business alone
"Thanks to the replacement demand for diesel-powered utility vehicles we expect an increase of 8 percent in 2003," said Bohr. In order to promote the use of diesel engines the supplier organized test drives ("Diesel day in Japan") for government employees and journalists.
"ESP can also only be found in five percent of all vehicles on the Japanese market. We believe that there is an enormous potential," Bohr said.