DETROIT - Robert Bosch GmbH aims nearly to triple its North American revenue by 2010, vaulting the German company's sales for the region to 30 percent of its total revenue base. North America now accounts for about 20 percent of global sales.
Increased systems and module businesses, along with possible acquisitions, will be vehicles for growth in an era in which suppliers are being squeezed continually by customers for price breaks, said Lee Manduzzi, executive vice president of sales for North American subsidiary Robert Bosch Corp.
Manduzzi, who spoke to reporters Tuesday, March 6, at the SAE World Congress, did not identify possible target areas for acquisition.
The goal translates to expected 2010 sales of $15 billion for Robert Bosch Corp., up from $6.2 billion in 2000, Manduzzi said.
Global revenue would then be about $50 billion, up from almost $29 billion in 2000.
Those figures include Bosch's nonautomotive and automotive businesses, the latter of which accounted for $20.55 billion of 2000 global revenue and $4.4 billion of North American revenue.
'Obviously, the North American market is an extremely important market to Bosch and one where we feel the potential to achieve overproportional growth,' Manduzzi said. 'We have significant initiatives in the areas of systems and modules to increase our content.'
Such efforts include:
Corner module development. Bosch recently secured four new corner module production programs - three high-profile sport-utilities and one light-duty pickup. That's on top of a 2002-model truck for which Bosch is supplying a front corner module.
Occupant sensing systems for airbag deployment. A U.S. government regulation requiring installation of such safety devices will speed the growth of this business, said David Robinson, president of Bosch's electrical and electronics division.
Telematics and multimedia systems. Bosch and its Blaupunkt subsidiary are pushing such products as satellite radio, navigation systems and rear-seat entertainment systems.
Engine management systems. Bosch is developing its first complete engine management system for a U.S. automaker, said John Moulton, president of Bosch's powertrain division. The customer and program production date were not disclosed, but the system is for an engine that will be used worldwide. Bosch will produce more than 20 components in the system, including fuel injectors, sensors, spark plugs and ignition coils, and integrate another 14 or so parts from other suppliers to complete the system.
'It's a huge growth opportunity and really an opportunity to show what we can do,' Moulton said.
Even with the pressure for price cuts in the industry, the growth strategy plays into the changes being demanded by automakers, Manduzzi said. By delivering more content in a single system or module, suppliers gain added business, and automakers save money by reducing procurement, engineering and manufacturing costs.
Said Manduzzi: 'At the end of the day, all of our customers are looking for more content at a lower price.'