CHIBA, Japan -- Germany's Robert Bosch GmbH is examining buying businesses from bankrupt U.S. rival Delphi Corp., the head of Bosch's automotive business told Reuters on Thursday.
"Of course, we are screening Delphi as well as all acquisition opportunities which we think would be there or we would like to develop. This is a constant process," Bosch automotive group Chairman Bernd Bohr said on the sidelines of Tokyo auto show.
"Whether this now provides a special opportunity or not, it is too early to say," he added.
Delphi sought protection from creditors this month in the biggest bankruptcy filing in U.S. automotive history. It has said it will sell or close substantial parts of its U.S. manufacturing businesses. Foreign subsidiaries were not included in the move.
Unlisted Bosch has made acquisitions in the past to strengthen its business in certain regions such as Japan or to get access to technology, Bohr noted.
Generally speaking, we prefer to grow organically," he said. "If you look at it over a 10-year period, two-thirds of our growth is organic and one-third has been through acquisitions."
Bohr told a presentation at the Tokyo show that Bosch was set to boost sales by around 4 percent this year.
"This year worldwide automotive technology sales are expected to reach 26 billion euros. For the Bosch group as a whole this figure will be between 41 billion and 42 billion euros," he said.
"In other words we will achieve growth of approximately 4 percent this year both in the group and in our automotive business, and we will do so in spite of the only modest growth in automotive production globally," he said.
"For the next few years we expect growth rates in the automotive industry as a whole to be higher again," he said, citing the biggest potential in the emerging markets of Asia and eastern Europe.
Bosch had said last month it saw 2005 automotive sales of around 26 billion euros and group sales rising to 42 billion euros from 41 billion euros a year ago -- at the low end of its previous growth target of 3 percent to 5 percent.