Story & photos by Randy S. Peregrino
BOSCH regained sales growth momentum and ended its 2017 fiscal year with a consolidated sales of $51 million (€45 million) in the Philippines alone. While the leading global supplier of technology and services achieved solid double-digit growths over the past three years, 2017 sales, however, recorded a decrease in trend. According to Bosch Philippines Managing Director Richard Walker, the company’s business was impacted by its Energy and Building Technology business sector ventures in which project awards and purchases expected in the end of 2017 were pushed this year.
“Also, after several strong years of growth, our Mobility Solutions business moderated,” he added. But Bosch is confident that it will regain momentum of growth this year. “We had a good start into 2018. The local economy continues to benefit from stronger consumer spending and robust demand from the construction and manufacturing sectors,” Walker explained. In the end of 2017, Bosch already employed more than 500 associates in the country and anticipates this to increase this year as the company progresses on its business expansion plans.
Globally, Mobility Solutions continues to be Bosch’s largest business sector, at 61 percent, in terms of revenue contribution. In the country, however, it was only second to Consumer Goods and, despite the sales moderation, it still managed to produce steady growth in 2017. This growth was strongly supported by the growing demand for Bosch batteries. In the same year the Bosch Advantage Line for wipers was also introduced, which caters to extreme all-weather performance applications. This wiper product line is being perceived as a growth area for this year, given the market’s untapped potential and the company’s strong position as one of the global market leaders for the wiper product line.
Road safety advocacy
As an advocate for road safety, Bosch dedicates its global resources to developing crash-avoiding technologies. In the country, the company collaborated with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in advising the publication of the Philippine Road Safety Action Plan (PRSAP). Under this program, the government recommends utilization of the latest vehicle safety technologies, such as Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS), Electronic Stability Programs (ESP), and Driver Assistance Systems.
The Driver Assistance Systems is another breakthrough from Bosch. It’s derived from the same technology applied for the ESP. This technology is set to assist drivers in critical traffic situations through accident avoidance, emergency braking systems and lane assist systems, among other intelligent features. “Road safety is a shared responsibility,” Walker said.
“Active safety technologies from Bosch, such as ABS, ESP and Driver Assistance Systems, are making a significant difference to road safety and we hope that these technologies will become available in the Philippines, as well. Collaboration is another key to driving progress, and we see that working with the government, industry players and the motoring public will allow us to find sustainable solutions towards safer mobility,” Walker further explained. For instance, Bosch was a key player to support Malaysia’s move in 2016 to mandate the installation of ABS in all new vehicles as of June 2018.
Other business sectors’ development and e-commerce
Locally, the Consumer Goods continue to be the company’s strongest contributor to sales. The demand for the mid-price power tools range—the Contractor’s Choice, as well as cordless tools for both professional users and hobbyists—continues to fuel this business sector, along with the booming construction industry.
The Energy and Building Technology, meantime, was awarded long-term contracts for industrial boilers in the nutrition and beverage industries in 2017, and is expected to continue an upward momentum for the current year. Likewise, video surveillance sales grew significantly coming from the property development sector and the government’s aggressive implementation of the “Build, Build, Build” program.
As for the Industrial Technology, this business sector drives the Industry 4.0 for Bosch, having active presence in the manufacturing and heavy industries. Last year Rexroth, a Bosch company, started to explore possibilities of advancing Industry 4.0 through training opportunities with universities specializing in the engineering sphere. In the same year, Packaging Technology also secured long-term contracts in the pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage industries following their entry in the Philippine market in 2016.
Meanwhile, e-commerce remains one of the key business drivers for Bosch locally, recording a growth rate of over 100 percent in 2017. In the same year the number of company’s accredited online vendors increased to 20.
Global strategy and business outlook for 2018
Despite the difficult economic climate, the Bosch Group is targeting more growth this year. After achieving impressive results in 2017, and in light of economic and geopolitical risks, the Bosch Group expects its sales revenue to grow by 2 percent to 3 percent in 2018. “Our company is unequaled when it comes to combining comprehensive connectivity expertise with broad industry and product know-how. This is the Bosch Group’s unique selling proposition,” said Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner during the annual press conference in Renningen, Germany.