Story & photos by Randy S. Peregrino
THE leading global supplier of technology and services ended its 2016 fiscal year with an impressive consolidated sales of $56 million (€51 million) in the country alone.
Bosch achieved an equivalent of 13-percent growth compared to the previous year. This was mainly attributed to the country’s booming construction, automotive and manufacturing industries, not to mention the increased consumer spending power backed by steady economic growth.
“With double-digit business growth for the third consecutive year, the Philippines earns a bright spot in Southeast Asia as one of the best performing markets for Bosch. We continue to see many opportunities here,” outgoing Bosch Philippines managing Director Andrew Powell said. Bosch Power Tools proved to be the company’s strongest sales contributor. Revenue was driven by the heavy demands of expanded Contractors’ Choice mid-price product range, as well as cordless tools for both professional users and hobbyists. As for the Security Systems division, it only experienced moderate growth in 2016, with communication systems being the major growth contributor.
Automotive Aftermarket division posted a double-digit increase in its sales performance—making 2016 its strongest year yet. The division’s growth is attributed to its “parts, bytes, services” philosophy, offering automotive technology services (based on its network of 85 Bosch Car Service), and Bosch Diesel Service workshops across the country. Likewise, its initiative to offer solutions to Filipinos on the go was further leveled up by opening Express Car Service workshops nationwide. Committed to bringing more products and services closer to the market, particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao regions—the division continues to strengthen its distribution network across the country.
Bosch is also known as an advocate for vehicle safety. “Our thrust at Bosch is to actively shape change. ”
As we approach the culmination of the United Nation’s Decade of Action for Road Safety in 2020, we have made the advancement of vehicle-safety standards one of our key advocacies in the Philippines for 2017,” Powell explained. Given the proven effectiveness of active safety technologies, Bosch recommends higher safety standards within the region. These technologies, such as antilock braking systems (ABS) or electronic stability programs prevent or minimize the incidence of road accidents. Last year Bosch introduced ABS for small two-wheel vehicles an ideal development in Southeast Asia for markets like the Philippines, where small motorcycles are most common. “As a global innovator in vehicle safety, we aim to work closely with the government, industry and the motoring public to find sustainable solutions to the issue of road accidents,” Powell added.
One interesting product demonstration was the Retrofit eCall plug—the smart collision detector. It is a smart sensor (fitted in a 12-volt socket plug) device designed for crash detection of passenger vehicles. This small device increases the safety of the driver and helps to accelerate roadside assistance and rescue. Once plugged in, the device connects via Bluetooth with an App (downloaded separately). In case of a heavy accident, the emergency call center organizes an ambulance. The App then sends the crash information to the emergency call center, including GPS position and driving direction. Sensor detects an accident and sends alert to the App. Consequently, it also provides guidance to the next repair shop, start claims process and more.
New leadership and business outlook for 2017
Bosch Philippines also introduced its new managing director Richard Walker who succeeded Powell on July 1st. Walker has spanned a 20-year career in the Mobility Solution business sector. He was previously helmed Bosch Emmission Systems in the US as the commercial director. Powell, on the other hand, will move to Bosch Indonesia as its new managing director.
Meanwhile, Bosch aims to achieve sales growth of between 3 percent and 5 percent for this year, in light of a subdued economic outlook and geopolitical uncertainty. But, despite heavy upfront investments in safeguarding the company’s future, results are set to rise. “Business success today gives us the leeway to shape tomorrow’s world,” Chairman of the Bosch Board of Management Dr. Volkmar Denner said. “As an innovation leader, we are shaping and driving transformation,” he added. By 2020 all Bosch’s new electronic products will feature connectivity with artificial intelligence being the key. Over the next five years, Bosch will be investing €300 million in its own center for AI.
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