Bosch To Expand China Operations
April 26, 2007
One of the fastest growing auto markets in the world is China and companies concerned with the auto industry have already announced expansion of their operations in the said country. Ford China recently announced that they will be offering new models in the Chinese auto market and will be putting up plants in the country to meet the growing demand for their cars.
Another company which has expressed its interest in expanding its Chinese operation is the German auto parts maker Bosch. One of the leading manufacturers of auto safety components such as antilock braking and fuel-injection systems, starters, alternators, and auto electronics, the company planned to increase their global presence.
At the 2007 Shanghai Auto Show, Rudolf Colm, a member of Bosch’s board of management, announced their goal in the country. “As a pioneer in automotive safety technologies with extensive international experience, Bosch will partner with the local automotive industry to support China's efforts in reducing road accidents by both providing latest technologies and promoting automobile safety technology,” says Colm.
Bosch will not be the first company to partner with Chinese automotive companies in recent memory. Car manufacturers such as Nissan, Ford, and General Motors have entered into partnership with Chinese automakers. Even the electric car producer ZAP has a Chinese partner which produces the three-wheeled zero particle emission vehicles it sells in the United States.
Bosch has already earmarked a budget of 100 million yuan in the construction of a winter test track in the country. The plan for the test track is that it will be located in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Construction of the track will commence this year and the final product is expected to be completed by next year. The track will be composed of an icy test track and a ground test track. The said investment will be used to test the performance of vehicles equipped with Bosch safety features on icy roads.
Tests such as these are important since icy roads are one of the most dangerous terrains for any vehicle. The Bosch-sponsored track will be the biggest of its kind in China upon its completion.
Aside from the test track, Bosch is also planning to allocate an additional 100 million euros for the expansion of their production facilities, research and development, laboratories and other testing facilities. The said facilities are found in Suzhou. The investment being poured by the German company will increase the local capability of Bosch China. Other investments in China for Bosch include a 2 million euro allocation for the recently opened vehicle verification road in Suzhou. The company has also acquired a controlling stake in the Pacifica Group of Australia and Bosch has earmarked a 50 million euro budget for Pacifica’s plant in China.
Peter Pang, the president of Bosch (China) Investment Ltd., has this to say about the expansion of the Bosch operation in China: “Increased automotive safety has been a global concern in the past decades. We will draw from our experiences worldwide to fulfill our commitment to making driving safer in China. Bosch has already put local development and application facilities in place to support the need for auto safety in China.”
One of Bosch’s most notable innovations is the anti-lock braking system which complements highly efficient brake components from Active Brakes Direct and with the expansion of their business in China, the company is set to offer more to the auto industry while it partners with other companies. “We will work closely with local car manufacturers to develop and promote both active and passive safety functions,” says Pang.
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