- Published in Q&A.
Why do you think growth in e-mobility has slowed and what are the opportunities in this area for Bosch?
First of all, our prognosis has not got down but our forecasts were never in the ranges of some of the other market players and also some of the media participants. We always said that this decade is the decade of learning; of preparing for electrification. We're going to see electrification by the end of the decade – some 2.5 million electric vehicles.
Plug-in hybrids have increased in our forecast because we're seeing that premium brands especially want to electrify their cars in a certain way to allow electric driving in the cities and to give the customer a feeling of high power. Hybrids could account for six million vehicles, and that's going to be the big driver getting the cost of batteries and power electronics down. So our investments are quite significant – around about €400million a year – because we think it's going to pay off after 2020.
And somewhat more openness on the side of the consumer to accept a little less range would lead to a pretty strong electrification of cars used for commuting: in Germany a third of the cars are second vehicles.
The last few years have been tough for the industry: how do you see the markets developing?
If we look at it long term we always see on average, even including the downturns, around about 2-3% growth a year. And for 2012 we're seeing 3-5%. That's fuelled mainly by the US, which is growing nicely, then Asia where we have China not so strong, but India strong.
Creating growth for Bosch means more Bosch content per vehicle. So instead of having port fuel injection, putting in gasoline direct injection; instead of ABS putting in ESC; in cars which have no ABS putting in ABS. This is basically the strategy we are always working on: more Bosch in each car.
You have responsibility for the Indian market. How is that working out?
India for us has been a great market. We started very early: 1954. It was a low-key business until about 2000, when we had sales of €300 million. This year it will be €1.4 billion. Being entwined with the Indian OEMs over so many decades gives us a very important customer relationship advantage. We're fully localised with almost everything we sell there. For the instance, we were the first supplier to have local ABS production: we promised in 2007 we were going to put ABS there and we put it there. And we have local R&D. We have an engineering company in India which last month crossed the 10,000 employee threshold – it's big.