Photo - (From left) Tan Cho Meng, General Manager of Bosch Rexroth; Simon Song, Managing Director of Bosch Malaysia; Dr. Harald Dirsch, Commercial Managing Director of Bosch Car Multimedia Malaysia; and Dr. Lars Kabatnik, Managing Director of Bosch Power Tools Malaysia were part of the panel for the Annual Financial Update event.
Following Bosch's upbeat stance last year about its Malaysian presence, the technology and services firm has now recorded 14 percent increase in third party sales in Malaysia to almost RM 552 million (127 million euros) in 2014 and has announced plans to increase its presence.
During the company's annual Kuala Lumpur media conference recently in June 2015, Bosch Malaysia managing director Simon Song said the Malaysian expansion will be driven by increasing staff, expanding the number of Bosch locations in the country and training programmes to enhance skill sets of its workforce and local students.
"Malaysia is an important location for Bosch, both as a production base as well as a market for our products and services," said song, adding that total net sales also increased in 2014 by 24 percent to RM3.6 billion (828 million euros). "This figure includes sales of non-consolidated companies and internal deliveries to other companies."
"In view of the increasing global and local demand, especially in the areas of car infotainment and power tools, we expect to achieve positive sales development also in the coming years," he said.
The company's workforce in April 2015 exceeded 2,500 associates, said Song. This figure included associates from the Bosch Group's global acquisitions of BSH Hausgeräte GmbH (formerly BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH) and Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH (formerly ZF Lenksysteme GmbH) that were previously joint ventures.
He said that both companies already have presence in Malaysia with a BSH Hausgeräte GmbH sales office in Petaling Jaya and Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH manufacturing arms in Penang. Not taking into account the acquisitions, Bosch Malaysia's workforce increased to about 2,200 associates, which is 40 percent of Bosch's total workforce in the Southeast Asian region.
Song said the workforce was expected to increase helped by training and education as well as Bosch's increased focus on localisation.
"A highly skilled workforce is imperative not only to develop expertise for innovative excellence, but also to enhance the sustainability and competitiveness of Malaysian economy," he said.
In May 2015, the company signed a strategic partnership with University Malaysia Pahang to offer two scholarships for students in the field of mechatronic and automotive engineering. Song added that the collaboration also included topical and practical workshops on Bosch technologies in the mobility solutions field, mentorship as well as internship placements at the Bosch' research and development centres for car multimedia and power tools in Penang.
"Besides educational institutions, we are keen in partnering with industrial leaders from government bodies to public and private to further focus on trainings, education and the sharing of best practices," he said.
Song said its local expansion has also been supported by local investments of about RM260 million (60 million euros) during the past three years.
This allowed expansion and enhancement of three of Bosch's six locations in Malaysia during 2014. The corporate office Petaling Jaya was fitted with enhanced training centres for power tools, vehicle diagnostics, diesel technologies as well as security systems. The power tools plant in Penang moved to a new location, situated in Phase 4 of the Bayan Lepas Industrial Park. Bosch's car multimedia plant expanded by taking over the previous power tools plant site. These expansions and enhancement will translate to additional research projects, an increase in manufacturing output and quicker service time.
In 2015, Bosch expected global sales to growth within an exchange rate-adjusted range of 3 to 5 percent in 2015. According to a company statement, during a recent German annual media conference, Bosch's chief executive officer Volkmar Denner said: "Our economic and technological strength in established business fields is enabling us to tap into new market segments [with many new products released]. We are driving connectivity forward in all our business sectors and playing an active role in shaping it."
The statement added: 'In Asia Pacific, Bosch grew its sales 17 percent (19 percent after adjusting for exchange rate effects) in 2014 to RM56 billion (13 billion euros). At just under 27 percent of total sales revenue, the region's share of sales reached a new high. Sales growth was especially strong in China, rising a nominal 27 percent to RM28 billion (6.4 billion euros). In Southeast Asia, Bosch achieved a year-on-year sales growth of around seven percent by generating RM 3 billion (672 million euros).'
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