Hoffman Estates, IL — Bosch Rexroth AG, parent company of Bosch Rexroth Corporation in North America, announces $8.3 billion (5.9 billion Euros) in sales for 2008 – up 9.8 percent from the previous year. Sales in the Americas were up nearly eight percent in U.S. dollars. The company, a subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH, anticipates a significantly weaker performance for the current fiscal year. However, Bosch Rexroth wants to safeguard as many jobs as possible among its core workforce. The company is maintaining its investment in research and development at levels above the industry average. Bosch Rexroth is using its capacity for innovation to further expand its position as a leading automation partner for industrial applications, factory automation, mobile applications and the utilization of renewable energies.
The growth experienced in 2008 by the manufacturer of all drive and control technologies was led by developments in the German, European and Asian markets.
“Despite some shortages in raw materials and key semi-finished products, our associates worked to the limits of capacity during the first six months of the year, showing great commitment and working numerous additional shifts,” emphasized Dr. Albert Hieronimus, chairman of the executive board of Bosch Rexroth AG during the company’s annual press conference in Frankfurt. The company achieved the most noticeable growth levels with products and solutions in the areas of mobile and industrial hydraulics. Gearboxes and drive solutions for wind energy plants recorded the highest rates of growth.
Retaining As Many Core Workforce Jobs as Possible
Like other companies, Bosch Rexroth has been feeling the pinch of recession since the second half of 2008 and expects to see a decline in sales during 2009. The removal of stable planning foundations makes it difficult to predict business performance in the short and medium term.
“That’s why we’re taking things one day at a time, as are most of our customers,” explained Hieronimus. However, he went on to emphasize that, “the long-term growth trend in our markets remains intact.” He also said that the expertise of Bosch Rexroth associates is a competitive edge that defies imitation, which is why the company is doing everything it can to safeguard its core workforce even in these turbulent times. To this end, the company is using all the tools at its disposal, including the reduction of normal weekly working hours, in the fight against job losses. At the end of 2008, the company employed 35,300 total associates with about 3,500 employed in the Americas.
Expanded Capacities for Wind Power Gearboxes
Bosch Rexroth also foresees positive developments during the current fiscal year, especially as the company is active in all phases of the supply chain in the global economy and can take advantage of all market opportunities for growth.
“The global push to expand facilities for generating renewable forms of energy is helping our business,” Hieronimus pointed out. For example, Bosch Rexroth is increasing its production capacities for wind power gearboxes with a new plant in Nuremberg and the expansion of production at its Chinese site in Beijing. The American, Chinese and Indian governments are all promoting the rapid expansion of wind power plants to protect themselves from rising energy costs and to reduce CO2 emissions. Bosch Rexroth intends to participate in this market growth by providing gearboxes and drive solutions.
Pressure to rationalize is also growing intensely in all industries. This is increasing demand for innovative automation solutions. “Our customers are currently developing new machinery and plant concepts,” affirmed Hieronimus. “We are gearing up precisely for this demand with innovations and a consistently high-level investment in research and development.”
The Bosch subsidiary spent around $364 million (260 million Euro) on research and development in 2008. This represents 4.5 percent of sales, a figure above the average for the sector, as in previous years. Around 2,200 R&D specialists at Bosch Rexroth are working on new products, solutions and services.