Bosch Rexroth AG’s sales for 2008 were up 9.8 percent on the previous year increasing its turnover to EUR 5.8 billion. The subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH anticipates a significantly weaker performance for the current fiscal year. However, Bosch Rexroth wants to safeguard as many jobs among its core workforce as it possibly can. Despite the downturn Rexroth is maintaining its investment in research and development at a level above the industry average, using its innovative capacity to further expand its position as a leading automation partner for industrial applications, factory automation, mobile applications and renewable energies.
The growth experienced in 2008 by the manufacturer of drive and control technologies was driven by developments in the German, European and Asian markets. “Despite some shortages in terms of 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,” emphasised Dr. Albert Hieronimus, Chairman of the Executive Board of Bosch Rexroth AG, at the annual press conference in Frankfurt. The company achieved the most significant growth levels with products and solutions in the areas of mobile and industrial hydraulics as well as gearboxes and drive solutions for wind energy plants.
As Many Core Workforce Jobs are to be Retained 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. Dr Hieronimus went on to emphasise 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 exploiting all the tools it has at its disposal in the fight against job losses, such as a reduction of normal weekly working hours, or short-time working. At the end of 2008, the company employed 35,300 associates, 18,700 of which were in Germany.
Capacities for Wind Power Gearboxes Expanded
Bosch Rexroth also envisages positive developments during the current fiscal year, especially as the company is represented in all phases of the value added chain in the global economy and can thus exploit all market opportunities for growth. “The global push to expand facilities for generating renewable forms of energy is having a stimulating effect on our business,” Hieronimus pointed out. Bosch Rexroth is increasing its production capacities for wind power gearboxes with a new plant in Nuremberg and the expansion of production at the Chinese plant 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 reduce CO2 emissions. Bosch Rexroth intends to participate in this market growth by providing the markets with gearboxes and drive solutions.
Pressure to rationalise is also growing massively 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 for precisely this demand with innovations and consistently high-level investment in research and development.” The Bosch subsidiary spent around EUR 260 million on research and development in 2008. This amounts to 4.5 percent of turnover, a figure which, as in previous years is above average for this sector. Around 2200 specialists at Bosch Rexroth are working on new products, solutions and services.
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