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Logo at Bosch Headquarters
Robert Bosch GmbH is a German diversified technology-based corporation which was started in 1886 by Robert Bosch in Stuttgart, Germanymarker.

Robert Bosch GmbH is the world's largest supplier of automobile components, and has business relationships with virtually every automobile company in the world. The headquarters of Bosch is in Gerlingen, near Stuttgartmarker. Franz Fehrenbach became chairman on 1 July 2003. The Bosch Group comprises more than 275 subsidiary companies.


Operating in the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, the Bosch Group reported sales of 43.7 billion in fiscal 2006, an increase of 5.4% over the previous fiscal.

In 2005, worldwide sales of the Bosch Group came to €41.5 billion (reported as US$49,102,300,000), with about US$8 billion in US sales. In the auto-component supply market, the top competitors of Robert Bosch GmbH are: Delphi Corporation, Visteon, DENSO Corporation, and, Continental AG.

In 2004, Robert Bosch GmbH was 17th on the list of Top 20 Patent Winners in the United States, with 907 new patents. This was an improvement from 20th (758 patents) in 2003, and 23rd (683 patents) in 2002.


Robert Bosch GmbH, including its wholly owned subsidiaries such as Robert Bosch LLC in North America, is unusual in that it is an extremely large, privately owned corporation that is almost entirely (92%) owned by a charitable foundation. Thus, while most of the profits are ploughed back into the corporation to build for the future and sustain growth, nearly all of the profits distributed to shareholders are devoted to humanitarian causes.
Diagram of Robert Bosch GmbH (Beteiligung relates to shares, Stimmen to voice/votes).

As shown in the diagram (above), the Robert Bosch Stiftung (Robert Bosch Foundation) holds 92% of the shares (Beteiligung) of Robert Bosch GmbH, but no voting rights (Stimmrecht). The Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG (Robert Bosch Industrial Trust KG), with old members of the company management, agents of the Bosch family, and other eminent people from the industry (such as Jürgen Hambrecht, CEO of BASFmarker), have 93% of the votes (Stimmen), but no shares (0.01%). The remaining 8% of shares and 7% of voting-rights are held by the descendants of the company founder Robert Bosch (Familie Bosch).

For example, in 2004, the net profit was US$2.1 billion, but only US$78 million was distributed as dividends to shareholders. Of that figure, US$72 million was distributed to the charitable foundation, and the other US$6 million to Bosch family stockholders. The remaining 96% of the profits were pumped back into the company. In its core automotive technology business, Bosch invests 9% of its revenue on research and development, nearly double the industry average of 4.7%.

Arrangement of the company

Notable subsidiaries

The Bosch Group comprises more than 275 subsidiary companies. In addition to auto-component supply business, which brings in more than 90% of its revenues, the company produces industrial machinery and hand tools. It also owns 50% of Bosch-Siemens Hausgeräte, the European appliance maker. Bosch's Blaupunkt unit is a major manufacturer of vehicle audio equipment. The subsidiary Bosch Rexroth produces hydraulic, electric, and pneumatic machinery for applications ranging from automotive to mining. Bosch has also purchased Telex Communications, and has purchased 50% of Purolator Filters as a joint venture with Mann+Hummel.

Worldwide presence

Although most of the company's plants and employees are located in Germany (112,300 employees), Bosch is a truly worldwide company. In North America, Robert Bosch LLC (a wholly owned Bosch subsidiary) has corporate headquarters in Farmington Hills, MImarker; with factories and distribution facilities in Mt.marker Prospect, ILmarker; Hoffman Estates, ILmarker; Broadview, ILmarker; Kentwood, MImarker; Waltham, MAmarker; Clarksville, TNmarker; Anderson, SCmarker;Charleston, SCmarker; South Bend, INmarker; and 11 other cities. The Research Technology Center is located in Palo Alto, CAmarker near Stanford Universitymarker. There are also two corporate sites in Brazil and ten in Mexico where a central purchasing office for all divisions of Bosch Group is located. In North America, Bosch employs about 24,750 people in 80 locations, generating $8.8 billion in sales in 2006.

There are other wholly owned Bosch subsidiaries in:

and other countries. Bosch employs over 281,717 people in more than 50 countries, supplying a complex distribution network of new products and parts.


The Bosch logo represents a simple magneto armature and casing, one of the first components produced by the business.

Core businesses

Automotive technology

About 60% of Bosch's worldwide annual sales are produced in automotive technology. Bosch invented the first practical magneto, an early ignition electrical source, which provided the spark to ignite the fuel in most of the earliest internal combustion engines. Bosch's corporate logo to this date depicts the armature from a magneto. Bosch also invented the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and as time passed, Bosch became a leader in such specialised fields as traction control systems (TCS), the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), body electronics (such as central locking, doors, windows and seats), and oxygen sensors, injectors and fuel pumps. Even in such humble technological areas as spark plugs, wiper blades, engine cooling fan and other aftermarket parts, Bosch has over $1 billion in annual sales.

Bosch is a leading player in car stereo systems and in-car navigation systems.

Robert Bosch GmbH is supplying hybrid diesel-electric technology to automakers, including PSA Peugeot 308.

Robert Bosch GmBH has set up a new project unit in its automotive group to develop high-performance lithium-ion batteries and packs, and to focus the company’s efforts on further developing the core competence it needs for the increased use of electrical motors in drive systems. Robert Bosch GmbH and Samsung SDI of Korea plan to launch a joint venture aiming at development, production and distribution of Lithium Ion systems.

Industrial technology

Bosch's subsidiary Bosch Rexroth is a supplier of industrial technology. Through this division, Bosch supplies technologies for driving, controlling, and moving machines. These technologies serve Bosch's two core markets–factory automation and mobile hydraulics.

Bosch's packaging technology division plans, designs, manufactures and installs packaging lines for manufacturers of pharmaceutical, confectionery, food, and similar products. Bosch is the largest supplier of packaging technology.

Consumer goods and power tools

Bosch belt sander 1274 DVS
Bosch caters to the areas of consumer goods and building technology with its power tool, thermotechnology, and security systems, as well as with its household appliances business within the BSH Bosch and Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH joint venture. In the US, power tools are provided by the Robert Bosch Tool Corporation based in Mt.marker Prospect, Illinoismarker.

With its brands Bosch, Hawera, Skil, Dremel and RotoZip, Bosch manufactures power tools for the building trade, industry, and do-it-yourself-ers (DIY-ers). The product range also includes accessories such as drill bits and saw blades, under its Vermont American brand, as well as gardening appliances under its Gilmour brand.

Bosch is the largest European manufacturer of thermotechnology (heating units, etc.) with its subsidiary BBT Thermotechnik GmbH. It had revenues of €2.8 billion in 2006. Its brands include Bosch, Buderus, Junkers, Dakon, e.l.m leblanc S.A., FHP Manufacturing, Geminox, IVT, Nefit, Sieger, Vulcano and Worcester.

BSH Bosch and Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH, in which Bosch and Siemens AG each hold a 50% share, is one of the world's top three companies in the household appliances industry. In Germany and Western Europe, BSH is the market leader. Its portfolio includes the principal brand names Bosch and Siemens, Gaggenau, Neff, Thermador, Constructa, Viva, and ufesa brands, and further six regional brands. Bosch household appliances for the North American market are mainly manufactured at its factory near New Bern, NCmarker. Its competitors include Viking Range, Fulgor, Sub-Zero Refrigerator, Wolf Appliance (a division of Sub-Zero Refrigerator), Fagor, Dacor, and Mielemarker. The distribution of manufacturing workforce in household appliances is:
  • 36% in Germany
  • 30% in Western Europe (excluding Germany, but including Turkey)
  • 15% in Asia
  • 10% in Eastern Europe
  • 5% in North America
  • 4% in Latin America
with 39,000 employees overall.

Security systems

In 2001, Bosch bought Detection Systems and Radionics, Inc., gaining a foothold in the North American security and life safety products manufacturing/supply business. Combining the product portfolio of the nascent business in Europe, which includes installation, supply, and call centre business, with the dealer network and product portfolio, allowed Bosch to enter the American market as a major supplier. Through the Detection Systems acquisition, Bosch also obtained additional sales channels in Latin America, Asia-Pacific (including Australia), and Europe.

In 2002, Bosch acquired Philips Communications and Security, Inc., adding a comprehensive video surveillance portfolio, as well as sales channels, to its business.

In 2008, Bosch acquired Extreme CCTV, a rugged camera and IP camera manufacturer, further enhancing their video surveillance portfolio.

Today, Bosch Security Systems, Inc. works closely with an extensive network of certified dealers and integrators to design dependable security and life safety solutions for the market. Like others in this consolidated market, they maintain a broad portfolio of products and systems for video surveillance, access control, and intrusion and fire detection. They count major schools and universities, government agencies, correctional facilities, retail stores, casinos as many of their markets.


American Bosch Magneto Corporation
1886 Opening of Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering in Stuttgartmarker on 15 November
1887 First low-voltage magneto from Bosch for stationary petrol engines
1897 First low-voltage magneto ignition for motor vehicle internal combustion engines
1901 First plant in Stuttgart
1902 First commercially viable high-voltage spark plug
1906 Production of 100,000th magneto ignition
1906 Introduction of eight-hour working day
1910 Opening of plant in Stuttgart-Feuerbach
1913 Start of production of headlights
1918 American assets seized; later become American Bosch Magneto
1926 Start of production of windscreen wipers
1927 First diesel fuel injection pump
1929 First TV Set from Fernseh AG division
1932 Formation of Junkers & Co.
1932 First power drill from Bosch
1932 First Blaupunkt car audio
1936 First diesel fuel injection pump for passenger cars, such as the Mercedes-Benz 260D
1942 Death of the company founder Robert Bosch on 12 March
1962 Worcester Bosch Group opens in England
1964 Robert Bosch Foundation
1970 Company headquarter moves to Gerlingenmarker
1976 First oxygen sensors
1978 Worldwide first Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
1979 First electronic engine management system (Motronic)
1986 Traction control system (TCS) on the market
1995 Acquisition of Atco-Qualcast Ltd
1995 First electronic stability control - Electronic Stability Programme (ESP)
1997 Common rail diesel fuel injection
2000 DI-Motronic gasoline direct injection system
2003 Acquisition of Buderus AG
2003 Digital car radio with MP3 drive and digital recorder (Blaupunkt)
2003 The formation of the Robert Bosch Tool Corporation and aquistion of S-B Power Tool Corporation and Vermont American Corporation including the brand names for Bosch Power Tools, Skil Power Tools, Dremel, Vermont-American, Primark brands, and Gilmour
2004 Third-generation common rail diesel injection for cars, with piezo injectors
2004 Bosch opens new Technology Center in Abstattmarker
2006 Bosch acquires Telex Communications, a maker of hearing aids, headsets and audio equipment, and partners with Daewoo to build Bosch refrigerators in Mexico
2007 The Bosch Communications Systems business unit is created to manage the brands and products of former Telex Communications
2008 Tata Nano, the $2,500 People's Car powered by Bosch-designed engine is unveiled at Auto Expo in New Delhi. Bosch plans to acquire majority stake in Ersol photovoltaics.

Corporate social responsibility and accreditation

The corporate major products are ISO 9001 and 14001 accredited. In addition to that, their management is complied with OHSAS 18001.

See also


  1. Robert Bosch Stiftung: Über uns, retrieved on 2008-08-11
  2. The Bosch Group - Locations
  3. Bosch says it has contract for diesel-hybrid parts - Automotive News Europe
  4. Green Car Congress: Bosch Sets Up Li-ion Project Unit
  5. Bosch, Samsung join forces for lithium ion batteries | Power Management DesignLine Europe
  7. Atco History Page
  8. Robert Bosch Tool Corporation Established, Promises Continued Growth
  9. Robert Bosch GmbH - Business/Economy

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