Bosch, a global supplier of technology and services with its North American headquarters in Farmington Hills, ended its 2019 fiscal year with $14.4 billion in consolidated sales in North America, slightly below the previous year’s sales of $14.5 billion.
“North America performed well as a region within the Bosch Group in 2019,” says Mike Mansuetti, president of Bosch in North America. “Despite headwinds such as the reduction in automotive production, our 2019 results are a testament to our associates’ hard work and the value we continue to provide our customers.”
For the current business year, Bosch in North America projects a subdued forecast due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic as well as the slowing of vehicle production that was evident even before the pandemic.
“The current situation presents a number of challenges globally as well as here in North America,” Mansuetti says. “Despite the difficult climate, we remain committed to pursuing sales and investment opportunities in the region that support our plan for long-term, strategic growth.”
With the coronavirus pandemic, Bosch in North America anticipates considerable challenges for its business in the current year. The company says it is working with customers to support a phased approach for post-COVID-19 business ramp up and safely re-starting operations is well underway. With the health and well-being of associates as its top priority, Bosch say it is committed to being a reliable supplier of products to help the economy recover as quickly as possible.
Bosch also has found ways to contribute broadly to recovery efforts. The company is producing facemasks and hand sanitizer both in North America and in other regions.
In 2019, three of Bosch’s business sectors – industrial technology, consumer goods, and energy and building technology – were nearly even in sales compared to 2018. Mobility solutions sales were down slightly from the previous year.
Mobility solutions is Bosch’s largest business sector. With sales of $9.2 billion in 2019, the sector accounted for 64 percent of Bosch’s North American sales. Bosch continued to bring safety technology to the market in 2019. The company announced the MPC3 mono video camera and is bringing the solution to customers in the North American market. The camera makes use of artificial intelligence for object and lane recognition, enabling driver assistance systems to reach the next level of performance, the company says.
Another safety system introduced was trailer safety control. The Dexter Tow Assist ABS and Sway Mitigation System, developed together with Dexter Axle Co., helps drivers maintain control of trailers during braking and to reduce sway situations.
With fuel cell systems as a key component of its powertrain portfolio, Bosch worked together with Nikola Motor Co. to reimagine the commercial vehicle powertrain – and the vehicle chassis integrated together with it – from the ground up.
Consumer goods, at $2.6 billion in sales, comprised 18 percent of sales in North America. Bosch Home Appliances recently welcomed Apple Watch and Wear OS by Google smartwatches into its digital ecosystem, Home Connect. The power tools division’s Dremel brand has had success with its first-ever cleaning product, the Dremel Versa, Bosch says. Dremel now is building on that success by launching four new Versa accessories in 2020.
Industrial technology’s $1.5 billion in sales equates to 11 percent of Bosch’s North American sales in 2019. The company debuted a new “Factory of the Future” experience featuring intelligent Industry 4.0 technologies that connect everything, from individual machine components and workstations with embedded sensors, up through machine-level and plant-level communications architectures to a cloud-based solution.
Energy and building technology’s sales, at $914 million, reflect 6 percent of the total sales for Bosch in this continent. After adding machine learning technology to Bosch cameras with Camera Trainer in 2019, the building technologies division introduced the INTEOX open camera platform, which combines built-in intelligent video analytics with high performance, a commonly used open OS, and the ability to add software apps securely.
In November, Bosch sent its first deployment of technology to the International Space Station. Bosch’s SoundSee module uses microphones and machine learning to analyze audio data from ISS systems and equipment. Floating through the ISS on NASA’s Astrobee autonomous robot, SoundSee uses AI-driven analytics to gauge system performance and predict maintenance needs, lightening the load of astronauts on board.
In 2019 Bosch celebrated 20 years of research in North America. Bosch research in North America currently encompasses three sites (Sunnyvale, Calif.; Cambridge, Mass.; and Pittsburgh, Pa.) with a total of more than 100 researchers.
Last year, Bosch invested more than $7 million in communities through funding and volunteering. Since 2012, the Bosch Community Fund has awarded nearly $30 million in grants to educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.