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Robert Bosch to invest Rs 850 cr more in India

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All subsidiaries including MICO to be renamed Bosch Ltd

Charting out expansion: Dr Bernd Bohr, Chairman, Automotive Group, Robert Bosch GmbH (left), and Dr Albert Hieronimus, Managing Director, MICO, at a press conference in Mumbai on Thursday.
Charting out expansion: Dr Bernd Bohr, Chairman, Automotive Group, Robert Bosch GmbH (left), and Dr Albert Hieronimus, Managing Director, MICO, at a press conference in Mumbai on Thursday.

K. Giriprakash

Mumbai, Dec 6

The world’s leading auto parts’ maker, Robert Bosch, has decided to invest Rs 850 crore more in its Indian operations. It takes the total investment into India to Rs 2,650 crore for the 2005-2010 period.

Robert Bosch has also made two more key announcements: all the subsidiaries in India including Motor Industries Company (MICO) will now be renamed Bosch Ltd.

MICO, in which the parent recently increased its stake to about 70 per cent from 60 per cent, will now have a new managing director. The Deputy Managing Director of MICO, Mr V.K. Viswanathan, will replace Dr Albert Hieronimus as the new Managing Director. Dr Hieronimus will become the Chairman of the company and also the Chairman of the board of management of German-based Bosch Rexroth AG.

Dr Manfred Duernholtz, Senior Vice-President for advanced engineering in the diesel systems division at Bosch, Germany, will join MICO as Joint Managing Director.

MICO currently has three joint managing directors. All these appointments will be effective from February 1, 2008.

Funds for Expansion

Member of the Bosch Board of Management and Chairman of the Automotive Group Dr Bernd Bohr told a news conference that the new funds will be invested in the expansion of common rail diesel production and in the manufacture of gasoline systems components. Dr Bohr said the company plans to start local production of anti-lock braking system (ABS) at the end of 2008 and the production of electronic control unit in 2009. “Over the long term, and provided there is a local market, we will launch innovations in India that go beyond ABS,” Dr Bohr said.

Sees higher sales

Dr Bohr also announced that the sales of the Bosch Group in India will increase 20 per cent to nearly Rs 4,700 crore, while exports will contribute an additional Rs 1,000 crore during 2007. The sales are expected to increase 30 per cent in 2008, Dr Bohr said.

An additional 10 per cent will be added to the workforce, which will take the total number of employees to over 18,000 by 2008, he said.

“The new investments and increase in the workforce indicate a strong economic growth as well as rapid motorisation of India,” Dr Bohr pointed out. He, however, ruled out any immediate plans to increase the stake in MICO from the current level of about 70 per cent.

MICO brand for some

Dr Bohr said certain products will continue to carry MICO’s name because of its strong branding but the rest will carry Bosch’s name.

Dr Bohr said during 2007, about 100,000 common-rail systems will be produced by Bosch in India. By 2010, the production of total number of common-rail systems will increase to 1.3 million units.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 7, 2007)
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