Bosch continues double-digit expansion in Romania, investments up to 40 mln. Euro
While Bosch sells equipment and electronics, it also developed a BPO center in Timisoara, an R&D center in Cluj and production units in Cluj and Blaj. Last year's investments reached about 40 million Euro, about 50% larger than 2014's levels, says Mihai Boldijar, Bosch's chief of operations for Romania.
While the 3,200 Bosch looks for expanding, local hurdles don't get unnoticed, as everywhere else.
"We need highways, we must be on time with deliveries to our customers. We must have good infrastructure. Another problem is lack of dual vocational education, now there are only ten of over 170 vocational schools in 1989," says Boldijar.
"In terms of manpower, we have another problem. The imbalance created by the lack of infrastructure makes it virtually certain areas have an unemployment rate close to zero and then starts a movement of personnel from one company to another just because a company is willing to pay more to get hold of an employee. The danger is that we become more expensive than Hungary. Due to lack highways can not have employees from Eastern or Southern Romania."
Consolidated sales grew 12 percent to 272 million euros
Bosch ended its 2015 fiscal year in Romania with a turnover of 1.2 billion Lei (272 million euros) in consolidated sales. The full acquisition of two former fifty-fifty joint ventures, BSH Hausgerate GmbH and Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH, pushed sales up by 30 percent.
Bosch saw strong growth in its operations as well: calculated on a comparable basis, sales on the local market grew by 12 percent. The total net sales of 1.7 billion Lei (375 million euros) in Romania, including sales of non-consolidated companies and internal deliveries to affiliated companies, amounted to a year-on-year increase of nearly 50 percent.
"Thanks to our innovative products and customer oriented services, we were able to successfully continue our growth trend in 2015", says Boldijar.
In the challenging market environment of the first quarter of 2016, the company's business again developed very well.
"For 2016, we expect continued strong growth in Romania in all of our business sectors", added he.
The number of associates employed at Bosch in Romania in 2015 stood at around 3,200 – a year-on-year increase of more than 30 percent. This number is expected to increase significantly at a similar level in 2016 with additional associates especially at the locations in Blaj, Cluj and Timisoara.
Bosch expanding production and R&D activities across Romania
The Group invested some 178 million Lei (40 million euros) in Romania in 2015 and plans additional, similar investments for the current year, mainly in the further development of its manufacturing sites for Mobility Solutions. The increasing capacity and expanding operations of Bosch's Blaj and Cluj plants as well as the continuing expansion of the R&D activities strengthen the company's presence and steady growth potential in Romania.
The site in Jucu (Cluj) tripled its production since the opening in 2014. In this plant, Bosch manufactures among other products electronic control units for driver assistance and safety electronics for global automotive customers. In 2015 and 2016, the automotive plant in Jucu added new products to its portfolio, including components for airbags and parking assistance systems for more safety and comfort. In Blaj, the Mobility Solutions business sector started the production of powertrain components at the end of 2015 and expects a strong increase of production in 2016, by extending existing projects.
Romania is becoming an important part of Bosch's global R&D network as well. The Engineering Center in Cluj, founded in 2014 and extended with a new modern office in 2015, is developing future technologies in collaboration with international and local partners. Here, over 100 young talented engineers focus on areas like connectivity, connected industry – also known as Industry 4.0 –, renewable energy and automated driving and operate also a wide range of tests and analysis.
When it comes to Industry 4.0, Bosch is a leading user and a leading provider offering a wide spectrum of solutions in the areas of drive and automation technology as well as sensors and software. The Engineering Center in Cluj recently also started to work on Industry 4.0 solutions, with the goal of driving strategic changes in the manufacturing environment. In the production units at Cluj and Blaj, Bosch is gradually implementing Industry 4.0 solutions to increase its competitiveness for example through quicker and predictive maintenance.