Bosch today held its annual press conference during which the company walked us through its current status, the challenges that the year 2019 brought along and how long does the manufacturer reckon it will take for it to bounce back to 2018-like normalcy. One of the largest automotive components manufacturers globally, Bosch pointed out to six primary challenges in 2019, namely the NBFC crisis, liquidity crunch, structural shift, demand slowdown, high inventory, and climate change. Soumitra Bhattacharya, Managing Director, Bosch Limited, then went on to describe Bosch’s expectations from vehicle electrification in India.
Bosch is already supplying electric drive and diagnostic systems for the recently-launched Bajaj Chetak and plans to reveal more vehicles that use its systems. For electrification of vehicles in India, Bosch believes that it will begin with two- and three-wheelers and they would co-exist with ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles. Bosch expects that by 2030, 80 percent of vehicles in India will remain ICE and 20% electric. The brand emphasises on its technology-agnostic approach to projects.
Explaining further, Bhattacharya says that passenger cars will be electrified much later on and will be at first limited to fleets. Bosch opines that there will be no substantial spike in EV adoption in the post-COVID era and electric cars would catch on provided the electricity comes from renewable energy sources.
Moving on to Indian automobile snapping out of the degrowth that started much before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, Bhattacharya says that it will take the industry multiple years to return to 2018-like growth patterns and it could longer if there aren’t any direct intervention from the government. Bosch aims to bounce back to normalcy by 2023-24.
Bosch’s profit declined by over 80 percent over the corresponding quarter to Rs 81 crore. Revenue declined 18 percent to Rs 2,237 crore. For financial year 2019-20, Bosch reported a 63 percent decline in profit to Rs 585 crore and revenue was down 18.6 percent to Rs 9,842 crore. The company will be announcing its new business approaches and projects in mobility solutions and electrification in 2021.
Bosch has 18 plants in India and the largest workforce after Germany. The company registered EUR 77.7 billion in revenues in 2019 (which are similar returns as 2018). EUR 6.1 billion were spent last year on R&D as the brand continues its presence in 60 countries. Bosch invests EUR 400 million every year in R&D and some 8 lakh electric vehicles have Bosch systems in them today.
Bosch plans to pay Rs 50 crore in the PMCares fund of which Rs 5 crore has been given already. The manufacturer is also producing 1.2 lakh masks per day (for use by Bosch employees and donations to hospitals and charities).
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