CHENNAI 25/NOV/2014: German automotive giant Bosch will be using its substantial India presence to achieve its target of doubling its Asia Pacific sales by 2020. According to a top company official, currently the Asia Pacific region contributes around 25% to Bosch globally. The region totted up sales worth 11.1 billion in 2013, up nearly 6% over the year before. Said Steffen Berns, MD, Bosch Ltd and president Bosch Group India, \"Our target is to double our sales in Asia Pacific by 2020 and India has a key role in that. Asia Pac currently contributes 25% to Bosch globally and including R&D India\'s contribution is 3.5%. There\'s good prospect for growth in this market in terms of sales as well as R&D. Bosch India is largest R&D hub for the company outside Germany.\" Bosch group has been active in India since the early 20s and the company\'s Bengaluru production unit is more than 60 years old. The company saw its sales grow three-fold in the last 10 years though the slowdown in 2012 and 2013 has put a brake on that. Bosch, said Berns, has been investing aggressively in India - Rs 5,400 crore in the last 4 years including Rs 1,200 crore so far this year - and is building a new factory in Bidadi where it plans to move its Bengaluruplant. \"We\'re also building an R&D centre in Bengaluru where the software and development business will move,\" he said. \"There is no urgent need for fresh investment after the slowdown but future investments will depend on market requirements,\" he added.
That qualifier is important since the Bosch\'s Bengaluruplant has seen several labour hiccups in March and November 2013 and more recently the ongoing one that started in September. During his recent trip to India Bosch global CEO Volkmar Denner also remarked on the impact of labour hiccups on India\'s competitiveness. While Berns said Bosch is \"committed to India and its strong growth potential\", labour relations will be an important factor in determining future investments into India. \"We would like to continue our future investments but pro-active labour reforms will play a key role in future investments,\" said Berns. \"Labour settlements, labour laws, infrastructure, ease of doing business...these are all factors we consider while making investment decisions in India or the Asia Pac,\" he added.
Although the local government has deemed the strike illegal, the matter is now in court. \"The court can\'t solve this and we must do so internally,\" said Berns. \"We are among the highest paymasters in the industry. The union seems to need more time to understand that increased productivity is important and that our offer is very attractive. Discussions are on and the union now needs to move and we are trying to find an amicable solution,\" he said. The company is focused on the \"fair and firm\" decision that productivity has to increase at the Bengaluru plant. \"We believe increasing productivity by 30% plus is possible,\" said Berns. \"Some of our officers working the production line now have increased productivity by 30%.\"