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Published on March 12th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Bosch expects slight growth in car parts sales in 2013

Robert Bosch expects revenue from the sale of car parts to grow slightly this year as it grabs a bigger share of components built in each car. “We’re growing above all through higher turnover per car, less through higher production levels,” said Bernd Bohr, responsible for Bosch’s core car parts division, in an interview with Reuters.
The European auto industry is in the midst of a crisis, with sales slumping to levels not seen in nearly 20 years, as joblessness rises and banks cut down on risky consumer lending. Bohr said he did not expect the amount of cars produced in Europe to grow anytime soon, with overcapacity at European carmakers amounting to around 3 million vehicles. “I don’t see that kind of overhang among suppliers following the adjustments they made during the auto industry crisis years of 2008 and 2009,” he said. Nonetheless, Bohr did not explicitly rule out layoffs in Germany, saying instead that Bosch would try to refrain from compulsory job cuts. In comparison with car manufacturers, suppliers tend to run smaller factories set up near each of their customers that employ fewer people. This makes it easier for partmakers to adjust their production footprint to match lower demand without sparking widespread political opposition.
Bosch generally enjoys an impeccable reputation in Germany for its treatment of its work force, in part because it is privately owned and does not have any pressure from capital markets. Bohr said the German plants played a “strategically important role” that offset their higher production costs.

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