Mon, Nov 10, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Germany's Bosch seeks slice of Asian car-parts market

AFP , SINGAPORE

German industrial giant Robert Bosch GmbH is accelerating into the Asia-Pacific automotive parts market amid rapidly growing demand for cars in China, India and other key countries.

Its automotive after-market division is aiming to increase its business turnover in the region by 30 percent to 40 percent in four years. The division now has an annual revenue of US$500 million from the Asia-Pacific area.

Bosch also wants to increase its slice of the Asia-Pacific pie from 7 percent last year to at least 10 percent in seven years' time.

Global demand for automotive after-market products is projected to exceed US$130 billion by 2007, according to Bosch senior officials.

The after-market industry encompasses everything that happens after the sale of a vehicle, with Bosch specializing in products such as spark plugs and windscreen wipers.

To spearhead its push into Asia, Bosch announced last week it will set up a regional automotive operation in Singapore.

The growth strategy also involves expanding its network of car service centers in the region from 2,000 last year to 3,000 in 2006.

"Asia is, in the automotive after-market, a growing market, and a relatively fast-growing market," said Eugen Konrad, president of Bosch's automotive after-market division.

Regional demand is projected to grow between 3 percent and 4 percent in the coming years, above the world's average of 1.7 percent to 1.8 percent, Konrad said.

"It sounds very very low but normally the after-market is not growing very fast," Konrad said.

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