Fri, Jun 15, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Bosch aiming for growth after Unipoint acquisition

TOUCHY-FEELY:The German engineering giant plans to open an experience center in Taipei to showcase the firm’s products, managing director Bernd Barkey said

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Bosch Taiwan, the local unit of the German engineering giant Bosch Group, is aiming for modest sales growth this year following the acquisition of Unipoint Group (揚弘實業) last year, a move that boosted its staff nearly fourfold, newly installed managing director Bernd Barkey said yesterday.

“It is unlikely we’ll achieve double-digit sales growth this year as the economic picture looks tough ahead,” Barkey told a media briefing.

Bosch’s core products include automotive components, industrial products, consumer goods and building products.

Bosch Taiwan generated sales of NT$3.7 billion (US$123.75 million) last year, up 32 percent on 2010, growth that was attributable to improvements in all its business segments, said Barkey, who assumed his position in September last year.

The group hopes to expand its presence in Taiwan and strengthen its position in the automotive technology, industrial technology, consumer goods and building technology sectors, he said.

Toward that end, the company in December last year acquired Unipoint Group, which focuses on making starters, alternators, temperature controls and wiper blades for the automotive after-sales market.

The acquisition has enabled Unipoint to explore more business opportunities worldwide through Bosch’s existing networks and it has allowed Bosch to strengthen its leadership in the automotive after-sales market and to expand in the rest of Asia, Barkey said.

Taoyuan-based Unipoint has more than 500 employees in Taiwan and 1,900 employees in China.

Bosch Taiwan plans to hire more workers, but it is placing more emphasis on integration with Unipoint to enhance the synergy benefits, he said, adding that the company plans to set up a new repair center in September to better serve its local customers.

Last month, the German group founded BSH Home Appliances Private Ltd to sell its products — dishwashers, ovens, washing machines, dryers and coffee machines — that used to be represented by local distributor Achelis Taiwan Co (德商雅基利).

Bosch plans to open an experience center in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖) in September to showcase its products, Barkey said.

Apart from the pursuit of steady sales growth, the company is also stepping up research and development on Internet protocol cameras, commonly used for surveillance, he said.

“Taiwan, while accounting for only 0.2 percent of the group’s overall sales, is an important market,” Barkey said.

Bosch’s global revenues totaled NT$2.06 trillion last year, up 9 percent from a year earlier, driven mainly by the automotive technology sector, which had a 59 percent contribution, company data showed.

Europe accounted for 59 percent of the sales, followed by the Asia-Pacific region with 23 percent and North America with 14 percent, company statistics showed.

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