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Bosch Sets Up Separate Division for E-Bike Drives as Strong Growth Continues


GERLINGEN, Germany – There’s no mentioning whatsoever on the results of its eBike Systems subsidiary in the last week published extensive 2018 financial report of the Bosch Group. Nothing on revenues, production numbers or sales growth. Only in a small single paragraph something is said about the e-bike activities of the huge Bosch company that raised nearly 80 billion euro in revenues. But that one small paragraph reveals a lot on where the Bosch e-bike activities are heading for.

Bosch Sets Up Separate Division for E-Bike Drives as Strong Growth Continues
E-bike drive systems are to become the 15th Bosch division. – Photo Bosch

The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 460 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. The company’s network “Covers nearly every country in the world.” It employs 410,000 people. The 2018 financial report states “The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 130 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 68,700 associates in research and development.” How many of them will be focusing on further developing e-bike drives is the question that pops up when viewing what Bosch plans for this part of its business.

‘Continuing strong growth in e-bike segment’

The precise meaning of these plans is stated in the Bosch Group’s 2018 annual report. Here it says “Part of our strategy is also to expand our business activities into adjacent business areas. We have achieved this with the e-bike. Since launching drive systems for e-bikes in 2010, we have been able to significantly expand our business. Bosch has also introduced ABS for e-bikes. In response to continuing strong growth in the e-bike segment, we plan to set up a separate e-bike division at the beginning of 2020.”

Bosch Group’s divisional structure

To further clarify this and to place it in the right context; what Bosch intends to do is to change what is now just a subsidiary in a complete division. That this is no small measure becomes clear when looking at the divisional structure of the Bosch Group. The company has divided its operations in 4 business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods and Energy and Building Technology. The 4 sectors operate through 14 separate divisions. They, with all their subsidiaries, achieved a turnover of 78.5 billion euro in the past year. According to what is said in the Bosch Group financial report, e-bike drive systems are to become the 15thBosch division.

E-bike drive systems division

This new division will become part of the business sector ‘Mobility Solutions’. This is the biggest business sector of the Bosch Group. The 2018 financial report furthers on it with “In the Mobility Solutions business sector, our goal is to become one of the leading suppliers in the field of electric, automated, and connected driving, and in connected mobility services. At the same time, we are intensifying our efforts to combine different modes of transport. Our vision is to make mobility as emissions-free, stress-free, and accident-free as possible, and at the same time multimodal and personalized. This is the focus of our activities. Particular strategic priorities include transforming the powertrain and expanding our business in the areas of electrification, automated driving, new electrical and electronic architectures for vehicles, accessing adjacent market segments, and developing additional services.”

Bike Europe asked the spokesperson of Bosch eBike Systems what all this will mean for the new division. She said that more would be revealed on the formation of the new e-bike division during a press conference that is to be held early in June. For now she wanted to stick to that.

Multi-billion euro turnover

However, in anticipation of the information that will then be released, it is clear that Bosch has high expectations with regard to the development of the e-bike market. How high? A rough indication on this becomes clear on the basis of a simple calculation. The current 14 divisions of the Bosch Group achieved a total turnover of 78.5 billion euros in 2018. This yields an average turnover per division of € 5.6 billion. On this basis the conclusion is that Bosch anticipates for its new e-bike division a multi-billion euro turnover.

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