Bosch sees 2010 sales up 10% as carmakers restock

Bosch sees 2010 sales up 10% as carmakers restock

New Delhi: German industrial conglomerate Robert Bosch sees sales at its core car parts business rising by a tenth in 2010, on growth in emerging markets and as carmakers build up inventory, a senior official said on Monday.

The world’s top car-parts maker, which saw a 20% slump in the unit’s sales to €22 billion ($31.5 billion) in 2009, sees revenue returning to pre-recession levels of 2007 by 2012, Bernd Bohr, head of the car parts division, told a conference.

Bosch has described 2009 as one of the most difficult in its nearly 125-year-old history, as the global recession pummelled car sales worldwide forcing it to cut jobs in Germany and overseas.

“Inventory adjustments have taken place in 2009 and is not likely to be repeated in 2010," Bohr told the news conference ahead of an auto show in the Indian capital. “We see continued growth in emerging markets."

But the path to recovery in developed markets like the United States, Europe and Japan would take longer, and sales there would likely touch 2007 levels only by 2015 or 2016, he said.

A revival in the sales of mid- and large vehicles, which use more of Bosch components compared with smaller vehicles, is also seen boosting growth, Bohr said.

Bosch would invest Rs20 billion ($431 million) in India between 2010 and 2012, largely to expand capacities and for research and development, the firm said in a statement.

It has not finalised its capital expenditure globally, but Bohr said typically the firm’s annual spend was close to 5-6% of sales.