Frankfurt/Stuttgart – At the Automechanika in Frankfurt (September 13 to 17, Hall 9), Bosch is presenting a broad range of components, systems, and services. The company is also unveiling solutions that wholesalers and workshops can use to make their processes even more efficient and expand their service offers. “When it comes to connectivity, we have expanded our offer across the board: from the vehicle and workshops to wholesalers. We strongly believe that connectivity will be the biggest topic at this year’s Automechanika,” said Uwe Thomas, the president of the Bosch Automotive Aftermarket division, at the press conference in Frankfurt. With the help of augmented reality, the necessary steps of a repair can be identified in a targeted manner. With new telematics solutions, Bosch supports efficient fleet operations and makes it possible for insurance companies to come up with new offers.
In 2015, Bosch Automotive Aftermarket grew by about eight percent, keeping pace with overall market growth. Part of this development was the result of currency effects. “Last year, we were able to further strengthen our position. For 2016, we plan to grow at about the same pace as the market, about three or four percent,” said Thomas. In Europe, its core market, Automotive Aftermarket achieved about five percent growth. “This year, we expect competition to intensify, as the European market is likely to see moderate growth,” Thomas said.
Strong development in India
In contrast, there was almost no change in the North American market. In 2016, Bosch Automotive Aftermarket expects to see stable development in its second largest sales region. However, the situation remains difficult in Latin America, where automotive markets have collapsed. Despite this development, in 2015 Automotive Aftermarket performed well in the region. The Asian markets continue to develop well. “In India, we were able to grow seven percent last year. This performance was even better than in China. And this was no exception. We expect the trend to continue in 2016,” Thomas said. However, China continues to be an important market, with significant growth expected in the years to come.
Bosch replacement parts program offers full steering systems
Bosch Automotive Aftermarket has also expanded its product portfolio, mainly as a result of the integration of ZF Lenksysteme GmbH. While the former joint venture’s original equipment business has become the Bosch Automotive Steering division, the Bosch Aftermarket segment has taken over sales. “Moreover, our division now also handles the remanufacturing of steering systems,” Thomas said. By consistently replacing wear parts, and with comprehensive quality controls and functional assessments in remanufacturing, Bosch ensures high product quality. “The workshop and its customers can thus rest assured that components and steering systems are just as safe and functional as the original equipment,” Thomas said.
Connectivity is changing the sector
The growing digitization and connectivity of vehicles and their surroundings are also leading to fundamental changes in workshops and parts wholesale. “Service, high levels of transparency, attractive services, and individual customer support are becoming increasingly important also in workshops and parts wholesale. In fact, they are becoming essential. Let me go one step further: service and even closer contact to end customers are decisive success factors for the future success of our business,” Thomas said.
This new reality is based on the growing connectivity of the vehicle and its surroundings. Today, telematics data can be easily accessed, and workshops can use them to determine the current vehicle status and prepare for required repair or maintenance work accordingly – long before the vehicle rolls in to the workshop. This is beneficial for all parties involved, and enables effective planning: fleet operators can plan appointments, workshops can plan their work schedules, and parts wholesalers can ensure smooth logistics.
New business models via the Bosch IoT platform
Connected vehicles make it possible to combine different services. This will call for high-performance online platforms that will connect existing business models with new ones. Bosch already offers such a platform with the Bosch IoT Cloud, which was designed specifically with the needs of workshops and wholesalers in mind. “We know these requirements very well because we are active in the business ourselves and are familiar with the entire value chain. This is why we can offer customized solutions that were developed specifically for this field of business and were not simply adapted from other solutions,” said Hans-Peter Meyen, the executive vice president of the Bosch Automotive Aftermarket product area diagnostics and engineering segment. The new Connected Repair software is one example. It connects all systems within the workshop. “This makes it easier to plan visits to the workshop and improve both work processes and services. When the customer arrives at the workshop, their vehicle’s data and repair history are already available. The data are automatically transmitted between service devices and saved,” Meyen said.
New telematics solutions
Vehicle telematics data are opening the door to new services that expand the traditional product business. For instance, they give workshops the possibility of cooperating closely with fleet operators. Both parties benefit from the Bosch solution. Fleet operators can gain a quick overview of vehicle status, driving behaviors, and upcoming repairs. Smaller fleet operators, such as delivery services or service providers in the trades, can easily hand over technical fleet management to workshops. Workshops can thus coordinate maintenance work at an early stage and reduce vehicle down time. This is the basis of close cooperation between fleet operators and workshops.
A major German insurance company will soon also be using the telematics solution with the aim of offering younger drivers more affordable insurance policies. In exchange for lower prices, young drivers will make their data available to show that they practice defensive driving. The Bosch telematics solution thus promotes an economical and safe driving style.
Savings lives with augmented reality
Augmented reality connects the physical and virtual worlds with one another, and this makes it possible to create brand new work methods for the modern workshop. When employees point a smartphone or tablet camera at a vehicle, important additional information appears on a real image of the vehicle. This can include explanations such as operating instructions, circuit boards, three- dimensional objects, photographs, or videos. Such information makes it easier to detect malfunctions and work more efficiently.
Augmented Reality can also save lives. In cooperation with Daimler AG, Bosch has developed an app that helps fire fighters cut vehicles open. It is based on the Bosch Common Augmented Reality Platform (CAP), which can be used to create applications for a broad range of vehicle models. CAP thus enables the use of augmented reality on an industrial scale.
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The Automotive Aftermarket division (AA) provides the aftermarket and repair shops worldwide with a complete range of diagnostic and repair shop equipment and a wide range of spare parts – from new and exchange parts to repair solutions – for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Its product portfolio includes products made as Bosch original equipment, as well as aftermarket products and services developed and manufac¬tured in-house. More than 18,000 associates in 150 countries, as well as a global logistics network, ensure that some 650,000 different spare parts reach customers quickly and on time. In its “Automotive Service Solutions” operations, AA supplies testing and repair-shop technology, diagnostic software, service training, and information services. In addition, the division is responsible for the “Bosch Service” repair-shop franchise, one of the world’s largest independent chains of repair-shops, with some 17,000 workshops. In addition, AA is responsible for more than 1,000 “AutoCrew” partners.
Additional information can be accessed at www.bosch-automotive.com.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology.
The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at roughly 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”
Additional information is available online at www.bosch.hu