Bosch happy with sales outlook
The Thai unit of German car parts maker and industrial services company Robert Bosch Ltd is optimistic about its sales outlook this year. The outlook is driven by the Thai government's big-ticket infrastructure development projects that are expected to help boost not only the economy but also industrial growth.
Managing director Joseph Hong said Thailand's new infrastructure projects are expected to start positively affecting the Thai economy from the second half of this year, while the automotive industry is also showing signs of recovery from domestic sales despite murky prospects for exports.
"The Thai economy is now driven by local investment and consumption. The government's national road map towards Thailand 4.0 will let us shape our future business and investment in the country in terms of pushing Bosch's engineering and R&D as well as improving technology to support a tailwind period in the Thai industry," said Mr Hong.
Mr Hong said Bosch has a long-term strategy to move into Industry 4.0 in alignment with the government's policy, which is expected to support a smooth transition for Bosch's business from being a global supplier of products and services to a leading provider of connectivity solutions in the Internet of Things.
"The strategy is enabling us to help the country make a difference in an increasingly competitive global economic landscape," he said, adding Thailand is the top revenue-generating market for Bosch in Southeast Asia for the fourth consecutive year.
However, Mr Hong denied to give any sales forecast for 2017.
Yesterday, Bosch reported domestic revenue rose 10.2% in 2016 to 11.9 billion baht.
He said Bosch has hired 1,234 employees in Thailand as of 2016 and invested close to €100 million in the country over the past five years.
Some €50 million were spent in 2016 on the third plant and automotive R&D centre at Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate in Rayong.
Mr Hong said the new plant has scheduled operations to start around the fourth quarter of this year, sooner than it had planned.
The plant will produce fuel injectors with an annual capacity of 1 million units and create 800 jobs.
Bosch established a market presence in Thailand in 1923 through its authorised distributors. In 1991, the company set up its first legal entity to directly operate its business in the country.
Today, Bosch runs four business divisions in the country: mobility solutions, consumer goods, industrial technology, and energy and building technology.
Two existing plants in Thailand manufacture automotive components at its facility in Amata City Industrial Estate in Rayong, and produce packaging machinery and hydraulic equipment at its plant in Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate in Chon Buri.
It also distributes spare auto parts, power tools, security systems, thermotechnology, electronic components needed for renewable energy, drive and control technology, and packaging technology.
Bosch Group posted worldwide revenue of €73.1 billion last year, an increase of some 5.5%.
The company expects 3-5% growth in the group's sales due to a subdued economic outlook and geopolitical uncertainty.