Bosch Engineering Group, the Bosch Group’s provider of engineering services, now employs 2,000 associates. The system and software development company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH and develops tailored electronics systems and software for small-scale production – from high-performance sports cars to snowmobiles and trams. As Bernhard Bihr, president of Bosch Engineering, explains: “There’s nothing standard about our products – our customers get a tailored package of services and software every time. Each year, we complete 800 customer projects, developing individualized electronics systems that cater fully to our customers’ wishes and requirements.” When the company was founded in 1999, it had just 13 associates; on May 1, 2015, the company welcomed its 2,000th. And given the range of electrification, connectivity, and vehicle automation technologies on offer, and the call for large-scale automotive series production technology in off-highway, rail, and recreational vehicles, the company is expected to keep on growing in the future.
Customized digital solutions
Bosch Engineering’s success can be attributed to an inspired business model in which it supplies tailored solutions to various target groups: big automotive manufacturers looking for help developing and calibrating software for their expanding range of vehicle models; small, exclusive automakers looking for unique functionalities; and, increasingly, to other sectors of industry seeking to employ automotive technology. “Our development services are the digital equivalent of a tailored suit. We select components and systems from the Bosch Group’s extensive product range, adapt the software to our customer’s individual needs, and develop new functionalities. Only when the software fits perfectly and the customer is happy can we declare our job done,” says Bihr. It has proved a recipe for success. Each year, Bosch Engineering develops new vehicle dynamics functions for high-performance sports cars as well as engine management solutions for exclusive, small-batch production vehicles – from powerful 12-cylinder engines to fuel-efficient hybrid sedans.
From excavators to sports cars, snowmobiles to trams
Bosch Engineering started out with development services for luxury vehicles, studies, and special editions of series models; since then it has expanded its range of services to encompass commercial vehicles, off-highway applications, rail, recreational vehicles, boats, and even industrial applications. Already, 10 percent of the company’s sales are generated by customer projects such as developing a collision warning system for trams and light rail, or a control unit for fuel cell systems that can be used in airport baggage transporters. Bosch Engineering also possesses cutting-edge test facilities at its location in Abstatt and pools the Bosch Group’s motorsport activities. With this sort of diversity, it’s no wonder that the development specialist completes more than 800 different customer projects each year. “Bosch Engineering is your expert for anything mobile – from excavators to aircraft, from a single cylinder to twenty-four,” says Bihr of the company’s extensive activities.
Quick, flexible, and creative
Bosch Engineering’s primary asset is its 2,000 associates, who work in interdisciplinary teams with significant entrepreneurial freedom. The company employs an increasing number of academics with IT expertise alongside mechanical and electrical engineers. Bihr explains how this blend contributes to the company’s success: “Our associates understand system relationships across boundaries – for instance, how a hybrid powertrain affects driving dynamics. Our work is often not just about optimizing a single system within the vehicle, but about looking at the overall performance to get the best possible result for our customers.”
From 13 to 2,000
When it was founded in 1999, the company had just 13 associates. The 100th associate joined in 2000, the 500th at the end of 2003, and the company surpassed the 1,000 mark in May 2008. Bosch Engineering is now one of the leading providers of engineering and development services to the automotive industry, employing 2,000 associates across 14 locations in nine different countries, including Japan, North America, France, Austria, China, Brazil, Italy, and the UK. Most of the associates are located in Germany, with 1,650 working at the Bosch development center at company headquarters in Abstatt near Stuttgart, or else at one of the other German locations in Holzkirchen, Ingolstadt, Weissach, or Braunschweig.