Video: Bosch hails sensor-packed Indego robotic lawnmower as the shape of things to come
06:00 05 June 2014
Technology group Bosch has announced an 8.4% increase in annual UK sales to £1.8billion.
Peter Fouquet, president of Bosch UK, revealed the figure during the German-based group’s annual UK press conference which was held this year at the Stowmarket headquarters of its Bosch Lawn and Garden division, a member of the EADT/EDP Top100 listing of the 100 largest businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk.
Bosch is a major supplier of components to the automotive sector, which accounts for around two-thirds of its global turnover which last year totalled around 46.1billion euros.
It also supplies the industrial and energy sectors but is probably best known in the UK for its range of consumer products, including household appliances as well as garden equipment.
The Stowmarket event included a demonstration of its new Indego robotic lawnmower which is able to “learn” the shape of a lawn and calculate the most efficient route, making it 30% quicker than rival devices which follow a random path.
The Indego unit contains 13 different sensors, and Mr Fouquet said the growing application of sensors − of which Bosch is a major manufacturer − ranging from the remote control of domestic appliances to automated driving, represented a major element within the group’s future growth plans.
“Whether we are speaking of automated driving or the smart home, a new quality of comfort, safety and efficiency is developing, and Bosch is creating the technical conditions for this change,” he added.
Last year’s group turnover represented growth of 3.1%, based on a 2012 figure of 44.7bn euros, adjusted to reflect accounting changes. After adjusting for exchange-rate effects, group sales were 6.3% up on the previous year.
During 2013, Bosch spent around 4.5bn euros (about 10% of sales) on research and development worldwide and filed nearly 5,000 patents − equivalent to around 20 per working day.
In the UK, investment included the opening of Bosch Warwick Technology Park, alongside the University of Warwick, which offers dedicated automotive engineering services to car manufacturers in the Midlands.
The group plans to continue expanding its research and development capacity this year and by the end of 2014 expects to have around 45,000 researchers and engineers on board worldwide.