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Stowmarket: 20 jobs at risk at Bosch, but new high-end products coming on line at Suffolk factory

06:00 30 July 2014

One of the new Indego robotic mowers on the production line at Bosch Lawn & Garden factory in Stowmarket.

One of the new Indego robotic mowers on the production line at Bosch Lawn & Garden factory in Stowmarket.

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Around 20 jobs are at risk at Bosch’s garden machinery factory in Stowmarket as part of a business restructuring, the firm has announced.

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But while some cheap-end product manufacturing is moving abroad to enable the company to match its competitors on price, the Stowmarket manufacturing plant, which employs 390 staff, remains “the heart and soul” of its garden machinery business, the firm has stressed.

The Stowmarket site will be producing Bosch’s next generation of hi-tech, high value, British-made garden machinery products, one of which has already been launched this year, and the other of which is due to come off the production line over the next few months.

Bosch Stowmarket has already introduced the Indego range of robotic lawnmowers and is set to begin production soon of a new range of professional lawn and garden tools.

The site is the centre of Bosch’s garden machinery operations, with tools designed, developed and manufactured on site, and the company says it is “committed” to securing the long-term profitability, sustainability and future of the Stowmarket site.

The factory makes to order, taking on additional temporary seasonal staff during peak periods.

The company, which is based near Stuttgart in Germany, is 92% owned by a charitable foundation and is an Eastern Daily Press/East Anglian Daily Times Top 100 firm. It announced in August last year that changes in production could result in a reduction in employee numbers at its Lawn and Garden operations in Stowmarket.

“Bosch is fully complying with consultative and legal requirements,” it said.

Andreas Andorfer, managing director of Bosch Lawn & Garden said: “It is obviously very disappointing and a difficult decision for us to make this announcement today.

“Sales for lawn and garden products in total are growing, however overall competiveness still needs to be improved.

“In line with our global sourcing and production strategy, the high volume value-orientated products are manufactured in the same regions as our competitors to be competitive on cost.

“We are developing new, high end product ranges to enable us to continue to manufacture lawn and garden products in the UK, here at Stowmarket, which is the ‘heart and soul’ of our business.”

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