Bosch returns to pole position as automotive supplier

April 05, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
For the automotive electronics industry, 2015 has been a year of strategic realignment amidst strong growth. According to a study from consulting firm Berylls Strategy Advisors, Bosch has recaptured the position as the number one supplier against Continental after ranking second for five years.

With sales growth of 13.7 percent for the entire industry branch, 2015 was a strong year for automotive electronics. At the same time, the companies in this industry prepared for imminent technological and business challenges such as emission reduction, electromobility, establishing new standards such as the 48V split-voltage supply or software security. All these challenges stimulated technology development, states Berylls partner Jan Dannenberg.

The strategic realignment of many market players is reflected in a host of takeovers, mergers and demergers at all levels of the supply chain. Examples are Bosch’s takeover of battery expert company Seeo and the acquisition of TRW Automotive through ZF Friedrichshafen. Bosch helped the acquisition to regain the number one position in this market whereas the TRW takeover catapulted ZF from the 11 th to the 6 th place. (Other studies name ZF as the worldwide number two. The difference is owed to the different definition of the market: Beryll’s scenario includes manufacturers of all industry branches including tires). In contrast, Johnson controls, long-standing number 7 in this market, dropped back significantly as a consequence of selling its interiors and seats business. Overall, these moves led to the situation that today no American company part of the top ten, whereas three of the five largest suppliers now are German companies. A sales hike of 20.5 percent in its automotive business caused chipmaker Infineon to be represented among the top 100 for the first time.

The overall sales volume of the automotive supply business reached a value of 789 billion euros (roughly $900 billion), the study says. And despite the slump in the Chinese market (the consulting company calls it “normalization”) Berylls analyst Tobias Keil expects that 2016 the growth will continue, albeit at a lower level – somewhere between 5 and 10 percent, the analyst estimates.


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