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Bosch Next-generation Car Multimedia Systems


19 August 2010 - Many carmakers are wary of making huge investments or expanding their operations in  Malaysia because they can’t be sure if their business plans (often spanning 10 years) will be upset because the government suddenly makes changes in automotive policies. They prefer the consistency and reliability of policy-makers in countries like Thailand where there is assurance that whatever government rules and no matter how many prime ministers come and go, policies that have been put in place will not change.

For component manufacturers, however, it’s different as they face less discriminatory policies. Though there are usually strong suggestions that joint-ventures with local companies would be a good idea, they are not limited in how they can do business in the Malaysian market. So for the global players, Malaysia is a good place to put their factories.

An example of the willingness of a global player in the component-manufacturing sector to pick Malaysia as an export hub is Bosch which employs some 2,500 employees  - more than 60% of its workforce in Southeast Asia – in its Malaysian operations. With the increased demand for vehicles, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, business for Bosch is set to also grow and this calls for an expansion of its facilities in the region.

Manufactured locally since April, the Bosch Bosch today announced plans to make a wide range of next-generation car multimedia systems at its Penang plant as part of its strategy to establish a strong local presence in car infotainment.

Bosch is the first to locally make these devices, which are expected to comprise 70% of the plant’s production by 2013.

“With the thriving global car market, Malaysia will be our manufacturing base in the region to produce our latest car multimedia systems for customers worldwide,” said Robert Bosch (South-East Asia) president and managing director Cem Peksaglam, who is also managing director of Robert Bosch Sdn Bhd in Petaling Jaya.

Multimedia Compact device, seen in the new Jaguar XJ, has a dual-view touch screen display which can show two different images on one screen, for driver and passenger, based on respective angles.

For instance, the passenger can watch a film while the driver keeps an eye on the GPS navigation.

On top of "shortest route" and "avoid toll road" options, the device’s GPS navigation possesses an "eco mode" option that calculates the most fuel-efficient way to reach your destination.

Bluetooth connectivity interfaces to iPhone and iPod, MP3, DVD and TV support are also integrated into the device. These devices are currently only sold as original equipment to car manufacturers.

To assist production, Bosch is setting up a new research and development company in Penang. Established this month, it will focus on navigation, radio and electronic component development.

Bosch Group suffered a 15% drop in global sales for the last fiscal year because of the economic downturn. Sales for the first half of this year have however grown by 40% for Bosch Malaysia, compared to the same period last year.

As part of Bosch’s commitment to environmental protection in Malaysia, it has installed a 101 kilowatt-peak photovoltaic installation on the rooftop of its manufacturing facilities in Penang. A total of 130 megawatt-hours of renewable energy can be generated yearly. The panels will also be used to study the sensitivity and performance level of solar cells in tropical climate. Mr Peksaglam said that this project aligns with Bosch’s business philosophy in demonstrating social and environmental responsibility in its business operations.

He added that Bosch is also moving towards attaining green building status for its main administration building in Penang, along with the deployment of other forms of environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient measures throughout its entire manufacturing facilities, such as the use of modern LED lighting equipment. All these initiatives contribute to a smaller carbon footprint of Bosch in Malaysia with a total reduction of 450 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

Source: The Star


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