New business unit: Two-Wheeler and Powersports Bosch strengthens its presence in motorcycle markets around the world
BY :PRESS RELEASE
MARCH 25, 2015
Yokohama/Stuttgart – Bosch intends to reposition itself in the rapidly expanding global motorcycle market. The technology and services company is about to pool its motorcycle activities from the areas of riding safety systems, powertrain technology, and display instruments into one business unit, the newly formed “Two-Wheeler and Powersports.” The objective is to address the individual requirements of motorcycle manufacturers worldwide even more effectively. What’s more, Bosch is looking to expand its product portfolio and strengthen its expertise in two-wheeler system solutions. “Bosch technology for more efficiency and safety should be part of any car, and in the future, the same will go for motorcycles,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management at Robert Bosch GmbH. “We are aiming to become a leading supplier in the motorcycle market, too.”
Two-Wheeler and Powersports is part of the Bosch Mobility Solutions business sector. With its headquarters in Yokohama, Japan – the very heart of the international motorcycle industry – and branches in the United States, Europe, India, and China, Bosch has a global reach here. In addition to powered two- wheelers, it is planned that the new business unit will serve the market for special-purpose vehicles such as quads, personal watercraft, and snowmobiles. The unit, which is starting off with about 40 associates, can draw upon a worldwide network of several thousand colleagues plus the manufacturing capacity of the Mobility Solutions business sector.
Market expected to double within five years
Globally, the need for affordable mobility is on the increase, and this is pushing demand for powered two-wheelers. Studies indicate that by 2021, more than 160 million two-wheelers will be produced annually – a third more than today. “The portion of the market relevant for Bosch, which covers driving safety systems, powertrain technology, and displays and infotainment systems, will double over the next five years,” Hoheisel says. Most of that growth will take place in Asia, studies suggest, predicting that in 2021, nearly 90 percent of all powered two-wheelers will be made in China, India and South East Asia. That group consists mainly of small motorcycles with engine displacement up to 250 cubic centimeters, one of the most common modes of transport throughout large parts of Asia.
The future of the motorcycle is safe, clean, and connected
Bosch components service the entire two-wheeler spectrum: from those in Asia’s lower price segment to powerful machines with over 1,000cc displacement, for which demand is strongest in Europe, Japan, and North America. The new business unit offers safety solutions such as ABS and Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC), a type of ESP for motorcycles. Bosch is the market leader for motorcycle safety systems. The portfolio also includes electronically controlled injection systems, powertrain components for electric two-wheelers and interfaces for connecting motorcycles with smartphones or tablets as well as connected cloud services. “Our systems put even more safety, efficiency, and fun to ride into the motorcycle,” says Geoff Liersch, head of the new Bosch business unit.
With all of these features Bosch provides solutions for the most pressing challenges of the global motorcycle market: many countries are passing stricter emissions legislation, and more and more two-wheeler riders are involved in fatal accidents. In 2010 alone, more than 285,000 people died in accidents around the world. In Indonesia, nearly 11,000 motorcyclists, making one third of all the road fatalities, die annually in traffic accidents. Such an exceptional figure is a matter of grave concern and needs to be addressed. Bosch in Indonesia has recently done a research on motorcycle safety targeting Indonesian motorcyclists as respondents. One of the most interesting research results is, despite the high number of road fatalities in Indonesia, only 1% of Indonesian motorcyclists feel unsafe while riding. “This result shows that people are unaware of the dangers of riding a motorcycle in Indonesia. This adds to the number of reasons why motorcycles need to be made safer than before. At Bosch we have a very strong Research and Development team to enhance the safety of our products,” said Nazari Mohd Jemadi, Senior Manager Sales of Original Equipment for Bosch Indonesia.
Bosch also sees the opportunity to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents in Indonesia through the application of the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) for motorcycles. Having assessed multiple analyses of accidents, Bosch believes that the ABS is able to prevent a quarter of all serious and fatal motorcycle accidents. “When braking hard or on a slippery surface, the ABS will keep the bike stable and reduce the braking distance. Motorcycles come to a much safer stop,” Nazari explained.
Modern Bosch technology reduces fuel consumption
Along with safety, the desire for fun, fuel economy, and connectivity are key drivers of Bosch’s motorcycle business. In Asia, many two-wheelers with internal-combustion engines are still fitted with a simple carburetor, whereas Bosch employs its electronically controlled injection system. By comparison, this system can cut fuel consumption by up to 16 percent, depending on conditions and environment. “This is how we are helping to reduce emissions in countries such as China, India and Indonesia,” Liersch says. At the same time, Bosch is giving two-wheelers digital intelligence with its engine control solutions. In conjunction with a smartphone app, these make it possible to activate the immobilizer, or read out fault memory. Bosch also offers the Bluetooth interface or connectivity control unit needed for these applications.