DETROIT - Robert Bosch GmbH, the world's second largest automotive supplier, enjoyed strong growth in North America last year. Its automotive sales rose more than 8 percent, to $4.2 billion.
Bosch expects additional growth this year as it launches a complete wheel-end assembly in September. It will supply all four 'corners' of a sport-utility vehicle to an unnamed North American automaker.
'This is very significant for Bosch,' said Hans Weckerle, president of Bosch Braking Systems-Americas. He made his comments during the SAE 2000 World Congress here.
Weckerle said the corners contract, Bosch's first such program in North America, is valued at more than $100 million and involves 10 sub-suppliers. The wheel-end assembly includes an aluminum steering knuckle, hub, bearing, brake rotor, splash shield and brake caliper.
Also, Bosch is preparing to be the first in North America to supply gasoline direct-injection systems. The company has at least one contract with a North American automaker that could offer it in other markets as well, said Robert Oswald, chairman, president and CEO of Robert Bosch Corp. of Broadview, Illinois, USA, a unit of the Stuttgart, Germany company.
Bosch's gasoline direct-injection program is used on the VW Lupo in Europe. Bosch's first North American program is expected on a 2004 model, Oswald said.
With gasoline direct injection, fuel injectors spray gasoline directly into the cylinder, instead of outside the cylinders in the intake plenum. The big payoff is better fuel economy.