STUTTGART -- The stimulus programs in industrial and developing countries will yield results later this year, says Robert Bosch CEO Franz Fehrenbach.
There is a chance that the global economic outlook will stabilize in the second half of the year, he said. Nonetheless, global vehicle production will decline about 10 percent in 2009.
As the worlds largest auto supplier, Bosch is especially affected by the industry crisis in Europe, the US and Asia.
Bernd Bohr, the head of the companys automotive technology division, says his units business fell 25 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.
Overall, the company fears there will be a painful revenue decline in the first half of the year. Fehrenbach said it will take great effort to keep our profitability halfway stable at a low level .
Bosch hopes it wont slip into the red despite the worst economic decline in Germanys postwar history.
In view of the uncertainties, Fehrenbach said he didnt feel in a position to make a more precise prediction for 2009. Actually, we dont currently have an approved business plan, he said.
The year 2008 was not very encouraging for the company. According to preliminary figures, Bosch groups total sales fell
2.8 percent to 45 billion compared with 2007. The greatest decline was in the vehicle business, which was down 7 percent.
Bosch ranks first on the Automotive News Europe list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide parts sales to automakers of $36.16 billion in 2007.