Bosch warns coronavirus could hit global supply chains

Europe

STUTTGART — Robert Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner warned that the coronavirus could impact the supplier’s global supply chain, which is heavily dependent on China.

“We need to wait to see how things develop. If this situation continues, supply chains will be disrupted. There are forecasts that predict the peak for infections will drag on until February or March,” Denner told journalists on Tuesday.

“In Wuhan, Bosch has two plants making steering systems and thermotechnologies, with around 800 employees. There have been no reports of infections,” Denner said.

The CEO said the supplier was concerned but had not yet seen disruption to its business or supply chain.

Bosch is relying on China as a global manufacturing base for exporting electric motors, transmissions and power electronics for electric cars.

Bosch’s China plants have been shut for Chinese New Year and the holiday has been extended to Feb. 3, an extension which will not disrupt Bosch’s global business, Denner said.

Bosch has been in China since 1909 and has 23 automotive manufacturing facilities in more than 60 locations in the world’s largest auto market, which is home to the largest Bosch workforce outside of Germany.

Bosch employs 403,000 people globally.

The supplier makes multimedia infotainment systems in Wuhu; brake booster systems in Nanjing; automotive electronics for use in connected and automated driving in Wujin; and 48-volt battery systems in Wuxi.

Bosch produces EV motors, transmissions, and power electronics in Taicang.

Bosch sales in the Asia Pacific region reached 22.5 billion euros ($24.75 billion) last year, of which more than 10 billion euros came from China.

Bosch expects global automotive production to fall 2.6 percent to 89 million cars in 2020 due to a decline in demand in China, the U.S. and Europe. 

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