What is Bosch's presence in the region?
Establishing operations in strong locations is an important part of Bosch's global strategy. In 2011, Bosch opened its regional office in Panama to enhance business opportunities in Central America and the Caribbean. Since then, Bosch has been growing steadily in the region; we are in almost 14 countries and have consistently registered double-digit growth. Our growth comes mainly from three business sectors: automotive, where we are consolidating our distribution; power tools, where we have also increased our presence through traditional and home center distribution; and building technologies, which offers camera surveillance and audio solutions and where the growth has been exponential due to our participation in an increasing number of significant projects across the region, such as Line 2 of the Metro Panama, Amador Convention Center, Centro Cívico in Tegucigalpa, and APM terminal in Moín, Costa Rica.
What are the company's carbon neutral and mobility solutions aspirations?
As a German industrial company, we are conscious of our carbon footprint and we believe that acting now to compensate for it can play a significant role in achieving and promoting global climate neutrality. For this reason, Bosch aims to be fully climate neutral as early as next year. Regarding mobility, Bosch provides B2B solutions with the user in mind. Our products are meant to be “Invented for Life." As we have been more conscious of the user experience, we are transforming the way we do business. We started thinking about not just products, but also about our 3S strategy: sensors, software, and services. A product with an embedded sensor becomes interconnected. Adding software, we can enhance the IoT. We invested heavily in an IoT suite and recently launched our own Bosch cloud, which allows us to upload and download information from our connected products. All this encourages our developments in three areas of mobility: connected mobility, automated mobility, and power train systems and electrified mobility.
Where would you like to strengthen your market position?
The first is automated mobility and autonomous driving in particular. We are also working on electrified power train systems and IoT-based solutions for connected mobility. Together with Daimler, we launched a pilot robotaxi program in San Jose, California, becoming the only Tier-1 automotive supplier to enter the driverless ridesharing market. In electrification, we expect sales in electric powertrain solutions to increase dramatically. All automakers are working on this. Bosch implements technology across the board, from bicycles to trucks. Regarding the IoT field, demand for connected products is also growing. This market will be worth around USD250 billion in the upcoming years and, in order to grab a significant piece of that, Bosch is developing connected solutions in fields such as smart cities, Industry 4.0, mobility, and agriculture.
Which IoT technologies can best be implemented in Panama?
I would say that Panama has great potential in the field of Logistics 4.0. We are working with drivers to understand the real needs in Central America and the Caribbean so that we can shape our solutions accordingly. This is a change from the past, when we would just bring a product developed for the German market and almost impose it on other markets without taking into consideration relevant information of the user experience. One good example comes from Industry 4.0, where we promote retrofit solutions instead of brand-new machinery with full connection ability. We aim to make old machinery connectable by retrofitting them with sensors. The result is a significant reduction in investment and still a considerable improvement in the production process.
What are your main goals for 2019?
First of all, we are working on implementing our #LikeABosch lifestyle. We want to be recognized as an innovation driver that supports new initiatives related to disruptive fields. Hence, we still see many opportunities in our traditional business lines such as auto parts, power tools, and thermotechnology. Our target is to consolidate our presence in these markets, and our ambition is to consistently achieve double-digit growth.