By Clarist Zablan
German technology firm Bosch said it will invest 300 million Euro (P17.27 billion) on artificial intelligence in the next five years to increase safety in today?s tech-equipped vehicles.
The company is a major supplier of various technology components that are being used by carmakers to make their vehicles smarter and connected to the Internet. Bosch said AI would significantly increase vehicle safety, noting that motorcycles accounted for over half of road traffic deaths in Asean.
The company said one of the most substantial impacts the automotive industry can make is to produce safer vehicles equipped with modern safety systems that prevent or minimize the incidence of road accidents, such as Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) or Electronic Stability Programs (ESP). In 2016, Bosch introduced ABS for small 2-wheeler vehicles ? an ideal development in Southeast Asia for markets like the Philippines, where small motorcycles are most common.
At the same time, the company announced that Richard Walker will succeed Andrew Powell as managing director for its Philippine operations starting July 1. Powell has been appointed as the new managing director of Bosch Indonesia.
The local subsidiary said it plans to expand its business to Iloilo and Baguio City this year, after opening its Cagayan de Oro business hub in 2016.
“We are growing our business, or we are growing our organization here in the Philippines. We believe the provinces got their own needs and they got their own potential,” Powell said.
Bosch said its 2016 sales in the Philippines was 13-percent higher than the previous year, earning $56 million (P2.8 billion). According to Powell, this is the third consecutive year for their Philippine market to have double-digit growth.
“In Asean, the Philippines is seen as one of the best-performing markets for Bosch. The country has really stable GDP growth,” he added. As a result, the company has increased the number of its local staff by 16 percent to 530 associates in 2016.
Bosch’ global sales is 73.1 billion Euros, which is 3.6% higher from last year. Europe contributed 53% of the sales while Asia and the Pacific contributed to 28%. Overall, the company is expecting a sales growth of 3-5% for 2017.