2011 was a successful year for Bosch in Romania. “Because of a 17 per cent growth in sales, which reached EUR 188 M, we managed to surpass the goal we had set for 2011 and thus we contributed to the positive global evolution of Bosch Group. The auto technology division and the communication centre in particular registered exceptional results,” Brigitte Eble, Robert Bosch SRL General Manager and Bosch Group representative in Romania, stated yesterday during a press conference. “We will significantly expand our presence in Romania and we will invest approximately EUR 120 M (EUR 43 M in Blaj and EUR 77 M in Cluj) by the end of 2013. The current plant in Blaj will expand by adding a new production line and a new range of products will be produced here – RPM sensors for the auto industry. Likewise, we will open a new centre in Cluj, where we will produce electronic command units for auto vehicles,” Eble added. Construction works started in March for the centre in Blaj and in May for the centre in Cluj. Nevertheless, Bosch representatives are realistic and expect the turnover to drop from EUR 188 M in 2011 to EUR 176 M this year. “We believe that in 2012 we will register a drop in turnover, a grounded drop considering that Renault has relocated production lines to Russia and Morocco and is delivering directly there. Until now that used to be made in Romania,” Brigitte Elbe, Robert Bosch SRL General Manager, stated. She pointed out that the relocation of Renault’s production will result in a EUR 8-10 M drop in Bosch Romania’s sales.
State aid consists of subsidies, not tax exemptions
Bosch will receive state aid for its investments in Blaj and Cluj, however the aid will not consist of tax exemptions but of subsidies based on the bills presented by the group, Bosch representatives being of opinion that the said projects would have been feasible even in the absence of support from authorities. “We made the calculations and the investment would have been efficient in the absence of this state aid too. The investments would have been worth it for us even in that case, but the state aid is welcomed. I believe this is a win-win situation,” the Robert Bosch SRL General Manager stated. Brigitte Elba stated that the Romanian state has set clear rules for this aid which is not implemented in other countries where the less advantageous option of tax exemptions is preferred. She pointed out that the state aid could reach EUR 375 per square meter of construction and up to 50 per cent of the equipment’s value, being conditioned by the investment’s overall evolution. The Group estimates that the level of investments for the construction of the announced projects stands at EUR 1,200 per square meter. “Usually we calculate a payback period of eight to ten years,” she added.In early 2012, Bosch Group had a number of approximately 1,300 employees in Romania. That figure grew by 14 per cent as compared to last year. Given the expansion of local production the company’s number of employees will grow by approximately 50 per cent by the end of 2013.