Following approval by the antitrust authorities, Bosch has completed its acquisition of the Service Solutions business of SPX Corporation. The agreement to purchase the U.S. automotive diagnostics specialist was signed in January this year. The Service Solutions business develops, manufactures, and sells service equipment, repair-shop accessories, and software for the global automotive market. Based in Canton, MI (USA), the Service Solutions business generated sales of some 920 million dollars (some 660 million euros) in 2011. The company employs some 2,800 associates in 17 countries, and has manufacturing sites in the U.S., Germany, France, and China. The purchase price is approximately 1.15 billion dollars (some 885 million euros).
“In acquiring the Service Solutions business, we will become a comprehensive supplier of solutions in the diagnostics and repair business. In expanding our portfolio and extending our global presence, especially in the U.S., we are strengthening our position,” said Robert Hanser, the president of the Bosch Automotive Aftermarket division. “We will quickly merge our know-how and wealth of experience in this growing market. Our aim is to become the world’s leading supplier of diagnostics solutions for all makes of vehicles.”
Network of core competencies for a growing market
With automotive electronics becoming increasingly complex, the market for diagnostics solutions has a great deal of potential for growth. Up to now, Bosch has served this market with products and services for diagnosing, servicing, and repairing passenger cars and commercial vehicles, with brand-independent workshops as its main customers. The portfolio of the Service Solutions business comprises engineering services for automakers, as well as accessories and services for workshops that are contractually bound to individual automakers. Combining these complementary areas of competence will provide Bosch with a wider range of customers and a broader portfolio, and open up new market opportunities, especially in Asia Pacific and European regions.
Areas to be merged in the new “Automotive Service Solutions” business unit
The business activities of the Service Solutions business will be integrated into the Bosch Automotive Aftermarket division, a leading supplier of aftermarket-specific products and services which generated sales of some 4.3 billion euros in 2011. As part of an integration project, the new “Automotive Service Solutions” business unit will be set up. The former Diagnostics business unit will also become part of this new business unit. All in all, these two business units generated sales of roughly one billion euros in 2011. Tanvir Arfi, who was president of the Service Solutions business for many years, will be in charge of Automotive Service Solutions and its 4,200 associates. The unit’s world headquarters will be in Canton, MI (USA). The European operations of Automotive Service Solutions will be managed from the Plochingen location in Germany.
The Automotive Aftermarket division (AA) provides the aftermarket and repair shops worldwide with a complete range of diagnostic and repair shop equipment and a wide range of spare parts – from new and exchange parts to repair solutions – for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Its product portfolio includes products made as Bosch original equipment, as well as aftermarket products and services developed and manufactured in-house. More than 11,000 associates in 140 countries, as well as a global logistics network, ensure that some 450,000 different spare parts reach customers quickly and on time. In its “Diagnostics” operations, AA supplies testing and repair-shop technology, diagnostic software, service training, and information services. In addition, the division is responsible for the “Bosch Service” repair-shop franchise, one of the world’s largest independent chains of repair-shops, with some 15,000 franchises. In addition, AA is responsible for more than 500 “AutoCrew” partners.