Bosch has reopened its French headquarters as an innovation campus at the existing location in Saint-Ouen. In doing so, the supplier of technology and services is underscoring its confidence in the future of the country. At the partially redesigned location on the northern edge of Paris, a bridge leads from the old building to a newly constructed main building that encourages greater knowledge sharing through large, open spaces. “As a result, we are also symbolically building a bridge between our 118-year tradition in France and our ambitions for the future in this country,” Bosch board of management member Uwe Raschke said at the opening ceremony for the new complex. “Especially in established markets in western Europe, Bosch is looking to inspire people with innovative products and solutions. By redesigning our French corporate headquarters, we have created the conditions for a freer, more interdisciplinary way of working – and therefore for more enthusiasm, creativity, and progress,” Raschke said.
Bosch has invested a total of 19 million euros in the new main building. Its roughly 5,000 square meters of floor space accommodate up to 300 of the location’s 1,300 associates, including administrative associates and developers from the subsidiary Bosch Engineering GmbH, who will be joined in the future by sales teams from BSH Hausgeräte GmbH. In addition to open exchange and creative zones, smaller focus rooms offer quiet spaces for individuals and groups to concentrate. A showroom allows the company to present its latest products and solutions. The designers also took environmental aspects into consideration: the new building consumes roughly 25 percent less energy than the current standards under French law. Following the opening of the new building, additional parts of the current complex in Saint Ouen are slated for remodeling by 2020 at the latest.
Bosch in France
Bosch manages its activities in France from the new regional headquarters. Since the start of the year, the location has also been responsible for the Benelux region. The company has had a presence in France since 1899 and opened its first manufacturing plant outside Germany in the country in 1905. With sales of around 3 billion euros, France – the third-largest market in Europe and the fifth-largest market worldwide – is of strategic importance to the company. Bosch employs around 7,700 associates in France, some 10 percent of whom are researchers and developers, and is the largest German employer in the country. The company has invested more than 350 million euros in France over the past six years (2011–2016), primarily in the development and advancement of its production sites. Bosch places a particular focus on Industry 4.0 solutions. One example is the ActiveGlass invented at the plant in Vénissieux. The smart glasses are used in the quality assurance of control components for off-highway vehicles such as excavators. They enable more precise control than in the past in about half the time.