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Annual report 2023

Foreword of Bosch annual report 2023

The illustration shows a graphic with colored lines, the representation of the title of the Bosch annual report.
Portrait of Stefan Hartung

Today’s radically changing market calls for a strategy that is as clear as it is flexible and adaptable. It also calls for considerable tenacity.

Stefan Hartung, chairman of the board of management

Ladies and gentlemen,

“Crossroads,” the title of this year’s annual report, stands for the many fundamental decisions Bosch has to make with respect to its future course. In continuing our strategy, our sights are fixed on our aim, as a leading technology company, of helping shape tomorrow’s world with innovations that are “Invented for life.”

In this context, we believe that our technological diversification — from mobility via industrial technology and consumer goods to energy and building technology — puts us at an advantage. As the past has repeatedly taught us, it contributes to our company’s robustness and thus, in line with the mission handed down to us by the company founder Robert Bosch, to its independence. In times of upheaval, however, this diversification demands a lot from us. For when the markets in diverse areas of business are changing in many different ways — whether with respect to electrification, automation, connectivity, competitive structure, or even political environment — achieving our aims becomes a tough ask. And even if trends are clearly visible, it is frequently difficult to estimate how quickly they will take hold, not least because of snowballing regulations. This makes it more difficult to steer upfront investments and to make adjustments to our traditional business. What is required, therefore, is decision making in the face of considerable uncertainty, coupled with the willingness to regularly reconsider those decisions and, if necessary, revise them.

Nonetheless, we made further progress toward our goals in 2023, even though our strategic challenges were compounded by the lack of any economic tailwind. We achieved our business targets, as the published figures show. And in many fields, we also strengthened our market position through acquisitions and partnerships, whether in semiconductors, in mobile hydraulics for industrial technology, or as a systems integrator in building technology. In 2023, moreover, we did a lot of groundwork to make Mobility, our biggest business sector, organizationally fit for fundamentally changing market requirements and the technological challenges of the future. In doing so, we firmly believe that we are creating the basis for a strong position as a future mobility provider.

Not only in 2024, but also in the years that follow, the road ahead will remain a demanding one for us. One core task is to make new technologies such as electromobility and the fuel cell economically viable. But it is not only these technologies we have to focus on. We are also working to improve our traditional business — the business in which we are currently successful and earn our money. This includes systematically carrying out any reorganization measures that are necessary. During phases of transformation in particular, there is also a need for active portfolio management. Yet some of our extensive adjustment measures will only bear fruit in future years. Our aim is further growth – through innovations, partnerships, and also acquisitions. At the very least, we want to roughly maintain our improved level of earnings in 2024, and to significantly surpass it in the years ahead. And through the highly efficient use of our capital resources, we want to secure the financial leeway we need for the inorganic growth of our business fields.

We will tackle the tasks ahead with confidence and respect. In doing so, we can rely on a strong team of more than 400,000 associates. We owe them, as well as our business partners and customers, our thanks. I would also like to thank you, our readers, for your interest in this year’s annual report. For us, it has traditionally always been more than a statement of accounts. Beyond our business figures and targets, we want to provide some insights into the ambitions we have for ourselves and our company.

With best regards,

Dr. Stefan Hartung
Chairman of the board of management

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