Starting up Down Under – Bosch production in Australia
As the economy started to recover following the second world war, attention at Bosch turned toward the successful projects that had been interrupted by the war – such as the manufacturing of spark plugs under license in Australia.
From manufacturing under license to joint venture
This worked out well, as consensus at the time was that the Australian economy should be less reliant on exports and instead focus more on local production. The Australian company Pyrox Pty Ltd, which started out manufacturing under license, later became a joint venture and began producing automotive equipment in Clayton, a suburb of Melbourne, in 1954.
When the new factory in Clayton started production, the name Bosch had long been a household word for Australians. At the beginning of the 20th century Messrs. A.E. Kemsley & Co. Pty Ltd sold Bosch products in Melbourne and Sydney. In 1922, August Hoette, managing director of later partner Pyrox Pty Ltd, established the Robert Bosch Supply & Co. Pty Ltd in Melbourne. This was a business relationship that persevered, even after Bosch completely acquired the joint venture in 1956.
Development, manufacturing, and distribution
Bosch in Australia expanded its distribution and manufacturing. In the field of research and development, too, pioneering work was done, as the example of electronic vehicle security systems shows. In this sector, Robert Bosch (Australia) Pty Ltd was the first regional company within the entire Bosch Group to take over worldwide product responsibility in 1993. This comprised development, manufacturing, and distribution.
Only three years later, the new product sector Bodywork Electronics was set up in Clayton, which also took over worldwide responsibility within the Bosch Group.
A Bosch center of competence for trailer safety was recently opened in Australia, which will host the development of solutions for the global market.
As a historian I have been working for the Bosch Historical Communications department for more than 20 years. For the same time I have been responsible for our history print media. Furthermore I am in charge of the historical movie archive and I am a contact person for questions regarding the history of Bosch in the Americas and the U.K. — I am especially happy to do this for the latter where I have lived for three years.