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Starting up Down Under – Bosch production in Australia

Old Sales Office of Bosch 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.

Old acquaintances

Bosch production site in Melbourne, 1960
Bosch production site in Melbourne, 1960

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.

The Headquarter of Bosch in Australia, 2016
The Headquarter of Bosch in Australia, 2016

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.

Christine Siegel

As a historian, I have been working in historical communications at Bosch for over 20 years. I have been responsible for historical print media for the same length of time and am now also part of the online editorial team. In addition, I am the contact person for questions regarding the history of Bosch in the Americas, on the Iberian Peninsula and in the U.K. — for the latter, I am particularly happy, because I lived there for three years.

Photography of Christine Siegel

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