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Bosch plans to acquire AutoCrew GmbH


* Starting shot for global cooperation with ZF Services

* Extension of portfolio for wholesalers and workshops

· New strategic partnership between ZF Services and Bosch

· Addition to Bosch workshop activities

· AutoCrew to be launched worldwide

STUTTGART – The Bosch Automotive Aftermarket division plans to acquire AutoCrew GmbH, based in Schweinfurt, Germany. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of ZF Trading GmbH (ZF Services business unit). The purchase agreement was signed on February 18, 2009. It has been agreed that the purchase price will not be disclosed. The acquisition is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities.

The acquisition of AutoCrew marks the start of global cooperation between Bosch and ZF Services. In the future, data and technical information relating to all ZF Services products will be incorporated into Esitronic, the Bosch workshop information software. In addition, ZF Services will become a preferred cooperation partner for AutoCrew and the Bosch Car Service.

AutoCrew is the owner of the eponymous full-service concept for independent vehicle workshops. Workshops can put together the package they require from diverse service modules, ranging from technology, IT and management, to advertising. Across Europe, AutoCrew is the partner of some 600 workshops in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, with roughly 450 workshops in Germany alone.

“AutoCrew is a recognized brand in the workshop business. This concept will provide workshops and wholesalers with a further possibility of working together more closely with Bosch,” says Robert Hanser, president of the Automotive Aftermarket division.

In Bosch, ZF Services has found an established and forward-looking buyer for AutoCrew, and has set the stage for the further development and increased internationalization of the full-service workshop idea. For Alois Ludwig, chairman of ZF Services, the decision was not an easy one: “We had some very attractive offers for AutoCrew, which is first and foremost an indicator of the quality of this idea and its workshops. In the end, Bosch won the day with its business concept, which includes the internationalization we regard as absolutely essential.” The sale also met with the broad approval of AutoCrew’s workshop, industrial, and service partners, who were informed in advance of the planned deal.

In acquiring AutoCrew, the Bosch Automotive Aftermarket division hopes to extend its portfolio of concepts for workshops. In the future, AutoCrew will be run as an discrete concept, independent of the Bosch Service organization. The two systems will continue to maintain their own independent brands. Over the next few years, AutoCrew will be launched in new markets – first in Europe and then worldwide.

Apart from the supply, sale, and marketing of auto parts, the Bosch Automotive Aftermarket division focuses on supplying car workshops with diagnostic equipment, as well as on promoting and supporting the Bosch Car Service workshop concept, with its more than 14,300 garages worldwide. With some 5,000 associates, the Automotive Aftermarket division generated sales of roughly 3.5 billion euros in fiscal 2007.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. According to preliminary figures, some 282,000 associates generated sales of 45 billion euros in the areas of automotive and industrial technology as well as consumer goods and building technology in fiscal 2008. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiaries and regional companies in over 60 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Each year, Bosch spends more than three billion euros for research and development, and applies for over 3,000 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial.

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

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About ZF:
ZF is one of the world’s leading automotive industry suppliers specializing in driveline and chassis technologies. With a workforce of about 64,000 employees, the company operates 119 plants in 25 countries. With expected sales of 12.6 billion Euros (2008) ZF ranks among the world’s top-15 automotive industry suppliers.

ZF Trading GmbH, which provides the worldwide aftermarket industry with replacement parts, merged with the Sales and Service Organization of ZF Friedrichshafen AG in 2008 to become a new division. ZF Services combines the product brands Sachs, Lemförder, Boge, and ZF Parts with the services of the Sales and Service Organization and is present with around 2,500 people at 56 of its own sites in 34 countries.

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