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New manufacturing facility for large wind-turbine gearboxes opened in Nuremberg - Bosch expands capacity of its wind-power operations


· Investment of 180 million euros by 2013

· Sign of confidence in the Nuremberg location

Nuremberg – With the official opening of its new plant in Nuremberg on April 29, 2009, Bosch has given the start signal for the second Bosch Rexroth manufacturing facility for large wind-turbine gearboxes in Germany. Together with Horst Seehofer, the Bavarian minister-president, and Dr. Ulrich Maly, the mayor of Nuremberg, the new facility was opened by Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.

“With this new plant for the manufacture of large gearboxes, we are continuing our investments in the promising market for renewable energies,” Fehrenbach said. “In the medium-to-long term, the wind-power market has good potential for growth, and even when times are difficult, we expand our activities in markets that offer a wealth of opportunities.” Up to 2013, Bosch will invest a total of 180 million euros in its subsidiary’s gearbox plant. Apart from the lead plant in Witten, this is the second manufacturing facility for large wind-turbine gearboxes in Germany. The production of planetary wheels and hollow wheels for gears was already rolled out in Nuremberg in January. And since March, large gearboxes have been assembled at a plant covering the surface of five football fields. In roll-out year 2009, the plant’s currently 280 associates will manufacture some 300 large gearboxes for the latest generation of multi-megawatt turbines.

“The decision by Bosch to extend its manufacturing operations in Nuremberg with this new plant is renewed evidence of Bavaria’s attractiveness as a business location,” said minister-president Seehofer. “In economically difficult times, this is a positive signal for the region and its inhabitants.”

In 2009, negative economic developments have also affected the wind-power industry, and braked growth considerably. “However, all the long-term forecasts continue to predict global growth for the wind-power market. As the world’s largest independent supplier of gearboxes and automation solutions for wind turbines, Bosch Rexroth will benefit from this market development,” said Reiner Leipold-Büttner, Member of the Executive Board, responsible for Engineering and Manufacturing at Bosch Rexroth AG. In this context, he referred to the manufacturing facility that went into operation in Beijing, China, last year. In 2008, the U.S. became the country to install by far the most new wind-power output, and has now surpassed Germany as the leading country for wind-power utilization. Encouraged by comprehensive incentive schemes, the U.S. market will continue to grow rapidly. “In the near future, we also intend to set up a local presence in the U.S.,” Leipold-Büttner said. Both China and India are making great efforts to expand wind power, and are catching up rapidly. The Global Wind Energy Council forecasts that installed wind-power output will triple by 2013.

The Bosch Group has been present in Nuremberg since the end of the 1950’s, and currently employs roughly 2,950 associates there. At this location, Bosch manufactures automotive components for gasoline indirect and direct injection, as well as for the control of automatic transmissions. And Bosch Rexroth manufactures not only large gearboxes for wind turbines there, but also external gear units for use in construction and agricultural machinery, as well as in fork-lift trucks.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, some 280,000 associates generated sales of 45.1 billion euros 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 3.5 billion euros, or eight percent of its sales revenue, 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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