A short history of the Bosch brand

A wide range of tools

Bosch is probably one of the best known brands inelectrical installations and electronics. Above all, Bosch is not just about tools. Today, it is a powerful multinational that is present in the main sectors of industry. For example, it is one of the three major automotive equipment manufacturers. The company is also a consortium of brands, acquired over the years by the group to maintain its position in the market.

Its history

Its history is closely linked to that of its founder, Robert Bosch. Today, Bosch is still incorporated as a GmbH, the equivalent of a limited liability company French, but overseen by a foundation of public interest in order to avoid any drift. This means that the company, which has a turnover of over 50 billion euros, is not listed on the stock exchange. Decisions are made by the management board and thus by the Bosch family.

The company was founded near Stuttgart in 1886 when Robert Bosch returned to Germany after his studies. In his workshops, he develops parts for an engine manufacturer, Deutz. These were technical, precision parts. With the innovations that affected the automotive sector at the time, he developed the first low-voltage magneto ignition system. A process that revolutionized the automotive industry and allowed the young company to establish itself throughout the world in order to promote its techniques.

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Subsequently, Bosch developed the first headlight system for cars. It was called the "Bosch light" and was a car lighting system with its own power supply (a battery). On that note, other technical innovations are developed, always on the principle of electric autonomy. Among these :

  • turn signals (still in use)
  • the electric starter (which used to be cranked)
  • the windshield wiper

Each brand innovation has brought its own set of comfort and security for the passenger. This is what made Bosch famous and above all what made it so important. Even if there is a purely entrepreneurial character, it is important to note that Robert Bosch's philosophy was always turned towards others. He is credited with saying:

"I have constantly tried to provide work that satisfies any objective review, that is, the best possible. All of my activities have always been guided by the motto: It is better to lose money, than a client's trust."

Bosch logo

Bosch and tools

Between the two world wars, Bosch started to producehousehold appliances and tools. In 1933, Bosch launched a refrigerator on the market. A product that improved daily life. Other appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, home automation, etc. followed (post-war).

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The tooling and Bosch are not just about gardening or DIY. The story begins in 1928 with the launch of the first electric hair clippers for hairdressers. In this first model, the motor was integrated into the handle. It was only a few years later that the first electric hammer drill was launched. This was the first Bosch tool. After the war, many other electric tools for do-it-yourselfers were introduced.

Today, Bosch has two distinct ranges of tools. The range known as blue and the range known as green. The first one is aimed at professionals in the industry and building sector, while the second one is more focused on private individuals.

Bosch in numbers

Over the years, Bosch has taken over or acquired numerous companies around the world. Like Blaupunkt, Hawera, Skil or Dremel. So many brands that are at the top of their game. But Bosch is also dozens of companies that are part of the group such as :

  • Beissbarth
  • Robert Bosch Car Multimedia
  • Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte
  • Bosch Sicherheitssysteme
  • Robert Bosch Healthcare
  • Bosch Software Innovations
  • Bosch Battery Solutions
A wide range of tools
Bosch is mainly known for its wide range of tools for home and professional use

To date, the group employs 306,000 people worldwide, including about 120,000 people in Germany alone, its home country. These figures are unequivocal and make the company one of the largest GmbHs in Germany with a share capital of 1.2 billion euros and a revenue that exceeds the 50 billion euros (record year of 2012)!

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Bosch is also present in France on several sites (in total the brand counts 260 sites worldwide, including 80 in Germany) and employs more or less 10,000 people for a turnover of 3 billion! During the crisis, Bosch suffered dry losses of 1.2 billion and to regain its competitiveness, it had to lay off staff, including 310 people in France.

That said, Bosch is a strong brand, as is its reputation, and can boast that it has always been able to anticipate change. It's not for nothing that the head office boasts that "you'll never read in the press 'Bosch laid off 1,000 people'." And it's true! Despite the layoffs in France, a new call center was opened in the same year in France!

The Bosch brand offers a wide range of tools, consider taking a look at our dedicated guides carrying :