Bosch is to recruit around 100 engineers in the Midlands to support its services to the major UK-based car makers.
The recruitment drive follows a decision by the German company to establish a dedicated engineering centre in Birmingham. The facility, to be formally announced later this year, will work on powertrain developments and engine management technologies that Bosch hopes to supply to automotive firms such as Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin.
Peter Fouquet, president of Bosch UK, said: “We want to do more engineering in the UK. And we want to be closer to our customers.”
But he said that attracting the numbers of engineers required would not be easy. “It takes us four months on average to find the right engineer [for a vacant position]. The market is so dense. Everyone is looking for engineers.”
Fouquet said that Bosch was excited by technological development in the automotive sector. He said that the company saw a significant trend for downsized turbocharged engines and for assisted driver technologies such as drowsiness detection systems. He said the firm also welcomed the growing trend towards electric cars.
“However,” he said, “we still think that the combustion engine will be around for at least the next 20 years.”
Fouquet said that range anxiety remained a big problem for electric cars and that battery advances needed to be made before they became mainstream.
Bosch, which employs around 4,200 people in the UK, is also investing at its consumer goods facility in Stowmarket in Suffolk. It will start making a range of robotic lawn mowers in Stowmarket from September this year, to go on sale in time for the summer of 2013. The company is also developing lawn mowers with lithium ion batteries.
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