Bosch to launch business unit for motorbike electronics
The new Two-Wheeler and Powersports business unit will be a subsidiary of Bosch’s existing Mobility Solutions branch. Unlike the latter which is based Germany’s motor capital Stuttgart, the new unit will be headquartered in Yokohama, the centre of Japan’s motorbike industry. It will bundle existing activities in the areas of driving safety systems, powertrain technology and bike cockpit systems with the goal of serving the individual needs of motorbike designers. In addition, the company plans to expand its bike-related product portfolio and strengthen its standing in this market. The new business unit will launch its activities "within a few weeks", explained a spokesperson; general manager will be Geoff Liersch.
Despite being headquartered in Japan, the business unit will address the global market for motorbikes through subsidiaries in the U.S., Europe, India and China. And it will not only address designers of motorbikes, but also of special leisure vehicles – such as quads, jet boats and snow mobiles.
According to Bosch, the global demand for affordable mobility is rising steeply. The company expects that by 2021 the worldwide bike production will amount to 160.000 million units annually, one third more than presently. The subset of the market that is relevant for the electronics supplier is even expected to double within this period. Relevant means driving safety systems, electronic controls for conventional and electric powertrains as well as display and infotainment equipment. A large portion of the growth will happen in Asia – about 90 percent of all motorbikes will be manufactured in 2021 will roll off an assembly line in China, India or Southeast Asia. This holds true particularly for small motorbikes with engine sizes of less than 250 cc.
The Two-Wheeler and Powersports unit will address this market with safety solutions such as antilock brakes or the MSC stability control, the two-wheeler version of the widespread Electronic Stability Program (ESP) for cars. Furthermore, electronic injection control systems, powertrains for electric motorbikes and interface logics for smartphone and tablets with cloud-based backend systems will be part of the product portfolio.
With its solutions, Bosch Two-Wheeler and Powersports intends to address urgent problems associated to two-wheel mobility. In the first place, this is safety – in 2010, accidents with two-wheel vehicles accounted for 285.000 fatalities. Another problem Bosch wants to address is exhaust gas emission. In Asia, many motorbikes are still equipped with a carburettor. The German supplier hopes to replace these simple solutions by its electronic injection and ignition control solutions, which promise a cleaner, more efficient fuel combustion.
In addition, the company will bring digital communications and infotainment technology to the market of the two wheelers. Planned are app-based solutions to control the immobiliser or to read out the error memory – features already common in the market for cars. The Bluetooth interface device or the connectivity control unit required to run such applications are already available.