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September 4, 2009

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Bosch seeks 2nd spot with store move

BOSCH Group's home appliance division said it plans to open 500 outlets across the country as it seeks to become the No. 2 foreign player in the market before 2015.
By the end of the year, 150 outlets will be opened mainly in major retail and department stores.
"Bosch home appliances have grown by more than 50 percent annually since we entered China five years ago and we are among the top three makers in Shanghai," said Roland Gerke, president and chief executive officer of Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances Group China. "Now we have decided to target the high-end market by expanding the sales network."
The company has identified decoration projects for high-end apartments as a new driver for business growth as this sector is set to generate more than 10 percent of the firm's total revenue within five years.
Bosch, which entered China's home appliance sector in 2004, intends to grow aggressively to catch up with its Japanese peers such as Mitsubishi, LG and Panasonic.
But industry experts warned that their high prices may scare off customers even as the foreign brands boast high-tech products.
"Domestic brands still dominate the home appliance market as price is one vital factor," said Li Fuchun, secretary general of the Shanghai Household Electric Appliance Profession Association.
He added the high prices of most foreign brands would put off the huge number of consumers in China's rural areas.
Sweden-based Electrolux shut its factory in Changsha, Hunan Province this year after closing one in Nanjing in Jiangsu Province in 2004. The world's largest appliance maker, Whirpool Corp, shut its Shanghai plant this year.


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