Exclusive Exclusive: Bosch Faces Slow Growth amid Dieselgate Fallout

The weak growth outlook for German auto parts maker Bosch didn’t improve in the second quarter, Chief Financial Officer Stefan Asenkerschbaumer told Handelsblatt in an exclusive interview. “We haven’t gotten any tailwind when it comes to growth,” Mr. Asenkerschbaumer told Handelsblatt. In April, Bosch projected growth on the low end of between three and five percent. Looking ahead, returns will remain stable, Mr. Asenkerschbaumer said. In 2015, Bosch saw revenues of €70 billion ($77 billion) and a profit of €3.5 billion after taxes. The slow growth comes as Bosch faces lawsuits over alleged complicity in Volkswagen’s emissions-rigging scandal. The auto parts maker supplied software that Volkswagen manipulated to cheat emissions tests in the United States. Bosch has set aside €650 million to cover the legal fallout. “Bosch intends to decisively defend itself against the claims in the civil proceedings,” Mr. Asenkerschbaumer told Handelsblatt. He also downplayed concerns that Volkswagen would demand a 10 percent discount on parts to help cover the costs of the emissions-rigging scandal. “You can lead the discussion in both directions,” Mr. Asenkerschbaumer said. Good negotiations aren’t just about setting a target price, but much more about understanding the total picture when it comes to reducing costs through specifications, materials and optimizing the value-added chain, he added. Read the full story in Handelsblatt’s Tuesday edition at 12:00 CET