Bosch invests €1bn in chip plant for self-driving cars
24 June, 2017
Robert Bosch, the world's largest car parts supplier, is to make the biggest single investment in its history, spending €1bn in a semiconductor plant in Germany. The factory in Dresden, Germany will start producing chips needed for autonomous vehicles, smart homes and Internet-linked city infrastructure in 2021, the company said last Monday in a statement, cited by Bloomberg. It will employ as many as 700 workers once construction is complete in 2019. “Expanding our production capacity will help us boost our competitive position,” CEO Volkmar Denner said.
The chips made in Dresden will be added to diverse Bosch products including airbag sensors, autonomous steering, pressure gauges and communication technologies. Bosch decided to build the factory in Dresden because of the supply of skilled potential employees. The factory is a new boost for the eastern German state of Saxony which has sought to rebrand itself as "Silicon Saxony" by attracting high-tech companies and scientists.
Robert Bosch already has a chip factory in Reutlingen in southern Germany and is a leading producer of sensors, but demand is expected to increase with the development of autonomous cars and the advance of more "smart" machines.
The Stuttgart, Germany-based company has been making chips for a range of products like smartphones for more than four decades. Last year, every car sold globally contained an average of nine chips made by Bosch, the company said.