Brose targets speedy growth in China, displays innovative concepts at Auto Shanghai

German supplier, which has 11 plants in China and has invested 735 million euros in the past 10 years, plans to increase its sales in China to over two billion euros by 2027.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 25 Apr 2023 Views icon3543 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Automotive supplier Brose is aiming to achieve further growth in China, in particular with local OEMs. The company is showcasing innovative concepts for new mobility experiences at this year’s Auto Shanghai, underway from April 18 to 27.

The family-owned company connects mechatronic products to create intelligent systems for its ‘Smart Comfort Solutions’, which form the basis for new features in all types of vehicles – whether two or four-wheeled.

“The Chinese automotive market is the largest in the world, is very tech-savvy and still has tremendous potential for growth. We want to take advantage of this with our innovations and grow stronger than the market in the region,” said Ulrich Schrickel, CEO of the Brose Group. Brose generated sales of about 1.3 billion euros with around 4,100 employees in China in 2022, which is approximately 12% more than in 2021. The supplier also won a number of orders from major Chinese carmakers during the same period. Of particular strategic importance were acquisitions in the segment for electric vehicles, including systems for frameless doors and seat structures.

Brose saw over 1,500 visitors to its stand in the first three days alone at Auto Shanghai being held from April 18-27. 

Brose saw over 1,500 visitors to its stand in the first three days alone, including international and local automotive manufacturers and representatives from the local government and the press. “I’m very pleased with the intense interest and the positive feedback we’ve received from everyone on our exhibition stand and our products,” said Ulrich Schrickel. “Numerous discussions with top customers confirm the strength of our position thanks to our advanced technology and broad portfolio of products.”

Smart sensor tech and software

In Shanghai Brose is showing how to create additional customer benefits by intelligently connecting individual components using sensor technology and software under the ‘Smart Comfort Solutions’ banner.

One of the main highlights is the BRAIN (Brose Access and Interior Network) software, which was developed specifically for this purpose. It can be integrated in the electronics and software architectures of a wide variety of vehicles and OEM systems.

Brose BRAIN software intelligently connects functions in the vehicle.

Standardised interfaces make it possible to control Brose products and even third-party components and flexibly integrate them into custom operating scenarios. When transporting large objects, for instance, BRAIN uses existing interior sensors to orchestrate seats and consoles to create maximum cargo space. Visitors can experience these new features live at the automobile show.  

Brose is also presenting intelligent ways to connect door components in Shanghai: the new system enables hands-free access via gesture recognition. The side door opens automatically; radar-based collision protection guarantees safe operation.

The ‘zero-gravity seat’ has likely generated the most interest so far among visitors interested in functional, flexible and comfortable vehicle interiors: this seat offers an ergonomically optimized, virtually weightless reclined position and thus many new opportunities for making vehicles even more comfortable. A newly developed rail system, called ‘long rail’, now also enables greater flexibility inside the vehicle. Also presented is Brose’s latest development, known as the SF3 platform for standardised seat structures, which is precisely tailored to the Chinese market. "We received our first production order from a major Chinese vehicle manufacturer directly at the trade fair stand yesterday," said Andreas Jagl, Executive Vice President Interiors of the Brose Group, adding, "Other carmakers have already expressed their interest in our new product."

The Chinese government’s ‘Dual Carbon’ target has resulted in a greater focus on environmental protection. Above all, it is driving the trend towards electrification in the automotive industry. Brose is presenting an integrated system for thermal management that actively controls the distribution of heat inside the vehicle. The system significantly increases the range of electric cars – without compromising on comfort. The new electric climate compressor with an operational voltage of 810 volts also shortens charging time to less than 30 minutes. 

Local-for-local strategy

Brose is following a systematic ‘local-for-local’ strategy in China. “With 11 plants, we are present in every relevant automotive region in China, which brings us closer to our customers,” noted Jie Xiang, President, Brose China. “To help shape the transition in the Chinese car market and quickly and efficiently serve the needs of OEMs, we are always enhancing our on-site research and development expertise – across our entire portfolio of products.”

Brose has invested around 735 million euros in total in China over the past 10 years. The family-owned company plans to increase its sales in China to over two billion euros by 2027 by offering customer-centric solutions. It expects at least one-third of this business to be with Chinese OEMs.

Including the joint venture Brose Sitech, the company employs more than 31,000 people at around 69 locations in 25 countries. In 2022, the Brose Group generated turnover of around 7.5 billion euros.

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