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Bosch developed a special navigation system for Volkswagen in China (Photo: Bosch)

Robert Bosch plans to acquire a majority shareholding in a Chinese maker of instrument clusters and infotainment systems.

In a move designed to strengthen its position in China and East Asia, the German automotive supplier said it is buying a majority stake in a joint venture company of automaker Chery and an Australian group, Atech Australia.

"Leveraging engineering expertise of Bosch, Chery and Atech, we can respond faster to the requirements of the local market”, said Uwe Thomas, president of Bosch's car multimedia division.

Growth in the Chinese car market is expected to slow down, but analysts believe automakers could focus on infotainment as a means of boosting car sales.

A recentsurvey by consultants Accenture found that Chinese drivers have a strong interest in seeing the latest technologies in their cars. "Demand for new cars and new technology could be important for sustaining the growth of China's car market," the Accenture consultants said in a summary of the study that was published in the China Daily.

According to press reports, Bosch will hold a 60 pc stake in the joint venture, Chery will have a 30 pc holding and Atech will keep the remaining 10 pc.

Terms of the Bosch acquisition weren't disclosed and the agreement is subject to regulatory approval.

Atech's infotainment business has annual sales of about 22 million euros and the JV employs 500 people.