Robert Bosch has said it expects sales in its core car parts business to rise 10% in 2010, on growth in emerging markets and as carmakers build up inventory.

The world's biggest vehicle supplier saw sales slide 20% in 2009 to EUR22bn (US$31.5 bn) but  sees revenue returning to pre-recession levels of 2007 by 2012, Bernd Bohr, head of the car parts division, told a conference ahead of the New Delhi motor show.

The company has already descrived 2009 as one of the most difficult in its 125 year history, as the global recession hit car sales worldwide forcing it to cut jobs in Germany and overseas.

Bohr said: "Inventory adjustments have taken place in 2009 and [are] not likely to be repeated in 2010. We see continued growth in emerging markets."

But he added that recovery in developed markets such as the US, Europe and Japan would take longer, and sales there would likely touch 2007 levels only by 2015 or 2016.

A revival in the sales of mid- and large vehicles, which use more Bosch components than smaller vehicles, is also seen boosting growth, he said.

Bosch plans to invest INR20 bn (USD431m) in India between 2010 and 2012, largely to expand capacities and for research and development, the company said in a statement. Although it has not finalised its capital expenditure globally, Bohr said typically Bosch's annual spend was close to 5-6% of sales.