Bosch Group aims to achieve above-average growth in Asia Pacific over the next few years, with a target of EUR22bn in sales by 2015.

"By then, we want our Asian business to contribute a strong 25% to total sales," said chairman Franz Fehrenbach at the opening of a new headquarters facility in Seoul, South Korea.

Bosch expects its Asian sales to rise 8.5% to EUR7.4bn in 2007. The high level of capital expenditure of recent years will continue with plans to invest a further EUR1.4bn in Asia between 2008 and 2010.

EUR1.4bn was spent in the region between 2005 and 2007. The company will expand its manufacturing facilities and network of development and application centres focusing on automotive technology that protects the environment and conserves resources.

"Asia Pacific is one of the drivers of our growth. We have a strong presence here and the right products to allow us to continue to grow dynamically with out customers in the future," Fehrenbach said.

Bosch Group now has 58 sites in the region, employing 50,000 and expects further growth with approximately 7,000 people working at 18 research and development sites.

"Bosch has had firm roots in Asia for a long time now. This means we know the markets very well, as well as our customers' requirements," Fehrenbach noted.

Bosch has operated in China since 1909, in Japan since 1911, in South Korea since 1920, and in India since 1922.

'Green' technologies are seen as the main growth driver in Asia as half of global GDP growth is likely to be accounted for by the Asia Pacific region over the next few years.

By 2015, the region's economic output will reach the level of Europe and North America as the region's population hits 4.4bn.

Stricter environmental standards mean that efficient injection systems will increasingly be required in Asia and Bosch sees that as an opportunity for clean diesel engines and economical petrol systems. In addition, the demand for safety will increase significantly, with ABS and ESP becoming established.

In Suzhou, China, Bosch is currently spending about EUR100m expanding its production of airbag, ABS, and ESP control units. Also in China, the company out Asia's largest winter test circuit into operation just a few months ago.

Bosch also expects that the low-price vehicle segment will become even more significant. In 2015, it is expected that the global automobile market share of these low-price vehicles - with a net price less than EUR7,000 - will be over 15%. That translates to annual growth of roughly 6%: twice the rate of the total automotive market.