Bosch Charleston started producing electric motors this month. But the company needs more space and more people.
So Bosch announced today that it will invest more than $260 million to further expand production of electrification products at the North Charleston facility, which the company calls Bosch Charleston, an investment that will add 75,000 square feet and 350 new jobs to the site by 2025.
“We have grown our electrification business globally and here in the North American region,” said Mike Mansuetti, president of Bosch in North America. “We’ve invested more than $6 billion in electromobility development and in 2021 our global orders for electromobility surpassed $10 billion for the first time. Local production helps to advance our customers’ regional electrification strategies, and further supports the market demand for electrification.”
The company already dedicated about 200,000 square feet of an existing building on the Bosch Charleston campus to electromobility. The new assembly area includes the production of rotors and stators, and the final assembly of the electric motor.
The company also said it has secured additional electromobility business that makes the expansion necessary. The expansion is expected to be operational by the end of 2023.
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The Bosch site in North Charleston Charleston supports multiple products from the Bosch Mobility Solutions portfolio, according to the news release. The site produces high-pressure fuel injectors and pumps for internal combustion engines. It also manufactures safety-related products.
The Bosch Charleston facility, which opened in 1974, is the largest manufacturing site in the United States for Bosch from an employment perspective with around 1,500 associates. It covers more than 900,000 square feet of floor space on 118 acres.
The electric motor production space is in a building formerly occupied by diesel components production. Bosch announced in January 2020 that production of diesel powertrain components would be slowly ramped down. The company indicated then it would pursue electrification business.
“This launch delivers on a commitment to our associates and to the local community in Charleston,” said Mansuetti, who started his Bosch career as a manufacturing engineer at the Charleston facility. “We are in the midst of major shifts in mobility, and the story of reinvention in Charleston is a model for how electrification production can evolve from within an existing facility. We are building on the long-standing expertise and commitment of the Charleston team with this new production.”
In August Mansuetti also delivered future-leaning news to the Anderson plant he once managed, where the company will invest more than $200 million and hire 350 workers to produce fuel cell stacks to be used in hydrogen-powered trucks.
As part of the Charleston site transformation, called Bosch Charleston, the company has provided reskilling and upskilling opportunities to employees to prepare for the production of electric motors. Those opportunities include travelling to other sites within the global Bosch production network for training and best practice sharing, according to a news release.
Bosch is also collaborating with local schools to begin implementing fundamentals related to electrification into curriculum. The Bosch Community Fund, the corporate foundation for Bosch in North America, has invested more than $2.5 million in grants related to STEM education efforts in the Charleston area since 2013, the release said.
As its orders in electromobility continue to increase, the Bosch global production network has been ramping up to support the expanding demand for electrification. Local-for-local production supports a robust supply chain approach for local customer needs.
“We have long been believers in the potential of electromobility and we have been investing heavily to bring this technology to market at scale for our customers,” Mansuetti said in the release.