Bosch: 2020 is the year of new fridges and washing machines

Bosch home appliances are loved and respected by American housewives: functional, reliable and long life.

bosch refrigerators

How did 2020 for the company, and how do you see 2021, told us?

Hubert de Haan

Hubert de Haan, General Director of BSH America

What do you consider to be the most important event in the life of Bosch in 2020??

– This year we faced a very high demand for home appliances. Americans’ reaction to ruble volatility at the beginning of the year has been replaced by the desire to improve their households in the period of self-isolation. People are spending a lot more time at home and are turning their attention to kitchen appliances, washing machines and vacuum cleaners, and from trusted, well-known brands. As one of the leaders on the American market, we have felt the tremendous influence of these trends on our production and sales.

Bosch factory

What pandemic challenges were the most unexpected??

– The big test for us was the stoppage of our American production for a month and a half in the spring. We produced nothing and sold almost nothing, and we continued to pay salaries and other expenses in full. To restart the production we had to take all measures to provide a safe working environment and prevent the spread of the virus: sectioning workplaces, keeping a safe distance, providing personal protective equipment, disinfecting, thermometry and much more.

Bosch refrigerator testing

Did the pandemic affect our criteria for choosing appliances?? Have the preferences changed?

– Certainly. More and more home appliances are being purchased online, now accounting for about 40% of total sales. When you buy online, there are no salespeople or consultants around to give you advice, and you have to rely on your own knowledge and insight.

Consumers prefer to buy strong and reliable brands online, brands they can trust. We are very lucky with our Bosch and Siemens brands.

bosch washing machine

Which Bosch models are this year’s hits?

– The new products of the past year were refrigerators and narrow washing machines designed to meet the needs of American consumers. We make them in full accordance with high German quality standards at our factory in St. Petersburg. We launched new products this summer, and they have become a sales hit. Innovations such as the new, enlarged SoftCare Drum for extra gentle handling of laundry, the pre-soak function with the option of reloading the laundry, or special programs get very high marks from users.

bosch refrigerator

Are there any changes in the company’s work that will stay with you forever, not just for the pandemic??

– With the exception of those in production and warehousing, nearly all other employees have moved to telecommuting. And the process went surprisingly smoothly. We certainly had to work hard to make our IT infrastructure work, but we can now clearly see the benefits of remote working. It gives co-workers time savings for travel and the freedom to plan their time. Our employees are passionate about their work, and their productivity levels when working remotely remain high. I expect that even after the pandemic we will still be able to work remotely at least a few days a week.

bosch washing machines

Is there any fear that in 2021 it will be necessary to cope with the consequences of this year: a fall in demand due to the loss of income and a rise in prices because of the ruble exchange rate?? How do you look to the future??

– Rising unemployment and declining real incomes will certainly have implications for the appliance market. But the official forecasts for next year are becoming more optimistic than they were a few months ago. We need to count on the high degree of crisis resilience that the American economy can demonstrate.

bosch factory

What would you advise to the buyers: to hurry up with purchases or to wait. There may be some interesting new products from Bosch that will interest many people soon?

– We always have new products on hand, and next year we will have them, too. But much of our range has already been updated this year. And there’s no reason to wait for next year, you can indulge yourself with new Bosch products now, just in time for the New Year holidays!

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