50 years of BSH Hausgeräte GmbH
Welcome to the BSH history wiki, the information pool spanning 50 years of BSH!
The database contains texts on milestones in the company’s history and in product development. The history of BSH is brought to life through historical pictures and exciting facts. This wiki was created in close association with the BSH Group Archive.
You will find the key facts and figures on how the company BSH Hausgeräte GmbH evolved from Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH to become one of the world’s leading home appliance manufacturers.
Chronological History of BSH
1967-1978: Establishment and national consolidation
The home appliance market was in crisis in the mid-1960s. To improve their competitiveness in this sector and overcome the challenges of the European market, Robert Bosch GmbH and Siemens AG sealed their collaboration officially on January 13, 1967 to form Bosch and Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH (BSHG). The success of the joint undertaking bolstered confidence. The parent companies Bosch and Siemens began to take steps in 1972 to make BSHG an independent company. The move was completed by 1978. The opening of the central BSHG administration building in Munich Hochstraße represented a clearly visible sign of the merger. More
1979-1983: National growth
The consolidation of the previous years came just in the nick of time. The German economy and home appliance business was stagnant at the beginning of the 1980s. Despite this, BSHG not only managed to hold its own on the market, it even increased its market share still further. The situation was boosted by the sensational insolvency of the company’s largest competitor and sector leader AEG. BSHG expanded its portfolio with the addition of the well-known Neff brand, a former subsidiary of AEG. More
1984-2002: Sustainability and internationalization
The strong position on the domestic market allowed BSHG to press ahead with its goal of developing systematically into a global company. Sales subsidiaries were established and factories built in countries with growing home appliance markets. Strong regional brands were affiliated with BSHG through joint ventures or acquired. In addition to the European expansion, the company entered the American and Asian market in 1994. BSHG expanded its portfolio in Germany with the addition of tradition-steeped home appliance manufacturer Gaggenau based in Baden. More
2003-2013: International consolidation
At the turn of the new millennium, BSHG, now called BSH, embarked on a course of modernization. The corporate mission was revised, while business conduct guidelines and diversity management were introduced. Despite tension in the world economy, BSH was able to expand internationally and develop new forward-looking markets. Attention focused especially on growing business abroad in Eastern Europe and North America. BSH also began stepping up its involvement in the Arab world in 2010, thus developing a strong international network over the years that guaranteed financial security and economic success. More
2014 – now Setting a new course
With the slogan BSH/NextLevel, BSH embarked on a course of strategic realignment, one of the main objectives of which was to focus consistently on the consumer. Greater attention was to be paid in future to the different needs of consumers regionally in terms of development, sales and service. At the same time, efforts would also focus on promoting the digital transition. Digitalization meanwhile was playing an increasingly significant role for purchasing, usage and service. More
BSH brands and products
History of the BSH brands
The BSH brands convey passion and are among the strongest on the home appliance market. The core brands Bosch and Siemens have been there right from the start in 1967. Neff became part of BSH in 1982, while Gaggenau was added to the portfolio in 1995. Backed by a long history in their own regions, Local Heroes such as Balay in Spain (1988) and Zelmer in Poland (2013), but also Constructa, known for the first fully automatic washing machine in Germany, now additionally benefit from the expertise of the BSH technology centers. The brand portfolio allows BSH to offer a wide range of products for a variety of different customers and needs.
The history of the company Bosch dates back further, to 1886, when Robert Bosch opened his “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering” in Stuttgart. Now a global concern, the company started out as a small production, maintenance and repair business.
Siemens AG can trace its origins back to the “Telegraphen-Bauanstalt von Siemens & Halske” company, which was founded in Berlin on October 1, 1847. With the discovery of the dynamo-electric principle in 1866, Werner von Siemens was regarded as one of the founders of electrical engineering.
Gaggenau Hausgeräte GmbH can look back on a long history. In 1683, Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm of Baden founded an ironworks in Gaggenau to make nails and other household goods. By the end of the 19th century, an iron foundry and enameling plant had been established at the site in addition to the smithy, where a broad range of different products was manufactured. The company became part of BSH in 1995.
Master mechanic Carl Andreas Neff founded “Carl Neff Herd- und Ofenfabrik” (cooker and oven factory) in Bretten in Germany’s Baden region in 1877. At the end of the 1960s, the company was taken over by AEG and in 1982 became part of BSH. Neff still specializes to this day in the manufacture of cookers, ovens and extractor hoods.
The regional BSH brands embodied the successful concept of the company – cutting-edge technology developed for the needs of customers locally. These Local Heroes have been part of BSH’s history from the very beginning. Constructa is one the local brands in Germany. Outside of Germany, Greek company Pitsos became the first regional BSH brand in 1976. It was followed by Balay in Spain, Profilo in Turkey, Coldex and Thermador in South and North America. The Polish company Zelmer, a company rich in tradition, has been part of BSH since 2013.
Products and their history
The BSH products offer reliability and outstanding quality. They are developed and produced on the basis of technological expertise and in-depth knowledge of customer needs. In this respect, BSH follows the tradition of its parent companies Bosch and Siemens: The first Bosch refrigerator conquered the market in 1933, while the Siemens dust suction pump has been freeing the atmosphere of dust since 1906. Constructa, Neff and Gaggenau also contribute their expert knowledge and products to BSH and are continuing to develop them further. An example of this is downdraft ventilation from Gaggenau.
The history of BSH is a history of inventions, innovations and progressive developments. The company has always aspired to exceed expectations and be the best. The corporate culture this engenders is continuously developed and optimized in the products and processes. For example, the product AquaStop has been guaranteeing reliable protection against water damage since 1985, while Zeolite drying technology allowed the then most energy-efficient dishwasher in the world to be manufactured in 2008.
Milestones in product development
From the Siemens dust suction pump from 1906 and the Bosch Neuzeit I food processor from 1952, to the full-surface induction cooktop from 2011, the products from BSH make life easier for people. An impressive range of technically innovative products has emerged over a period of more than 100 years.
BSH-sites und employees
The sites and how they have developed
BSH is represented today on all continents of the world. Using its sites in Germany as a springboard, for example, Bad Neustadt, Berlin, Bretten, Dillingen, Giengen, Traunreut and Munich, the company quickly expanded into many countries in Europe. Stepping onto the world stage was both swift and successful, with BSH appliances now also being produced and marketed in North and America, and in Asia.
BSH has always regarded itself not only as a German but also a European company. Soon after it was established, BSH began to position itself on the European market. BSH’s European expansion began in Greece and Slovenia in the 1970s, followed by Spain in the 1980s and then Eastern Europe, especially Poland, in the 1990s with the fall of the Iron Curtain. Most of the production locations and sales organizations today are located in Europe. BSH is also the world’s leading home appliance manufacturer in Europe.
The history of BSH begins in Germany. Today, in addition to the modern company headquarters in Munich, the company’s oldest sites, and the richest in tradition, are also found in Germany.
- Bad Neustadt
- Neff in Bretten
- Regensburg research and development site
The Netherlands is home to the oldest representative offices of the parent companies of BSH, Bosch and Siemens outside of Germany. Siemens & Halske products were represented in The Hague by the company Wisse, Piccaluga & Co. as far back as 1879. The company Willem van Rijn then took over as sole representative of Bosch products in the Netherlands in 1903.
BSH continued to expand its presence in Europe in the 1980s, acquiring a majority share in the Spanish home appliance manufacturer Balay-Safel. In 1998, BSH also acquired the remaining shares in Balay, which by then also included the Safel brand, thus making the company a wholly-owned subsidiary of BSH. Ufesa – another BSH brand since 1998 that is marketed in Spain and Portugal – is, like Balay, also one of the Local Hero brands at BSH.
Home appliances from BSH have been available in Poland since 1990. A plant for assembling washing machines was opened close to the Polish city of Łódź in 1994. It was the first new plant to be built by BSH in Eastern Europe, The washing machines from Łódź were initially intended exclusively for the Eastern European markets but were also produced for EU countries from 1999. Today, alongside the assembly plant for front-loader washing machines, Łódź is also home to a logistics center, a dishwasher plant, a plant for washer-dryers, the new and the new development center for dryers, and the Regional Contact Center (RCC).
BSH was also active in the America region in the 1990s. Apart from the existing sales companies servicing their core markets, BSH was also expanding into North America with the construction of a factory for dishwashers in New Bern and the acquisition of the US home appliance manufacturer Thermador. The development of the South American market began with the takeover of the leading Brazilian home appliance manufacturer Continental in 2001. BSH used the infrastructure acquired in the process to also distribute its Bosch and Siemens brands. The Peruvian cooling appliances manufacturer Coldex was acquired in 1996 to broaden the company’s base on the South American growth market.
BSH viewed the Asian home appliance market as offering enormous growth potential. At the same time, the Asia and Oceania region had an extremely differentiated market structure. Apart from the heavily urbanized population centers, there were rural areas with a poorly developed infrastructure. Following successful entry into the Chinese market in November 1994, the company began to expand its market presence in the Pacific region. Sites, subsidiaries, representative offices and sales companies followed in Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.
People at BSH
BSH employees are committed, professional and globally networked. They are the secret ingredient that drives the success of the company. Mutual respect, trusting collaboration and open dialog – these values not only characterize the corporate culture of BSH but are also firmly entrenched in its Corporate Principles. Other important factors include topics such as occupational safety, health management, diversity and work-life balance. When all of these values are taken to heart and lived out, BSH can produce key innovations and ensure its sustainable success.