BSH can help make an HSH -- a home sweet home, that is. The company makes and distributes a variety of high-end home appliances under the Gaggenau, Bosch, and Thermador brands, including dishwashers, ovens, cooktops, ranges, washing machines, and dryers. BSH serves the US and Canadian markets, selling products directly to new homebuilders, as well as through retailers such as Home Depot, Lowe's, and Sears. Most BSH appliances, which are locally manufactured at plants in North Carolina and Tennessee, are made from recyclable materials. Founded in 1997, BSH Home Appliances is a subsidiary of German manufacturer BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte.
BSH Home Appliances, part of its German parent's North American operations, organizes its business according to product categories: Laundry, dishwasher, cooking, and refrigeration. The structure, launch in 2008, is intended to bolster sales by focusing on BSH's core competences. The company makes products specifically for the American market, instead of importing products from Germany. Refrigerators, washers, and dryers sold in the US are about 50% larger than comparably priced models in Europe and Asia. BSH Home Appliances also imports certain products, such as the Tassimo single-cup brewer, for sale at retail stores and online in the US.
In fiscal 2011 (ends December) North American operations generated 5% of BSH Bosch und Siemens' revenues, about 1% less than in 2010. Despite moves to boost demand, including distributing its Bosch-branded appliances to Best Buy, BSH Home Appliances' sales have fallen since the US recession set in. Region wide sales dropped by some 10% (calculated in Euros) in 2011 from the previous year, following year-over-year declines in the last three years. Demand has waned in both the US and Canadian markets, with the greatest downturn attributed to Canada.
BSH Bosch und Siemens cited that the slide in North America was marked by the housing crisis coupled with consumers' reticence to spend on large home appliances amid high unemployment. BSH's results were also impacted by unfavorable currency exchange rates along with a decision to stop producing its 27-inch front load washers and dryers and cut its workforce by more than 10%.
Nonetheless, its parent expects the North American unit will be among the first to benefit as global financial markets recover. As part of BSH's rebound strategy, it is focused on selling more of its energy efficient offerings. The appliance maker also plans to invest an additional $50 million in its dishwasher business.