BSH CEO, Matthias Metz joined BSH 18 months ago and attended his first Eurocucina in Milan this year. He sat down with Appliance Retailer to share his highlights from the 2024 exhibition, the company’s overarching strategy and why he’s optimistic about future growth.

“We see Eurocucina as a very important trade show to not only present to the public, but to also show our support for our retail partners and showcase our brand portfolio,” Metz said.

“The aspiration and focus for BSH is improving consumers’ lives at home and we do this through consumer happiness and customer success.

“Delighting our consumers starts from a strong brand portfolio. Our brands are not just a sticker or label, but they are a promise when you buy any of our brands – Bosch, Gaggenau, NEFF or Siemens. Our brands are clearly differentiated and target different consumer groups, but they all offer the same promise of quality.

“Quality is not only important from a feature or function perspective, but also from a sustainability point of view. When you buy one of our products it’s not just great in appearance, design and function, but it comes with a service promise and a 15-year guarantee for spare parts. At Eurocucina we are showing a lot of great innovations because to bring true innovation that leads to consumer happiness is very important to us.

“On the topic of customer success, we are working with our retail partners to ensure they have great products to sell and can communicate the benefits to consumers. We want them to understand that in case of any support issues, they can rely on our service for availability of products, delivery and performance, which is more important than ever.”

Resilience amid challenging economic conditions

“Across the world a lot of people feel unstable due to inflation, interest rates, high energy prices and economic forecasts. I acknowledge that 2023 was a challenging year for the industry but given the circumstances, it was a good year for BSH. We reported a 7% decline in revenue coming off the Covid boom years when people were investing in their homes. In constant currency terms, we recorded the same turnover as the year prior (2022),” Metz said.

“This confirms our resilience and that we are well positioned as a company with investment for the future with 4% of our turnover went into capital expenditure; not only in our factories but in experience and design centres because we need to ensure our brands and our products are visible.

“We invested 850 million Euro in Research & Development (R&D) – approximately 5.7% of our top line – which is a big commitment to the future. We are optimistic about the future. We have a strong team, a clear roadmap of product innovation, and a clear objective when it comes to consumer happiness and customer success.

“For example, the Essential Induction from Gaggenau presents an opportunity to architects and designers never seen before. By making the unit invisible, it is a completely new approach to cooking and offers a new experience for future owners of high-end luxury kitchens. It was challenging from an engineering perspective, but it redefines the way technology and design come together for a cooktop and still maintains tactile touch with physical control knobs for operation.

“Another example is the Siemens studioLine ovens with built-in camera and AI. You don’t buy an oven to have an oven; you buy an oven to bring a perfect dish to the table. We recognise that not everyone is a chef at home but with Siemens technology, it makes it much easier to achieve perfect results.”

AI and sustainability at the forefront

“There’s a lot of buzz around AI – everyone’s talking about it – but to translate how AI benefits the consumer is what drives us as a company. We want to ensure it contributes to the consumer experience and success of our trade partners,” Metz said.

“It’s not about AI or the built-in camera – it’s about providing consumer happiness and a great experience by making it easy to achieve excellent results.

“Sustainability has become front of mind and a topic of great interest around the world. We want to deliver passion for our brands but also maintain a clear focus on sustainability and encourage consumers to consider this in their purchase decision. This can be seen with our products that not only achieve the highest energy or water ratings but exceed them.

“Sustainability is not only important for reducing energy consumption. For example, i-Dos and Detergent Scan on our Bosch washing machines make it more convenient and reduce detergent wastage.

“We are also investing in sustainability for our manufacturing processes. In China, we invested in the largest solar panel installation from the Bosch Group to date and for our refrigeration plant in Germany, we have reduced gas consumption required for production. For our dishwashers, we are using steel that has a 50% lower CO2 footprint than traditional steel.

“In Scotland, we are undertaking a pilot project with hydrogen powered gas cooktops, which underlines our ability to be a frontrunner when new technology becomes available and our support for important topics like hydrogen. We also offer a range of induction cooktops, some with downdraft ventilation, because it’s about giving consumers choice.

“Governments are likely to do more in this direction and as regulations are enforced, we will comply and like our product ratings, we will try to do even better.”

Message to Australian retail partners

“We are fully committed to the Australian market moving forward and are delighted to welcome our trade partners from Australia to Eurocucina to experience our products and learn our latest news,” Metz said.

“We have a strong brand portfolio and are committed to our brand promise for not only our trade partners but also our consumers. We deliver innovation that matters, which is at the core of our approach and will continue to focus on consumer happiness and customer success.

“Australians are very focused on sustainability and we want to drive the message that sustainability is part of BSH’s DNA – not something that started today. On the topic of long-lasting quality, we have a commitment to service and spare parts which contributes to our sustainability credentials. Our Australian retail partners are invited to use this in their communication with consumers.

In summary

“2023 wasn’t an easy year for the industry with inflation and interest rates but we are a resilient company which can invest even in difficult times. We have gained market share in most markets around the world, and I am personally optimistic about the future – not only for the future of the market but our ability to perform and succeed,” Metz said.

“We have a strong brand portfolio, product innovation and team worldwide to support our growth and development.”