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Bosch acquires MoTeC for undisclosed amount

German automotive giant absorbs Melbourne-based motorsport ECU and tech firm MoTeC

21 Jun 2022

BOSCH has this week announced that it has acquired Melbourne-based motorsport ECU and technology outfit MoTeC (Motorsports Technology) for an undisclosed sum.


Contracts for the acquisition were signed by Bosch and the MoTeC Group this month and are currently subject to the approval of merger control authorities.


Bosch says that in organisational terms, MoTeC – headquartered in Croydon, Victoria – will become an integral part of Bosch Motorsport, a 100 per cent Bosch-owned subsidiary based in Abstatt, Germany.


Employing 54 staff, with a network of 250 authorised dealers worldwide and main offices in Europe and the United States, MoTeC has become associated with motorsport in almost every racing category across the globe, on four wheels or two.


Closer to home, MoTeC provides engine management (including fuel and ignition, RPM limiting, electronic throttle control, gear-change cut-out, fuel pumps, pitlane speed limiting and more), data acquisition, driver display, power distribution, video capture and accident recorder technology to all Australian (V8) Supercars teams.


GoAuto understands that the MoTeC Group business will continue to operate as a separate legal entity under its own brand.


Speaking with GoAuto this week, Bosch Oceania president Gavin Smith said the acquisition of MoTeC was an exciting move for the business.


“(The acquisition) came at a time when COVID-19 was on the landscape. We started discussions a year or so ago, and we’ve been in due diligence for quite a while, but we’ve managed to come out the other side with a successful outcome,” said Mr Smith.


“To be honest, this is a great outcome for MoTeC employees and it’s great for Bosch as well.”


Mr Smith said Bosch’s push to become a leader in future mobility solutions remained an overarching goal of the group but insisted it will continue pursuing and developing solutions for existing technologies, including those used in a wide variety of motorsport disciplines.


“We (Bosch) have got a lot of strategic focal points, and a lot of it centres around future mobility. We want to be an innovation leader in connectivity, electrification, automation, and personalisation of the motor vehicle,” he explained.


“But to be honest, (the acquisition of MoTeC) fits in the automotive components space as well because racing does improve technology. We have to deliver much greater performance and reliability and still be able to do that at a reasonable price.


“This focus on motorsport allows us to do things ahead of the curve before the technologies appear in high-volume passenger cars. That’s one of the main reasons why Bosch is involved in motorsport and why the acquisition of MoTeC is relevant for us.”


Despite the big-picture approach to the acquisition, Mr Smith said Bosch was determined for MoTeC and its customers to continue operating they always have. 


Mr Smith told GoAuto that MoTeC plays an important role in both professional and grassroots levels of motorsport and said future synergies between it and Bosch will improve the product offering for motorsport customers over the longer term.


“Maintaining MoTeC as a business and its relationships with its existing customer is a very important part of all this. Bosch, by any standard, is a very large and complex entity, it’s very procedural in its processes, and doesn’t have the same nimble, flexible approach a smaller company like MoTeC has,” he said.


“What we want to do is to make sure we keep that part of MoTeC alive and allow it to continue to operate as a separate legal entity, to maintain its own brand, and to be independently led here, from Australia.


“MoTeC will keep running the way it was run before with an MD in the chair and with the same market responsibilities that have now both domestically and internationally. They will maintain their approach to distribution through dealers across the world, and also their wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK, and their third-part distributor in the US.


“We had a very good look at what MoTeC do and how they do it through the due diligence process. There are certainly lots of opportunities for synergies… we have different customers, and we go to market in different ways, so we see a great opportunity to get access to some of the way MoTeC does business and learn from that in our own motorsport activities.


“There are great opportunities to expand our portfolio in both directions, up and down,” Mr Smith told GoAuto.


Mr Smith said that the acquisition would also allow MoTeC access to Bosch’s extensive supply network and to technologies that will benefit its existing customers meaning it has the potential to grow even larger under the parent company’s ownership.


“There’s an opportunity to look at common function, development and to figure out where we might need to offer something to MoTeC customers in a particular race category,” he explained.


“We might have a product offering at a high level, for instance, that we can now make available in the next levels down, and as well as that, we have a portfolio of products which are not electronics that may also be very attractive to MoTec customers, things like fuel injectors, fuel rails, fuel pumps, alternators, starter motors, race ABS and so on.


“This combination of other products in our portfolio that MoTeC does not have could clearly be interesting to other categories (of motorsport) that MoTeC serves through its dealers and distributors across the globe.


“MoTeC can also teach us a lot of things. When we look at their products, and the tool sets they use for programming and development, it’s obvious that they’re also a gold-standard company. And the MoTeC team is a great team. They have a lot of knowledge and lots of history, and they also have a lot of very exciting new talent coming through,” Mr Smith concluded.


With its distinctive gold-coloured ECUs and a philosophy of engineering excellence, MoTeC has grown from a modest backyard workshop to a global leader in motorsport technology. 


Bosch Motorsport vice president Dr Klaus Boettcher said the acquisition of the MoTeC Group will extend is product portfolio and distribution network to serve additional racing series including those at a grassroots level.


“With the MoTeC Group’s many years of experience and comprehensive expertise, as well as its worldwide dealer network, we are strengthening our position in motorsports and ideally complementing our product portfolio,” said Dr Boettcher.


MoTeC was the first company to introduce data logging and live telemetry to Australian motorsport in the early 1990s and has since developed its product for use in top-class competition vehicles participating in events such as the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Dakar Rally – both on four wheels and two.


Its history extends back to its involvement with the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1987 – just two years after MoTeC was founded.


The Melbourne-based company’s ECUs were among the first to provide aftermarket control of continuously variable camshaft timing and drive-by-wire throttle, while also pioneering the way motorsport teams analyse on-board data.


The firm’s purpose-built research centre in Melbourne, which was completed in 2002, continues to advance engine control units, the research and development team always “quick to embrace and understand new technologies”, MoTeC says.


Engineering, technical and administration support are provided from the research centre, which can host tailored seminars for MoTeC’s training and education program which is offered to dealers and customers from across the globe.


MoTeC Europe, based in the UK, was established in 1995 to provide technical support, sales advice, and aftersales service to the region, and now oversees more than 20 countries while also facilitating the development process of new technologies with Australia, based on feedback from local customers.


Separately owned and operated MoTeC Systems USA represents the brand across North America with two offices (in North Carolina and California) distributing to some 90 dealers across the country. MoTeC Systems USA also provides direct sales and technical services to its own customer base.


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