Bosch is already the world's biggest automotive supplier and they intend to extend that dominance into the realm of hybrid vehicles. But, as a company that has prided itself on being on the bleeding edge when it comes to introducing new technology to the market, they have come relatively late to the hybrid game. Bosch has been a pioneer in fuel injection and diesel technology and they were the first to bring electronic anti-lock brakes and stability control to market. Over the past four years, Bosch has quadrupled their hybrid engineering team to 400 people. Bosch Automotive CEO Bernd Bohr thinks that the German supplier has an edge over Japanese competitors because they are focusing on developing systems rather than just components. This is in part because the Japanese automakers tend to prefer buying components and doing the systems integration in-house. They expect to form a partnership this year to produce lithium ion cells. Bosch intends to produce their own cells and then do pack integration to insure that the packs are reliable and durable.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd