Robert Bosch to invest 1 billion euros in Dresden semiconductor plant

Werner Struth, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, speaks during a Bosch news conference at the 2017 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., January 4, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Marcus/Files

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Robert Bosch, is investing 1 billion euros ($1.12 billion) in a semiconductor plant in Germany, a company source told Reuters, highlighting the world’s largest car parts supplier’s ambitions in self-drive cars and the industrial Internet.

The factory will be built in the eastern German city of Dresden, with most of the investment coming from Bosch and the rest from government and European Union subsidies, the source said. It is set to start production in 2021 and will employ 700 people, the source said. Bosch declined to comment.

Bosch and Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler said in April they are creating an alliance to develop self-driving cars.

Bosch already has a chip factory in Reutlingen in southern Germany and is a leading producer of sensors, but demand is expected to increase with the development of autonomous cars and the advance of more “smart” machines.

The factory is a new boost for the eastern German state of Saxony which has sought to rebrand itself as “Silicon Saxony” by attracting high-tech companies and scientists.

Bosch decided to build the factory in Dresden because of the supply of skilled potential employees, the source said.

($1 = 0.8959 euros)

Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach, writing by Emma Thomasson. Editing by Jane Merriman