On this day in auto history - June 20th

Sun 20th Jun 2021

It was on this day in 2007 that German engineering giant Bosch manufactured its 10 billionth spark plug.

Founded in 1886 by Stuttgart entrepreneur Robert Bosch, the company was the first to produce the commercially viable high-voltage spark plug that made internal combustion engines possible.

Initially, Bosch produced just a few hundred spark plugs per annum but the numbers exploded after it opened a spark plug factory in Bamberg just prior to World War II, whilst subsequent plants were opened in Brazil, China, India and Russia.

In all, Bosch has developed over 20,000 different spark plugs in total and, laid end-to-end, Bosch spark plugs would form a chain stretching for more than 350,000 miles, circling the equator approximately 15 times.

Bosch’s ownership structure is unusual for such a giant company in that it is almost entirely owned (92%) by a charitable foundation set up by Robert Bosch, with the remaining 8% owned by the Bosch family.