Bosch in North America is part of the Bosch Group, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. In the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the Bosch Group manufactures and markets automotive original equipment and aftermarket products, industrial drives and control technology, power tools, security and communication systems, packaging technology, thermotechnology, household appliances, solar energy, healthcare telemedicine and software solutions. Having established a regional presence in 1906, Bosch employs nearly 24,600 associates in more than 100 locations, with consolidated sales of $10.6 billion in fiscal year 2012. The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In 2012, its roughly 306,000 associates generated sales of $67.5 billion. Since the beginning of 2013, its operations have been divided into four business sectors: Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Bosch spent some $6.1 billion for research and development in 2012, and applied for nearly 4,800 patents worldwide.