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Bosch supports implementation of the EU Road Safety Charter


Fitting ESP® to more vehicles is the goal
· EU Road Safety Charter launched two years ago

· Bosch supporting the charter with campaigns to raise the share of new registered cars fitted with ESP® to more than 50 percent by 2010

· In 2005, 39 percent of all new cars registered in Europe were fitted with ESP®

It is two years since Bosch signed the European Road Safety Charter. Since that time the company has stepped up its efforts to inform the public of the life-saving value of the Electronic Stability Program ESP®, and is thereby helping to ensure that, by 2010, at least every second new vehicle registered in Europe will be fitted with ESP®. In this way Bosch is supporting one of the top priorities of EU traffic policy: halving the number of people killed every year on the roads in Europe between 2001 and 2010, bringing the number down to 25,000. The progress made so far is promising: via the “ESP®erience” training program, Bosch has explained the benefits of ESP® to some 25,000 car sales staff. Comprehensive information related to in-car safety systems has been published on the internet, while several driving simulators, able to provide vivid demonstrations of ESP® at a wide range of events, have been constructed. “Skidding is the most common cause of fatal accidents – and ESP® can effectively prevent it in most situations”, explains Herbert Hemming, Executive Vice President Sales in the Bosch Chassis Systems Control Division. “Every study that has examined the effectiveness of the safety system therefore points to the same recommendation: no cars without ESP®.” Whereas 29 percent of all the cars sold in Europe in 2003 were fitted with ESP®, the preliminary figure for 2005 is as high as 39 percent. Bosch is therefore well on track for achieving the target it has set itself.

Information provided in several ways
The EU Road Safety Charter aims to persuade road users to behave more responsibly, to make vehicles safer, and to develop the road infrastructure. Bosch was among the first companies and organizations to sign the charter on April 6, 2004, in which they pledged their support to the EU.

Prior to signing, Bosch had researched consumers’ knowledge of active safety systems in several European countries. The result was the same everywhere: ESP® was largely unknown. The aim of all the measures taken so far, therefore, is to communicate the benefits of ESP®. For example, about 25,000 car salespersons across Europe have meanwhile attended the “ESP®erience” training program. In addition, Bosch has been present at 20 large events, such as the Renault World Series races, with “ESP® Safety Villages”. These villages use both show elements and documentary evidence to promote the advantages of ESP®.

ESP® also has a presence on the internet: the internet site has been created specifically to communicate with the general public, providing comprehensive information about the Electronic Stability Program and other safety systems in German, English, French, Italian, and Spanish. In addition to the hard facts, the site includes items such as films, animation sequence, and a computer game that demonstrates the benefits of ESP®.

Bosch also constructed four driving simulators in 2004. In these simulators, it is possible to experience the safety benefits of a vehicle fitted with ESP® on a risk-free virtual car drive. The driving simulators are on hand at all the significant European motor shows, and can also be lent out to car manufacturers, dealers, driving schools, and driving safety centers for use at larger events.

Special growth potential in small cars
In 1995, Bosch was the world’s first automotive supplier to begin series production of ESP®. Since then, more than 20 million systems have been produced. 55 percent of new vehicles registered in Germany in 2003 were fitted with the system. By 2004, the figure had risen to 67 percent. The preliminary figures for 2005 indicate a further rise to 72 percent. There is still a particular need for vehicles smaller than the compact class to catch up – only about one in every four of these cars is fitted with ESP®. “Too few, if we remind ourselves that the majority of drivers and passengers in this kind of car are inexperienced, young people,” says Hemming. “It is precisely these people who particularly need the guardian angel of ESP®.”

The Bosch Group is a leading global manufacturer of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology. In fiscal 2005, some 250,000 associates generated sales of 42 billion euros. Set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering,” the Bosch Group today comprises a manufacturing, sales, and after-sales service network of some 270 subsidiaries and more than 12,000 service centers in over 140 countries.

The special ownership structure of the Bosch Group guarantees its financial independence and entrepreneurial freedom. It makes it possible for the company to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future, as well as to do justice to its social responsibility in a manner reflective of the spirit and will of its founder. 92 % of the shares of Robert Bosch GmbH are held by the charitable foundation Robert Bosch Stiftung. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG.

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