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Fewer accidents with ESP® Active safety system cuts accident-related costs and downtimes for company vehicles


· Increasing proportion of company vehicles registered in Europe

· 13 percent of fleet costs are accident-related

· ESP® can prevent 80 percent of all skidding accidents

· Experts expect loss in resale value of vehicles without ESP®

Cost of ownership is an extremely important factor when it comes to selecting company vehicles. Fixed costs such as purchase price or lease payments, fuel consumption, and insurance class are therefore always taken into account, but accident-related costs have generally not been considered so far. On the one hand, these costs are hard to calculate and, on the other, most companies trust that they will not have to pay them. However, over a quarter of all fatal work-related accidents in Europe are the results of road accidents. In fact companies incur substantial expenses for the repairs and administrative work resulting from accidents. According to a study by European industry analyst EurotaxGlass’s, these expenses account for 13 percent of total fleet costs. Accordingly, experts recommend fleet decision makers to include crash avoidance technologies such as the ESP® Electronic Stability Program in their car fleet policy. International studies show that ESP® prevents up to 80 percent of all skidding accidents. This results in a significant drop in the number of serious or fatal accidents and thus in total fleet costs. According to the European Commission, the widespread use of ESP® would save 4,000 lives and prevent 100,000 injuries each year.

Every accident prevented helps fleet operators to run their fleets effectively: in addition to costs directly attributable to accidents, there are further indirect expenses such as working time lost due to doctor’s appointments or court appearances, higher insurance premiums, or lost orders (and thus sales revenue). These costs cannot be insured, and, according to a study by the British Health and Safety Executive, they can be 8 to 36 times higher than the direct costs covered by insurance policies. If ESP® prevents an accident; none of these costs are incurred.

A further consideration is the fact that ESP® maximizes the vehicle’s residual value. In May 2008, the EU Commission submitted a legislative proposal requiring the mandatory fitment of ESP® from 2012 in all new vehicle types and from 2014 in all new vehicles. For the experts at EurotaxGlass’s, it is a foregone conclusion that it will soon only be possible to sell vehicles without the anti-skid system at a markdown. “Used car purchasers won’t wait until 2012 to make sure cars have ESP®,” says Martin Verrelli, the German managing director of Eurotax Schwacke. “What’s more, we’ve been recommending ESP® for years simply because it’s the most important safety system in car after the seat belt,” he adds. The vehicle’s higher residual value also cuts the associated depreciation costs, thereby enabling leasing companies to offer fleet operators lower and thus more competitive lease payments for vehicles.

In 2007, around 16 million new cars were registered in Europe and the share equipped with ESP® rose to 50 percent. While the number of private purchases is falling, fleet purchases have been increasing for some years in European countries. Market research by Bosch has shown that in a number of countries, fleet operators are still reluctant to pay the additional price for ESP®. Of the ten best-selling fleet vehicles in Europe’s five largest markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom) just 52 percent were equipped with the active safety system in 2007. This proportion is 56 percent for vehicles as a whole, i.e. for newly registered company and private vehicles. The greatest difference between the two figures is in France. While just 29 percent of the ten most popular fleet vehicles were equipped with ESP® in 2007, the figure for vehicles as a whole was 46 percent. Yet it is in France that traffic accidents are the main cause of fatal occupational accidents.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, some 271,000 associates generated sales of 46.3 billion euros in fiscal 2007. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiaries and regional companies in roughly 50 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Each year, Bosch spends more than 3 billion euros for research and development, and applies for over 3,000 patents worldwide. The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.”

The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

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