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Renewed increase in the first semester of 2008: 81 percent of newly registered vehicles in Germany equipped with ESP®


Many small cars still lack anti-skid system

· 81 percent of newly registered passenger cars in Germany in the first half of 2008 with the Electronic Stability Program

· Fitment rate in Europe rises by 3 percentage points to 53 percent

· Only 42 percent of all small cars in Germany have ESP®

· Euro NCAP makes ESP® a condition for 5 star rating

During the first half of 2008, 81 percent of all newly registered cars in Germany were equipped with the ESP® Electronic Stability Program – two percentage points more than in 2007. In Europe, this figure rose by 3 percentage points to 53 percent during the same period. This is due to the increasing use of the active safety system in small cars. Here, the figure increased by four percentage points in Germany. However, at 42 percent, the fitment rate is still low. According to scientific studies, ESP® stabilizes the vehicle in critical situations and can prevent up to 80 percent of all skidding accidents. Bosch developed the Electronic Stability Program and, in 1995, was the first manufacturer to take it into series production.

“I am confident that acceptance of ESP® will continue to increase in the years to come as well,” says Werner Struth, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division. “A number of independent international studies demonstrate the system’s life-saving effectiveness. This is why its mandatory installation is increasingly under discussion worldwide.” In the U.S., its gradual adoption by model year 2012 has already been stipulated. Likewise, gradual adoption of mandatory ESP® by October 2014 is being discussed on a European level.

The Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme), which uses simulated accident situations to test the safety of vehicles, incorporated ESP® into its new evaluation process in February 2009. Under the program’s new guidelines, as of 2010, vehicle models will only be given the maximum five-star rating if they are equipped with ESP® as a standard feature.

A look at the data from the individual countries also brings an astonishing detail to light: while the ESP® share rose by two or three percentage points in nearly every country, in France it dropped by three percentage points to 43 percent. This is due to the sharp increase in the share of small cars among newly registered vehicles. Small cars have ESP® on board far less frequently. One reason for this shift in consumer behaviour is national rules by the French government which promote the sales of especially low exhaust vehicles since 2008. “However, ESP® is just as important for small cars as for larger vehicles,” says Struth. “Buyers should therefore be sure to ask for the safety system as an optional feature if it is not already on board as standard equipment.”

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. According to preliminary figures, some 282,000 associates generated sales of roughly 45 billion euros in the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology in fiscal 2008. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiaries and regional companies in over 60 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. Each year, Bosch spends more than three billion euros for research and development, and applies for over 3,000 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial.

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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