SOURCE: Robert Bosch Corporation

May 12, 2005 10:08 ET

Bosch Addresses Energy, Safety at SAE Government/Industry Meeting

WASHINGTON, DC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 12, 2005 -- This week, representatives from Bosch spoke to U.S. government and automotive industry officials about the issues of energy conservation, the environment and vehicle passenger safety. The remarks were made at a meeting hosted by the Society of Automotive Engineers at the Loews L'Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C., May 9 - 11.

Chris Qualters, diesel product manager, North America, discussed the clean diesel market in America. Rich Golitko, marketing director, electronic stability control (ESC), spoke about the effectiveness of ESC in reducing the occurrence of "tripped" roll-over accidents. Finally, Bob Rivard, vice president, advanced technology and product marketing, detailed the potential benefits of integrating components to optimize active safety systems.

"At Bosch, we know the future will bring new powertrain options to the transportation industry," said Qualters. "The potential gains clean diesel-powered vehicles provide, however, make the diesel powertrain an outstanding option, worthy of significant attention and consideration."

Qualters referenced the growth of clean diesel in Europe, citing that nearly 52 percent of newly registered passenger cars in Western Europe were equipped with a diesel engine as of last October. The U.S. automotive market has begun to accept modern diesels as well. In the past five years, annual registrations of new diesel passenger vehicles have grown by nearly 56 percent, from more than 301,000 diesel vehicles in 2000 to approximately 470,000 last year.

This growth can be largely attributed to the significant benefits the technology offers. Compared to gasoline power, diesel vehicles achieve up to 50 percent more torque, approximately 30 percent better fuel economy and 15 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

Qualters also pointed to the incentives proposed for clean diesel vehicle purchasers under the current energy bill and the recent release of diesel options for the Mercedes E-320, Volkswagen Passat and Jeep Liberty as proof of the United States' willingness to embrace this technology.

Golitko discussed the issue of tripped roll-over accidents, stressing that all vehicles, not just SUVs, are susceptible to this kind of accident -- SUVs account for only 25 percent of roll-over fatalities.

Tripped roll overs, which account for 95 percent of all roll overs, occur when the vehicle slides sideways into an obstacle such as a curb, causing the tire to stop and the vehicle to roll over. Bosch's ESC with roll over mitigation (ROM) can reduce the risk of such accidents by determining when a vehicle experiences extreme lateral tire force, and activating to reduce those forces.

Rivard continued the safety theme with his presentation, outlining recent active safety system innovations made possible by current technology, and projected possible future advancements. He invited the audience to consider the importance of creating reliable electronics and software throughout the industry. Rivard cited Bosch's collaboration with a group of European industry leaders focused on Automotive Open System Architecture (AUTOSAR).

The goal of the AUTOSAR initiative is to define a worldwide industry standard for basic functions and interfaces of automotive electronic components. Achieving this goal is critical to ensuring the effective application of future system-to-system safety interfaces.

One of the largest North American automotive suppliers, Bosch develops, manufactures and supplies precision components and systems -- including body electronics, chassis and powertrain -- for every major vehicle manufacturer worldwide.

In North America, the Bosch Group manufactures and markets automotive original equipment and aftermarket products, industrial automation and mobile products, power tools and accessories, security technology, packaging equipment and household appliances. Bosch employs approximately 23,000 associates in more than 80 primary facilities throughout North America and reported sales of $7.8 billion in 2004. For more information, visit www.bosch.us.

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