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Automotive suppliers ride the 'green' wave

Posted: 14 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:automotive suppliers? green wave? Bosch company?

The greenhouse debate in industrialized nations drives the growth for automotive electronics, said Franz Fehrenbach, CEO of automotive supplier Bosch Group at the International Automotive Exhibition (IAA) in Frankfurt.

The pressure from politics and society to reduce emissions and fuel consumption has been a dominating factor not only on the exhibition but also in customer projects, Fehrenbach said. "The climate debate, while demanding, presently helps us like no other topic," Fehrenbach said.

Holistic approaches
While traditionally the concepts aimed at improving the efficiency by fine-tuning fuel injection and combustion control electronics, now the situation has changed, demanding more holistic approaches including innovative thermo management, on-board power management, more efficient power generation and start-stop systems for cars, the manager pointed out.

As an example of how "green" requirements drive Bosch's sales, Fehrenbach mentioned Diesel engines, which are said to be more fuel-efficient than gasoline-engine drives. While in Europe every second new car is already equipped with a Diesel engine, this type of motor is only now starting to gain traction in the Americas and in Asia, with presently 35 design projects in India, 60 in the United States and more than 100 in China.

Another high-growth area is the new low-price vehicles segment, Fehrenbach said. In this segment alone, Bosch expects sales of about $1.38 billion in 2010.

Besides fuel economy, Bosch also expects high innovation in the area of driver assistance systems where intelligent assistants will become ubiquitous and smarter, he said. "It is possible to reduce traffic accidents to almost zero," Fehrenbach said, "but only in connection with novel assistance systems." The innovation also includes car-to-car communications, which will help to alert drivers and vehicles on immanent adverse road or traffic conditions.

Better batteries
Fehrenbach also underscored the need for better batteries. "We clearly need higher power density in batteries if we want to bring electrically powered cars to reality," he said.

As a privately held company, Bosch is not obligated to report its financial results. Fehrenbach, however, explained that growth was highest in China where the company's automotive business added 30 percent and in India with a growth of 25 percent. In the United States, revenues grew 6 percentin dollars; in Euros the revenue stagnated. In Europe, the company added 4 percent. Total group sales added up to 46 billion Euros.

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
EE Times Europe

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