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Fleets targeted in ESC safety push

Date: 30 August 2006

Car technology firm Bosch has started promoting anti-skid control technology directly to fleets following last week's campaign to see the systems fitted as standard to all cars.

The campaign, by automotive research organisation Thatcham, was launched in a bid to save 400 lives a year by getting anti-skid control, known as ESC, fitted as standard on all cars. Currently ESC standard on 40% of new cars.

Bosch, which develops anti-skid systems for car makers, sees part of its role as not only a technology engineer but also to promote the systems.

Bosch's John Clack said: "ABS is 25 years old and it took 20 years to become standard. We've had 10 of ESC so far, but the move to standard we hope will be quicker.

"We've done several presentations to ACFO groups and we've already trained car dealers to sell the systems, with the cooperation of the manufacturers. Across the UK we've trained in excess of 3000 dealer sales staff."

Clack pointed out that ESC, where it's available as an option, is only ordered by 1% of car buyers because it's in competition with more tangible extras such as metallic paint, alloys and uprated stereos.

Andrew Marsh, Thatcham's manager in charge of ESC, added: "Fleet managers are in a unique position to make the most difference, because they control the most cars."

Thatcham's data shows that if 100% of cars were fitted with ESC as standard it would save 400 lives a year and reduce the serious injury total by 3000.