Speaker: Hermann Scholl
Title: Chairman of the board of management at Robert Bosch
Theme: Supplier innovations will be needed to meet future emissions standards
More efficient drivetrains are needed if the auto industry is to achieve its target of cutting emissions by 25 percent by 2008, said Hermann Scholl, chairman of the board of management at Robert Bosch GmbH.
Scholl said he expects growth in superchargers and variable valve timing. More refined diesel engines also will be needed to cut particulate emissions.
Scholl said more widespread use of gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines alone would not be enough to meet the target.
Scholl said transmission efficiency would be increased by the growth of continuously variable transmissions and a move to automated shift transmissions.
The transition to electrical steering and the possibility of integrating steering systems and electronic stability programs is under way, at least in Europe, said Scholl.
Automatic vehicle guidance is still distant - 15 or 20 years away, said Scholl. But he said systems are being developed that will ultimately lead to automatic vehicle guidance.
In the long term, increased electrical demands on vehicles can only be met with a 42-volt vehicle electrical system, said Scholl.
Scholl said the supply industry has already undergone a consolidation process - particularly in sectors such as starter motors, alternators, clutches and shock absorbers.
The merger and acquisition wave is continuing among suppliers, said Scholl, primarily due to poor profitability.
Profits from automotive units within diversified companies have often been inferior to the groups' other operations. This has led to the automotive units being sold off.
But Scholl stressed the importance of innovation among suppliers. Volumes in the world's main car markets had hardly increased in the past decade. But in spite of this, Scholl said, the supply industry has grown because of higher technical content, mainly in the areas of comfort, safety, fuel economy and the environment.
Asked whether Bosch prioritized its customers, Scholl said there is a clear understanding that Bosch will show innovations to all its major customers at the same time.