Nearly 60 percent of new UK car sales have ESP on board image

In the first six months of 2009 the share of newly registered passenger cars in the UK featuring the ESP active safety system increased by three percentage points to 59 percent compared with the full year in 2008 . The increase was largely driven by the small car sector where 23 percent of new cars had ESP on board as standard or optional equipment. Only 11 percent of sales in the mini compact class featured ESP – a fall of 2 percent.

In Germany, the share of newly registered passenger cars featuring the ESP safety system has fallen for the first time. Recently published data indicates that the share fell to 78 percent in the first six months of 2009, three percentage points down from the figure for 2008. The main reason for this is the substantial rise in sales of small vehicles featuring few extras. In the mini compact class, where sales grew fastest, the share of vehicles equipped with ESP® fell from 33 to 19 percent.” Even for small vehicles, ESP® offers extra safety as numerous studies have shown” said Dr Werner Struth president of Bosch Chassis Systems Control Division.

In the first six months of 2009, the share of vehicles equipped with ESP rose again in nearly every European country. The figure for Italy, for example, rose by four percentage points to 55 percent, while the figure for Spain rose to 69 percent. Only France has recorded a similar development to Germany and posted a decline. In France, this is due to a government incentive to promote vehicles that emit less than 120 grams of CO2 per kilometre. Once again, this mainly benefited sales of small cars with few extras.

Commenting on the ESP figures for the UK, Edmund King, AA President said

“Particularly in winter it is essential to avoid crashes by skidding, and ESP vehicle active safety technology is a proven life saver in these conditions. We urge new car buyers to choose cars fitted with electronic stability control either as standard or as an option before other extras such as alloy wheels or iPod connections are considered”.