As consumers seek solutions to energy challenges, many of the vehicle technologies with the potential to lead us from a world of energy scarcity to a world of energy abundance are known and their development should be accelerated, said Peter Marks, chairman, president and CEO of Robert Bosch LLC, while speaking at the Management Briefing Seminars on August 14 in Traverse City, Mich.
"Turbulence caused by external factors is changing the automotive industry like never before, and energy has become a major point of concern, since it touches virtually every aspect of our lives," Marks said. "The global growth in demand for oil is outpacing its availability, which will ultimately result in energy scarcity, likely before we develop advanced energy technologies that will be enough to close the gap to the world's energy demand."
The magnitude of energy scarcity will depend in part on the speed with which the automotive industry moves toward utilizing alternative energy sources, such as electricity, while at the same time also improving existing powertrain technologies, including diesel systems, gasoline direction injection and hybrids to reduce energy use, he said.
Marks explained that current fuel prices, for instance, have already created changes in consumer attitude and behavior that is causing significant industry challenges including dropping vehicle sales and production, and changing vehicle mix. These realities will create future change that the industry must be prepared to address.
In a world of energy abundance, Marks painted a much brighter picture of the planet: "Imagine we have developed advanced technologies for solar, wind, hydro-energy and its storage, sufficient enough to close the gap to the world's energy demand."
"We need to improve our industry's readiness for upcoming change," Marks said. "If we do this right, my deep belief is that this industry can go beyond that and be the leaders in developing the right solutions to address these complex energy and mobility challenges. As an industry we need to prepare differently for our collective future. And, now more than ever, make the right decisions about energy use and technology development."
For a copy of Peter Marks' speech, go to www.bosch-press.com/tbwebdb/bosch-usa/.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, some 271,000 associates generated sales of more than 46.3 billion euros (over $63 billion) in fiscal 2007. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiaries and regional companies in roughly 50 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Each year, Bosch spends more than 3 billion euros for research and development, and applies for over 3,000 patents worldwide. The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as "Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering."
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, thermo-technology, packaging equipment and household appliances. Bosch employs approximately 25,000 associates in more than 70 locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico, with reported sales of $9.5 billion in fiscal 2007.