LIVONIA, Mich., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE: TRW) today expressed optimism for a new decade of safety and pledged its continued support to help reduce the number of accidents and mitigate the impact of unavoidable crashes, through the Company's drive for affordable safety.
Peter Lake, executive vice president of sales and business development for TRW Automotive, said: "As we start a new decade, we feel optimistic about our ability to work together with industry groups, national governments and our customers to make a difference in road safety. Over recent years we have seen an increase in safety- and environmentally-led regulation being introduced in emerging and mature markets alike. This balance of market forces and government leadership looks set to continue driving developments in technology, which should ultimately lead to safer roads."
According to World Health Organization statistics, approximately 1.3 million people die each year on the world's roads. The focus from the industry has made a significant difference in the last decade. Since the turn of the millennium, in Europe, annual fatalities have been reduced by more than 28 per cent(1), and in the United States of America (US) by approximately ten per cent(2), but everyone agrees that there is still more to be done. And while improvements are being made in these established markets, the challenges that come with the tremendous growth in emerging markets requires a different set of objectives to tackle road safety: In the year 2000, some two million vehicles were produced in China, but by the end of the decade, annual production was running at 12 million units.
Lake commented: "The automotive landscape is so very different from ten years ago. We've not only seen some serious new contenders arrive on the world stage in the form of the BRIC markets, but we've also been through an unprecedented period of crisis. And as we look forward, the focus in established markets has to be about making advanced safety solutions affordable across the range of platforms - including for the increasing proportion of fuel efficient smaller or hybrid/electric vehicles. And for emerging markets we need to return to the fundamentals of passive safety; seek to deliver affordable, more basic active systems; and work together with industry bodies and governments to educate drivers and other road users as road traffic volumes increase at a significant pace.
"At TRW, we believe passionately in the importance of making systems accessible and affordable across all global markets. With our wide portfolio of active and passive safety systems, and our global footprint, there is much that we can do in support of the industry and government focus on protecting people. We want to play our part in delivering the safety everyone deserves."
TRW has a broad portfolio of active technologies, occupant safety and advanced driver assist systems. Milestones for the decade include:
- First to market launch of Electric Park Brake with Fiat in 2002 and Audi in 2004.
- First integrated active/passive safety system with the Active Control Retractor that was part of Mercedes' presafe system launched in 2002.
- TRW's first column drive Electrically Powered Steering system was launched on the Nissan Micra and Fiat Stilo in 2002.
- TRW launched its radar based Adaptive Cruise Control system on the Volkswagen Phaeton in 2003.
- Launch of regenerative braking system, Slip Control Boost, for the GM Tahoe two-mode hybrid system in 2008.
- Launch of a video based Lane Departure Warning system on the Lancia Delta in 2008.
Lake continued: "In the last ten years, we've supported vehicle manufacturers with a wide range of new product introductions and, for the next ten years, we look forward to developing these systems so that they can be available as standard in the complete range of models. TRW has an ethos to make safety affordable for all - through offering modular products; via its range of integrated technologies; as well as developing a range of cost-optimized solutions.
"Our engineers across the globe are working to develop affordable solutions - whether that's delivering a low cost radar collision warning system for the family car market in the US or Europe, providing airbags for breakthrough low cost models in India or China or helping to develop smaller, lighter vehicles.
"But it's more than making products and systems cheaper: it's about delivering value. And this will be the game changer through the next decade - it's vital that advanced safety is made accessible to the masses and that we can make the highest standards of passive safety work in every market.
"The challenge is clear for us at TRW and, indeed, for all of us in the auto-components industry - we have to focus on how to improve the value proposition of our technologies. Always we are challenged to offer 'more for less'. Value can be in the form of maintaining a product's price at the same level while offering improved functionality, such as with our second generation Active Control Retractor - ACR2. Or we offer customers more by integrating base systems to offer additional functions such as steering torque control or integrated vehicle control through the integration of electronic stability control and electrically powered steering.
"And looking forward, we have to be mindful of the huge importance of fuel efficiency. We will see smaller cars alongside the hybrid and electric vehicles. I don't subscribe to the notion that small cars can't be safe cars. The advances in vehicle structures and in active technologies to prevent accidents - and passive systems to mitigate against them - mean that smaller, fuel efficient vehicles should be a safe option. TRW has evaluated its portfolio and is positioned to support the move to hybrid and full electric vehicles. We believe strongly that there is no need to compromise safety for fuel efficiency."
Lake concluded: "At the heart of it, we believe that everyone deserves the choice of buying a vehicle with the best possible safety systems - not just for luxury models. I'm excited at the possibilities for the next decade and it is essential that we work together as an industry to make roads safer."
With 2008 sales of $15.0 billion, TRW Automotive ranks among the world's leading automotive suppliers. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, USA, the Company, through its subsidiaries, operates in 26 countries and employs approximately 64,000 people worldwide. TRW Automotive products include integrated vehicle control and driver assist systems, braking systems, steering systems, suspension systems, occupant safety systems (seat belts and airbags), electronics, engine components, fastening systems and aftermarket replacement parts and services. All references to "TRW Automotive", "TRW" or the "Company" in this press release refer to TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. and its subsidiaries, unless otherwise indicated. TRW Automotive news is available on the internet at www.trw.com.
This release contains statements that are not statements of historical fact, but instead are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on these statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties which can cause our actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements, including those set forth in our Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008 (our "Form 10-K"), and our Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended April 3, July 3 and October 2, 2009, such as: any prolonged contraction in automotive sales and production adversely affecting our results, liquidity or the viability of our supply base; the financial condition of OEMs, particularly the Detroit Three, adversely affecting us or the viability of our supply base; disruptions in the financial markets adversely impacting the availability and cost of credit negatively affecting our business; our substantial debt and resulting vulnerability to economic or industry downturns and to rising interest rates; escalating pricing pressures from our customers; commodity inflationary pressures adversely affecting our profitability or supply base; our dependence on our largest customers; costs of product liability, warranty and recall claims and efforts by customers to adversely alter contract terms and conditions concerning warranty and recall participation; strengthening of the U.S. dollar and other foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacting our results; any increase in the expense and funding requirements of our pension and other postretirement benefits; risks associated with non-U.S. operations, including economic uncertainty in some regions; work stoppages or other labor issues at our facilities or at the facilities of our customers or suppliers; assertions by or against us relating to intellectual property rights; the possibility that our largest stockholder's interests will conflict with our or our other stockholders' interests; and other risks and uncertainties set forth in our Form 10-K and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not undertake any obligation to release publicly any update or revision to any of these forward-looking statements.
1. Source: CARE - European Road Accident Database
2. Source: FARS - US Fatality Analysis Reporting System
SOURCE TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.