DETROIT -- Robert Bosch Corp. is teaching 2,900 Buick dealers nationwide about a little-known option on the 2005 LaCrosse sedan.
Bosch supplies the electronic stability control system for the car, which began shipping to dealerships last week.
Bosch is spending $15,000 on its first U.S. dealer program. The company hopes dealers will then encourage consumers to buy Bosch's safety technology on the LaCrosse and other vehicles.
About 10 percent of light vehicles in North America have electronic stability control systems, compared with about 30 percent in Europe.
Bosch expects a take rate of 13 percent in North America next year, including 25 percent on the LaCrosse.
But Rich Golitko, Bosch's marketing director for electronic stability control, said dealer training should boost the take rate in North America even more.
Dealers can explain the technology's benefits to more consumers than Bosch could reach, he said.
An electronic stability control system is triggered when it senses that the driver has lost control of the vehicle.
The system senses the vehicle's turning rate, measures that against steering wheel input from the driver and applies the brakes to prevent the vehicle from spinning out.
General Motors calls its electronic stability control system StabiliTrak. The option costs $495 on the LaCrosse.
Bosch plans to complete Buick dealer training by Thanksgiving.
Meanwhile, the supplier is preparing to teach dealers selling other GM brands about the electronic stability control system on GM's next generation of full-sized trucks.
That training will take place next year, in time for the January 2006 truck launch.
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