As at 30.06. the international group of companies has performed well, re-cording sales of 1.57 bn DM [0.80 bn ?] up 33 % on the previous year when sales had totalled 1.18 bn DM [0.60 bn ?]). This trend is confirmed by in-coming orders which are on a similar scale putting them about 25 % ahead of the previous year's figure. Even when the high proportion of noble metals inside the catalytic converters is taken into account, the company's perform-ance has still advanced by around 15%. Since automotive demand is difficult to predict, Eberspcher expects around 10% own growth for the year as a whole. The workforce currently numbers more than 5000 people.
The good order situation in spite of a somewhat subdued demand for cars is mainly attributable to above-average sales of premium vehicles by German manufacturers. These cars account for the bulk of exhaust system deliver-ies. In the area of vehicle heaters, the high European demand for diesel ve-hicles is making itself felt. Such vehicles are often equipped with an auxiliary heater to counter their heating performance deficit.
Upgraded programmable auxiliary heaters should ensure that a higher pro-portion of cars will be equipped with this comfort feature. However, the fact that commercial vehicle registrations world-wide are contracting also has an adverse effect on heater sales. Exhaust systems for tomorrow's more fuel efficient engines are promising developments. The Development Centre for Emission Technology based outside Detroit will be operational at the start of 2002.