Continental announced today it will begin production of intelligent stability and handling systems for the new 2001 full-size Toyota Sequoia sport utility vehicle manufactured by Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana.

In support of the Sequoia program, Continental will provide a customized version of its Electronic Stability Program that includes ABS (Anti-lock Brake System), EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution), TCS (Traction Control System), and ESP (Electronic Stability Program) functions. The safety system will be produced at Continental's Electronic Brake System plant in Morganton, N.C. and its actuation plant in Asheville, N.C.

"We are very excited to support the electronic braking and vehicle stability needs of this important new program," said Bill Kozyra, president Continental Teves, N.A. "We are committed to delivering excellence and helping Toyota fulfill its product promises."

Continental's Electronic Stability Program, being marketed by Toyota as Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), enhances vehicle control and handling. Using sensors to determine where the vehicle is going versus where the driver wants the vehicle to go, VSC integrates a number of safety features into a total stability system. The integrated system can help control braking, accelerating, steering and handling to assist the driver in the twists and turns of driving. It senses an oversteer or understeer condition and selectively applies any of the vehicle's individual brakes and adjusts engine torque to help the drive maintain control and stability. The Vehicle Stability Control System will be standard on all models.

Continental forecasts that the market for intelligent stability systems is on the verge of dramatic growth in the U.S. Continental supplied close to 400,000 ESP units worldwide last year. This year the unit count will soar to 1.4 million worldwide and exceed 3.5 million by 2004. Continental expects one out of every three cars in Europe will be equipped with ESP by 2004. Sales in the U.S., helped by the introduction of the new Sequoia, are experiencing significant increases.

Continental Teves, headquartered in Frankfurt/Main Germany, is a unit of Continental AG, Hanover, Germany. With 1999 sales of U.S. $2.6 billion, Continental Teves is a world leader in the design, development and supply of critical brake and chassis systems that contribute to driving safety, comfort and fun. The company's North American headquarters is located in Auburn Hills, Mich.