component maker Bosch is celebrating a milestone this month: the 25th anniversary
of the launch of the world’s first exhaust system oxygen sensor.

The sensor, located just in front of the catalytic converter, measures the
oxygen level in the exhaust gas, enabling the electronic engine management system,
to adjust fuel injection and ignition timing.

The oxygen sensor was vital for the development of the closed-loop, three-way
catalytic converter, a major contributor to pollution reduction.

Helped by strict emission laws coming into force in the U.S., Japan, Europe
and Australia, Bosch sold 10 million oxygen sensors in the 10 years after the
first version was launched in the U.S.-specification Volvo 240/260 series in

That was the year that tough new federal government emission laws, which could
most easily be met by fitting cars with catalytic converters, first came into

Seven years later, the figure had risen to 50 million. Today, Bosch produces
33 million oxygen sensors each year.

The company claims that it would now be impossible to build cars that meet
today’s tough exhaust emission standards without an oxygen sensor.

And it predicts that similar sensor technology will in the future also be used
on diesel engines for more precise fuel injection and lower emissions.

To view related research reports, please follow the links

World automotive components: Market prospects to 2005

IMS Corporate Profile – Robert Bosch GmbH