The world's leading automotive turbocharger developer, Honeywell Transportation Systems, predicts that sales of turbocharged light vehicles in the U.S. would triple by 2017. According to Honeywell, sales of turbocharged light vehicles in the US would reach around 4 million units in 2017 from just 1.3 million units in 2011.
The turbocharger maker also predicts that around 25% of light vehicles sold in the US will be turbocharged in 2017. Tony Schultz, vice president of the Americas for Honeywell Turbocharger Technologies, said the spark in demand would be the result of carmakers adopting downsized powertrains with turbochargers in order to meet federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) targets. Schultz remarked that he does expect any slowdown in the downsized powertrain adoption rate in North America.
Honeywell also outlined five-year forecasts for turbo sales in other key markets like China, India and Europe. The company expects sales in China and India to triple to 6.7 million and 3 million units respectively by 2017. Honeywell also expects a 35-percent increase in sales in Europe to 35% to 17.4 million units, as carmakers turbocharge more gasoline-powered vehicles.
The slower increase in sales in Europe could be attributed to the fact that almost all diesel powertrains, which account for over half the market, are already turbocharged. Honeywell remains optimistic in Europe as carmakers cut carbon dioxide emissions in order to meet a 2020 requirement that compels companies to cut such emissions per kilometer by 30% from 2011 levels.
Honeywell, however, is not without any rivals at a time when turbochargers are in great demand. This comes as German suppliers Continental AG and Robert Bosch GmbH are making changes to respond to the growing demand. For example, Continental has commenced producing turbochargers for Ford Motor Co.'s three-cylinder powertrain used in the European Focus and Fiesta. The demand for turbochargers from Japanese carmakers may still have a long way to go as they are using hybrid powertrains to boost fuel economy.