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Report Says Turbocharging, Engine Downsizing on the Rise

May 31, 2012

PLYMOUTH, MI – A new report from Honeywell Turbo Technologies (a division of Honeywell) says automakers are using turbocharging in a greater number of vehicles than ever. The company projects the number of turbocharged commercial and passenger vehicles sold in North America to reach 3.2 million in 2012, up 1 million vehicles from the 2.2 million in 2011. Passenger vehicles account for the majority of the increase, with 850,000 additional turbocharged engines sold, which is a 61% increase from 2011.

Some examples of late-model powertrains that use turbocharging include Ford’s EcoBoost engine lineup, the engines in the Chevrolet Cruze, Sonic, and those in the diesel versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and Volkswagen Touareg. In 2012, Honeywell said the 2013-MY Dodge Dart will use its turbocharging technology.

"With fuel prices being a significant concern for consumers and businesses, turbochargers are a smart choice for getting more miles to the gallon," said Tony Schultz, vice president for the Americas, Honeywell Turbo Technologies. "It's a proven technology that can be used across market segments and does not put the consumer in an extended payback period like other technologies to realize its benefits. Turbocharging technology has been a fuel economy driver for decades in the United States for the on- and off-highway commercial vehicle market, as well as in global passenger vehicle markets like Europe."

Honeywell said J.D. Power and partner firm LMC Automotive data shows a decline in the number of large, eight-cylinder engines and an increase in the number of four-cylinder engines sold in late-model vehicles, as the U.S. fleet downsizes to smaller engines that use turbocharging and other technologies to improve efficiency. In 2008, only 2% of gasoline or flex-fuel vehicles built in the U.S. used turbocharging. In 2011, the number jumped to 9.5% of vehicles produced, and by 2017, LMC Automotive data expects that number to reach 23.5%, according to Honeywell.

In addition, the company said industry data shows that by 2017, the average engine size displacement will drop to 2.9L, down from 3.6L in 2007.

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