Pricey fuel works for BorgWarner
The effort to improve fuel economy is transforming the auto in North America. Particularly hot is the turbocharger. Tim Manganello, CEO of BorgWarner Inc., a top producer of turbos and dual-clutch transmissions, was interviewed by Publisher Peter Brown.
Is higher fuel economy in North America driven more by CAFE or by $4 a gallon gasoline?
Today, it's driven more by $4 gasoline and competition. At $4 there's a mind change among consumers. If we stay at $4 or higher, consumers will continue to make decisions based on fuel economy.
Turbochargers are becoming a way of life, and you're going to see a lot more of them in the United States now that Ford is introducing the four-cylinder EcoBoost.
Multispeed automotive transmissions are continuing to grow. I've heard rumblings about a 10-speed in the future. That's better fuel economy. More clutches and more speeds -- that helps BorgWarner. And dual-clutch transmissions are getting more traction.
Are automakers taking the suppliers on board earlier in the development process because of fuel economy?
They're doing technology reviews. We'll do a technology review with them, and we'll expose them to a number of new advanced-engineering ideas. And most of the time we'll end up with two, three, four or five advanced engineering programs with them focused on fuel economy. It causes a better relationship.
It seems to me that they're increasing fuel economy but can't reduce performance. Correct?
Nobody wants to sacrifice performance, and you really don't have to. There's technology out there that gets you better fuel economy. It costs a little more. But you won't sacrifice performance.
You can reach Peter Brown at email@example.com.