Denso is in advanced talks to supply new high-pressure diesel common-rail injectors to an unnamed European automaker.
If Denso wins the contract, it would expand common-rail diesel injection manufacturing operations in Hungary.
The Hungary plant supplies Toyota and Isuzu in Europe, but this would be the first injector deal with a European-based automaker. Denso also provides Nissan in Europe with injectors made in Japan.
Denso board member Hiromi Tokuda confirmed the high-level talks in an interview last week at the Society of Automotive Engi-neers World Congress in Detroit.
"We are in negotiations with a new customer in Europe, a Euro-pean automaker," said Tokuda, chief of the diesel and gasoline injection pro-ducts division. He said talks could be completed before summer.
An injector contract could help CEO Hiromu Okabe meet Denso's goal of overtaking Visteon as the world's No. 3 Tier 1 auto supplier.
Denso is counting on a new 1,800-bar common-rail system, which it said helps diesels reduce emissions and noise even at low speeds and meets Euro IV emissions rules. The system delivers five injections each combustion stroke.
Denso's system consists of a supply pump; a common-rail with high-pressure sensor; solenoid injectors; and a high-speed, 32-bit engine-control unit.
Denso is expected to start full-scale production of the 1,800-bar system in Hungary this year and in Thailand in 2004.
Denso also unveiled plans to build a 2,000-bar system by 2006.