PARIS -- Valeo has contracts with six customers for its stop-start system, giving its fuel-saving technology a big jump on rival suppliers.
As record oil prices increase pressure on carmakers to reduce vehicle fuel consumption, the Citroen C3, Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Getz are using Valeo's combined starter-alternator.
Renault purchasing and manufacturing chief Pierre-Alain de Smedt said the French automaker would offer a stop-start system soon on a small or lower-medium size car such as the Modus or Megane. He did not name the supplier.
Said Valeo CEO Thierry Morin at the auto show here: "We are likely to announce three more orders in the next four to six weeks."
Other partsmakers competing for the stop-start business include German suppliers Robert Bosch, Continental, Siemens VDO Automotive and ZF Sachs; Denso of Japan; and Italy's Magneti Marelli.
US-based Visteon is working with several European automakers that are interested in its SpeedStart 12 version of the technology.
Stop-start cuts off the engine when the car slows to a standstill and restarts it when the driver takes his foot off the brake pedal. Manufacturers put the systems in small cars because they are used in congested areas. If cars in city centers spend a third of travel time standing still, Morin estimated the fuel savings at between 6 percent and 12 percent.
De Smedt said that for Renault stop-start is an environmental statement. Lowering fuel consumption also cuts emissions of CO2, suspected of contributing to global warming.
A stop-start system costs manufacturers E500, de Smedt said. If that cost is passed on to a buyer, it would take 100,000km of urban use to generate equivalent fuel savings.