COLOGNE -- Visteon will beat its competitors to market with CO2-based air conditioning systems, company executives say.
European Union rules will outlaw today's ozone-depleting R134a refrigerant on new cars sold after 2011. That's six years away. But models being planned today will launch in 2008 or 2009 and still be in production by 2011, so automakers must find alternatives quickly.
"We are already talking to several OEMs about CO2 climate systems," said Visteon's European head Heinz Pfannschmidt at a press workshop here.
Bids start in 2006
Pfannschmidt said that Visteon will finalize system designs with customers in the fourth quarter. It expects to make bids to several automakers early next year.
Production could start as early as 2009, Visteon engineers say.
Visteon's primary competitor is Japan's Denso, which in 2002 was the first to announce a CO2 air conditioning program. Denso declined to discuss the timing of its launch or customers, but the company believes CO2 is the "most promising alternative" to R134a.
US supplier Delphi is evalua-ting CO2, but also believes systems using the modified hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant R152a have potential. Spokesman Richard Gotch said: "Delphi is in a position where it can put both systems into production quickly."