By Greg Migliore and Ryan Beene, Crain News Service
Detroit, Michigan -- Diesel-powered and hybrid vehicles could account for up to 30 percent of the vehicles in the US by the end of the next decade, a panel of auto executives told attendees at the recent 2008 Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress in Detroit.
The growth of these powertrain options reflect consumers' growing thirst for fuel-sipping vehicles, the panelists agreed.
The figure for diesel-about 20 percent of vehicles in operation-was suggested by BorgWarner CEO Tim Manganello. The other panelists, including Derrick Kuzak, Ford Motor Co.'s product chief, and Ed Mantey, a Toyota Motor Corp. engineering vice president, agreed with the forecast.
Mr. Manganello based his predictions on patterns in Europe, where consumers have long enjoyed diesel rides. â€œEurope is a leading indicator for powertrain technology,â€ he said.
He also said he expects the number of gasoline engines equipped with turbochargers to double by 2013.
Meanwhile, Magna International Inc. Co-CEO Don Walker suggested there could be global annual sales of 1.7 million hybrid vehicles by 2013-765 000 of them in the US.
The US market for hybrid vehicles is picking up dramatically, with 338 851 hybrids sold last year, up 34.5 percent from 251 870 in 2006.
Walker said a key component of the industry's response to the green market and its regulatory demands is the increased use of global platforms.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)