Antonov plc, the automotive technology company, has announced the selection of Neue ZWL Zahnradwerk as its production supply partner to manufacture the Antonov Mechanical Module supercharger drive.

This follows the announcement in May of the launch of the product into the buoyant US tuner market prior to Antonov's ultimate objective of introducing it into the mainstream automotive market.

Pilot production work is underway to enable final sign-off of the product and deliveries to US distributors will start in October.

Neue ZWL, located near Leipzig, has a history of 100 years in the manufacture of transmissions and gearbox components. Clients include Tier 1 transmission producers in addition to a range of other automotive and other industry clients.

The company is already a licensee of Antonov technology.

The supercharger drive is based on Antonov's patented technology. The miniature transmission is a small stand-alone self-controlling multi-speed drive unit, which can be configured in 2, 3 or 4 speed modules and applied to a wide range of power transmission applications.

This is the first application of Antonov technology to enter production and will be marketed in conjunction with Rotrex superchargers through a number of specialist distributors in the US and Europe. Sales are expected to be in the region of 4,000 units in the first year and production can be extended as demand grows.

Antonov will manage the manufacture and supply of the initial series production (up to annual volumes of around 10,000 units) but expects to licence the technology to high volume clients either directly or through their Tier 1 suppliers.

John Moore, CEO Antonov plc, commented:

"The selection of Neue ZWL gives us a world class supplier who are already well established as a top quality automotive supplier. Their commitment to the product is an endorsement of the potential of the Antonov Mechanical Module in the automotive market.

"Our strategy will enable the system to be released into the mainstream automotive marketplace as a proven technology and underpins our ongoing discussions with OEM vehicle manufacturers interested in high volume applications."