A new study published by automotive industry website just-auto.com suggests that the turbocharger sector in Europe faces consolidation as the diesel share of the light vehicle market nears saturation.

The just-auto report ‘Global market review of automotive turbochargers and superchargers – forecasts to 2012’ says that after a period of rapid growth, the diesel boom in Europe may be nearing a peak as a new generation of Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engines emerges as a preferred long-term solution to fuel consumption and emission reduction targets.

Unlike diesel engines, gasoline engines naturally exhibit dynamic performance characteristics and a turbocharger is not necessary for acceptable performance levels.

According to just-auto’s research, the global production of turbochargers for light vehicles in 2005 was 13.5 million units, representing a four-fold increase over ten years.

Europe has accounted for around three-quarters of the growth in global demand over that period, with most of that growth coming through diesel engine applications and the diesel share of the European light vehicle market has risen above 50%. However, European diesel share growth has eased and is predicted to peak at around 55% in the early part of the next decade.

But the research also suggests that the increasing availability of GDI engines in Europe could create significant opportunities for superchargers. Superchargers display consistent performance across an engine’s speed range, meaning they could be developed to reach the same emissions controls as diesel with less auxiliary equipment, and therefore less cost.

The report also says that prospects for diesel in North America face an uphill struggle and it will be at least 2008 before a clearer picture emerges of whether vehicle manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz have successfully promoted diesel as an effective solution to America’s current energy concerns.

Japan has also shown some aversion to diesel and while a number of makers have developed GDI engines, they have not boosted engine power.

However, engine-boosting prospects for China are seen as positive as the Chinese car market increasingly develops towards more sporty and high performance segments.

The full just-auto.com report, ‘Global market review of automotive turbo chargers and superchargers – forecasts to 2012’, is available for purchase at a price of £417 by following this link: https://www.just-auto.com/store/products_detail.asp?art=39648&lk=rotw_arch