Stefan Demmerle
Vice President
BorgWarner Inc.
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View from the Top

Turbocharger Demand Will See Mexican Production Soar

Mon, 09/01/2014 - 11:08

Q: How does BorgWarner view the Mexican market, since North America is one of the fastest growing turbocharger markets in the world?

A: BorgWarner products are manufactured at four facilities in Mexico, representing nearly all of our technologies. In addition to turbochargers, BorgWarner produces engine timing systems, HY-VO® chains, ignition technologies, transmission components, all-wheel drive technologies and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) coolers, valves, and modules in Mexico. This is the perfect site for our production base, as BorgWarner forecasts that turbocharger production will more than double in the next five years, with global volumes for light-vehicle turbochargers growing from 29 million in 2014 to 43 million in 2019. Since it was established in 2008, BorgWarner’s turbocharger plant in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, has steadily increased capacity to meet growing demand in North America. This plant supplies turbochargers for passenger cars and trucks, including those powered by Ford’s 3.5-liter Ecoboost engines. Besides, Mexico also offers excellent opportunities for BorgWarner’s Emissions Systems products, including EGR coolers, valves, ignition coils, and modules, since volumes for these products are expected to grow significantly.

Q: Outside of Ramos Arizpe, how is the manufacturing of advanced engine timing systems in Jalisco for Volkswagen driving growth for the company?

A: BorgWarner’s engine timing chains and tensioners reduce friction and weight to help improve fuel economy for Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter and 1.8-liter DOHC I4 engines. Volkswagen is initially expecting to build over 300,000 engines per year at its new engine plant in Mexico, with the potential for higher volumes in the future. We are pleased to provide localized production to support its expansion into the North American market. At the same time, the government is increasing fuel economy standards, and consumers are demanding more miles to the gallon. BorgWarner’s industry-leading silent chains and hydraulic tensioners feature low-noise, low-weight, and low-friction technologies to meet just these types of market needs.

Q: What criteria does BorgWarner use to choose its longterm suppliers?

A: BorgWarner actively develops relationships with its suppliers through its robust global commodity management system. From strategy development to choosing the right suppliers and ensuring sustainability in the supply chain, our commodity strategy is based on delivering results. In fact, our businesses have won awards for their risk assessment models and commodity database tools. Both of these have proved highly effective in increasing efficiency for BorgWarner and its selected supply partners.

Q: Which products in your portfolio are most effective in improving engine efficiency?

A: For engine timing systems, the key to improving engine efficiency is reducing the power wasted through parasitic losses. For example, friction wastes power, so reducing friction means there is more power available to move the vehicle. Less friction also leads to improved fuel economy, higher durability, and less noise. BorgWarner engineers use state-of-the-art testing and simulation techniques to understand where and how friction occurs throughout the engine timing system: engaging sprockets, around arms or guides, and between links and pins. Our engineers have developed advanced designs and manufacturing processes to reduce friction up to 25% or more. Precisely curved link backs reduce the contact area and friction while increasing contact pressure and promoting lubrication. Fine link punching technology reduces variation for less friction between links and pins, while hard-coated pin technology also improves durability.

Q: What have been the most successful innovations you have made to improve overall operational performance of vehicles?

A: Our powertrain solutions have long aimed to improve fuel economy, emissions, and performance. Our innovations have garnered numerous awards, including eight Automotive News PACE Awards. The most recent award was presented for the Eco-Launch™ solenoid valve, which helps stop/start systems improve fuel economy with smoother launches during restarts. Other innovations include the first regulated three-stage (R3S) turbocharging system for diesel engines and the first mass-production turbocharger with low pressure EGR technology