HANOVER -- Continental has a customer for its turbocharger, CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann told Automotive News Europe on the sidelines of the companys annual results press conference here.
He declined to name the customer or say where the company will make the component.
A Continental source said the customer is a non-European carmaker and said the turbochargers will be mated to 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline direct-injection engines.
Last April, Continental announced plans to open its first turbocharger plant by 2011.
Wendelin Klügel, Continentals head of powertrain systems and technology, said last year that Continental plans to make 100,000 turbochargers a year for four-cylinder, 2.0-liter gasoline direct-injection engines.
CEO Neumann said Continental will provide more details about its turbocharger business in the coming months.
Conti and a joint venture of Robert Bosch and Mahle are entering the turbocharger field to challenge Honeywell Turbo Technologies, the world leader in the field with a market share of more than 50 percent, and No. 2 maker BorgWarner Turbo & Emissions Systems.
Bosch plans to start production in 2011.
Competition is the field getting fierce because demand for the component is expected rise before tougher emissions standards take effect in 2012.
Turbochargers help improves fuel economy for diesel and gasoline engines, with no loss of performance.
Before the financial downturn, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants forecasted that global turbocharger unit sales would rise to 17.8 million by 2012 from 14.6 million in 2007.