GENEVA -- General Motors Co. is introducing its first in-house diesel engine control unit on the new Opel/Vauxhall Meriva small minivan, making the carmaker independent of unit suppliers such as Robert Bosch AG and Magneti Marelli S.p.A.
“We are beginning from Europe, where we sell more diesels, but our own ECUs over time will go anywhere we put a diesel engine in any type of vehicle,” said Rita Forst, head of Opel product development.
Having a proprietary engine control unit gives GM more bargaining power with suppliers of diesel pumps and injectors, which normally tend to supply the complete system including the control unit.
Forst said an in-house ECU also offers advantages in terms of functionality, more power, lower fuel consumption and emissions, as well as being cost competitive.
“To my knowledge, we are the first automaker in the world to make our own diesel engine ECUs,” Forst said at the Geneva auto show, where the new Meriva had its debut.
GM's diesel ECU will be first introduced on a 1.7-liter diesel engine. Within two to three years the system will also be applied to the carmaker's 1.3-liter SDE (small diesel engine) and to the 2.0-liter "Family B" unit.