THE DEVELOPMENT AND INTRODUCTION OF THE AUTOMOTIVE TURBOCHARGER: A CASE OF INNOVATION IN RESPONSE TO FUEL ECONOMY REGULATION

This case study examines the evolution of the turbocharger from its invention in 1905 by Dr. A. J. Buechi, to its use on passenger cars in the late seventies. The case makes a number of points. The market for turbochargers has changed over time. In the fifties, suppliers developed a commercial turbocharger for compact, light, high-speed diesel engines which found a large and growing market. Application to the automotive field was slow in coming. Turbochargers found use in competitive racing. Aside from a brief period in the early sixties, the automobile industry did not seriously consider turbochargers for passenger cars until the mid-seventies. Down-sizing and the attendant reduction in engine horsepower in response to the mandated fuel economy standards have created a market for turbochargers. Suppliers played an important role in the success of this innovation.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Lexington Technology Associates

    Lexington, MA  USA  02173

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    Office of Research and Development, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  USA  20590

    Transportation Systems Center

    55 Broadway, Kendall Square
    Cambridge, MA  USA  02142
  • Authors:
    • RONAN, L
    • Abernathy, W
  • Publication Date: 1979-8

Media Info

  • Pagination: 78 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00199106
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT/TSC/NHTSA-79-18 Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-TSC-1355
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 19 1980 12:00AM