11/15/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

I'm Shocked, Just Shocked That There's Turbocharging Going On!

It's amazing how the obvious can grab one's attention.  A recent study
of U.S. consumers by Honeywell found that more than half of those
planning to purchase a vehicle in the next two years consider fuel
efficiency to be more important than it was during their last vehicle
purchase. The study also found that more than 80% of American consumers
were more likely to consider purchasing a turbocharged vehicle after
learning that the readily-available turbocharger helps to increase the
fuel efficiency of a gas engine by up to 20% without sacrificing
performance or reliability.  The operative line here is "after
learning" turbocharged vehicles already exist and can be purchased

According to David Paja, vice president of marketing for Honeywell
Turbo Techonologies, "The success of the 'Cash for Clunkers' program
shows that a consumer appetite exists for fuel efficient options on
traditional engine platforms that don't sacrifice the power,
reliability and price that Americans demand. For that reason, almost
every major automaker has announced plans to broadly introduce
turbocharged engines to the U.S. market in the coming years. We
anticipate demand for gas and diesel turbocharged engines in the U.S.
market may increase from 5% today to 25% by 2014 and could top 85% by

This is yet another admission by domestic auto manufacturers that they
actually had a ready-made market to exploit and still dropped the ball.
To really drive the point home, almost 50% all new cars manufactured in
Europe already have turbocharged techonology.  Of course any movement
towards more energy-efficient automobiles is the positive development
that is necessary to improve our energy independance as well as cut
down on our carbon footprint.  However, sometimes you just have to
scratch your head and wonder, "What on earth were these manufacturers
thinking about?"

Jonathan A. Schein is the publisher of and