Forget about the Label - Where big Automotive Companies get their Turbochargers

Mar 20, 2014
Forget About the Label – Where big Automotive Brands get Their Turbochargers 1

At AET, we do a lot of work with franchise car and commercial vehicle dealers, handling their out of warranty turbocharger repairs and replacements.

Naturally, dealers want to ensure that they get the right, high quality components for their vehicles, and sometimes ask if we use “official” or “branded” turbochargers in our repair work, which we do.

However, dealers are used to receiving components from their parent brand, supplied in branded packaging that clearly states that it’s manufactured specifically for their vehicle – and when it comes to turbocharging, things are a little different!

This can be confusing, which is why we’ve created this post, where we take a look at how the big automotive brands source their turbochargers, and who manufactures the ‘official’ components.

White label

The truth is that the vast majority of the world’s automotive companies don’t make their own turbochargers in house - they buy them in from other companies.

A handful of specialist companies produce the vast majority of automotive turbochargers, before rigorously testing them and supplying them to engine manufacturers and the big automotive brands.

That’s why, when it comes to replacement turbochargers and components, they often come packaged direct from the manufacturer, and not from the vehicle brand itself.

Shared components

As you’re probably aware, different manufacturers often use the same type of engine in their vehicles – and the same is true for turbochargers.

For example, one particular model of Garrett turbocharger (The GT1544V) was actually used in over 30 different passenger vehicle variants from 6 different manufacturers - Ford, Citroen, Mazda, Mini, Peugeot and Volvo.

In this way, an ‘official’ Ford turbocharger is often the exact same as the ‘official’ Citroen turbocharger – although they’ll both come in the same Garrett box!

There are even cases where one automotive manufacturer supplies turbochargers to another, so you might end up with a MHI (Mitsubishi) branded turbo in your Peugeot or Volvo.

The big players

As we mentioned earlier, a handful of leading names in global automotive turbocharging provide the vast majority of turbos for passenger and commercial vehicles.

Here is a list of the main players.

  • Garrett
  • BorgWarner / KKK / Schwitzer
  • IHI
  • Toyota
  • Mitsubishi / MHI
  • Holset

If you’re buying a replacement turbocharger, don’t be surprised if it arrives packaged from one of these companies, rather than the main brand – but it’s still the exact same component inside.

How we can help

At AET, we’ve got over 40 years experience repairing and replacing turbochargers for a full range of commercial and passenger vehicles.

With experience working on turbochargers from all the major manufacturers, and a comprehensive database of vehicles and the turbos they use, we’ll ensure that you get the right ‘official’ parts that are purpose-designed for your vehicles.

In addition, our teams can provide advice on any known issues surrounding specific model turbochargers, and if required, remanufacture them to improve reliability and performance.

For further information on any aspect of turbocharging, get in touch today on 01924 588 266, or find your turbo and request a callback.

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