2010 Citroen C3 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Automotive supplier Valeo SA has struggled to gain market share over the past decade. Attempting to turn things around, the company will focus its efforts on fuel efficiency. Valeo has made carbon dioxide reduction its primary focus for upcoming products, and surprisingly both carbon dioxide reduction and increased fuel efficiency can come from products that you would never expect.

Some examples of the fuel conscious efforts of Valeo include advanced door locks that save a mere 180 grams of weight over standard locks and a thermal management system that can quickly regulate the water temperature of a vehicle, delivering a claimed 10-percent increase in performance while reducing emissions.

Thinking outside of the box, Valeo is developing a product called Aquablade that revolutionizes the vehicle's wiper system. Aquablade dribbles water out of the blade rather than shooting wiper fluid from hood-mounted sprayers. Though the system does not seem related to efficiency, the dribble effect reduces the amount of wiper fluid needed and saves 4.4 pounds of fluid weight over traditional systems.

Valeo will introduce a second-generation start/stop system with regenerative braking in 2011. The first application will be the Citreon C3 pictured above. The start/stop system increases fuel economy by 10 percent.

The supplier will focus on additional technologies including electric supercharging, lightened flywheels and combined charger-inverters for plug-in vehicles.

Valeo's fuel conscious parts could be a necessary addition to many vehicles that will have to meet tougher European CO2 emission standards. Failure to meet the standards will result in fines that could convince automakers to take a close look at these emission-reducing parts offered by Valeo. The company hopes that demand for fuel efficient parts will drive both profit and market share up in the years ahead.

[Source: Ward's Auto]

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