DETROIT--Mention Ford Motor Co.'s EcoBoost engine to a General Motors Co. power train engineer and you'll probably hear, "We had that technology first."
GM's mistake, says Uwe Grebe, executive director of GM's global advanced engineering, was missing the chance to badge the technology, as Ford did. GM is now discussing ways to catch up with Ford's marketing, Grebe says.
Ford launched EcoBoost--which combines turbocharging and direct injection--last summer, spending as much as a new-vehicle launch on its marketing. Ford has said it expects to offer EcoBoost in 90 percent of its models by 2013.
When GM first built its turbocharged direct-injection engines in 2007 for the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky, Grebe says, the company talked about the engines.
"But we didn't have a badge and say, 'This is the most important thing we will put on all our brochures,' " he says. Now, Grebe says, finding a new marketing strategy is a top priority, although he is mum on timing. One item of discussion is whether GM will come up with a badge. The technology is standard on the Chevrolet Cobalt SS and HHR SS models. It will be an option on the Buick Regal due late this summer.
"It would not be good to say, 'This is EcoBoost, only better,'" Grebe says. "People need to know what it is," but "people don't want to know every detail of the technology."