An autogas family tree
BRC, a company very important in the history and present of the autogas sector and a significant contributor to the sector's development, became a part of a larger corporation not that long ago. Several years ago it was incorporated into the US group called Fuel Systems Solutions, who, by gathering a number of smaller companies from the LPG/CNG field, is now a major global player in terms of supplying gaseous fuel-based solutions and technology for transportation and industry.
Fuel Systems Solutions was founded in 2006 and today has a portfolio of over 120 OEM gaseous fuel applications and a network of 400 aftermarket distributors. The company is generally divided into three principal branches, focusing, respectively, on:
- gas propulsion systems for transportation (vehicles);
- gas propulsion systems for industry (fork lifts, stationary engines and power generators);
- natural gas refuelling infrastructure.
The transportation division includes the following brands: BRC, GFI, TA Gas Technology and Zavoli. According to Fuel Systems Solutions, gas systems marketed under these brand names are used in more than 5,5 million vehicles worldwide. Another part of the transportation branch is IMPCO Automotive (itself a part of IMPCO Technologies), supplying the North American market with gas propulsion systems based on technology developed by BRC. IMPCO Automotive also plays a role in obtaining appropriate certifications for gas systems to be sold on the American market and developing specific applications for US-sold vehicles. The company has its headquarters in Santa Ana, California.
IMPCO Technologies consists of: IMPCO Ecotrans (engine heating systems for locomotives), IMPCO ComfortPro (cabin heating and A/C systems for trucks), BRC FuelMaker (natural gas compressors), Alternative Fuel Systems (gas conversion kits and ignition systems for mobile and stationary engines) and IMPCO Automotive.
As for BRC, the company was established in 1977 in Cherasco, Italy, and owns a conversion centre in Livorno, as well as foreign divisions in Pakistan, India, Australia, Brazil and Argentina. GFI Control Systems Europe BV in turn (formerly Teleflex GFI) is an IMPCO Technologies branch. The company has a tradition of 30 years, is located in Holland and markets automotive LPG and CNG systems under the brands GFI, SGI and Necam-Koltec.
TA Gas Technology (formerly known as Tomasetto Achille), a company from Beccar near Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a leading supplier of CNG systems and components for passenger cars, trucks and buses in Latin America. Founded in 1986 as a CNG conversion centre, the company soon developed its own range of products and managed to establish itself as a leader in the demanding South American market. It has since expanded and entered worldwide markets, too.
As far as Zavoli is concerned, the company is headquartered in Cesena, Italy, was established in 1993 and manufactures LPG and CNG systems and their components. Italy remains Zavoli's major market, but the company's products are exported to more than 30 foreign markets worldwide.
The infrastructure branch of Fuel Systems Solutions comprises BRC FuelMaker, a company merging the experience of two formerly separate entities – FuelMaker and BRC Compressors and specialised in natural gas compressors (from garage ones, made for private use, to those working at refuelling stations). The industrial division of Fuel Systems Solutions includes two companies: IMPCO and GFI.
IMPCO, established in 1958, produces gas conversion kits for industrial machinery, stationary engines, power generators and agricultural machinery. IMPCO is present in foreign markets such as Holland or Japan, be it either under its own brand or through subsidiaries. GFI Control Systems, headquartered in Canada, is a sub-brand of IMPCO Technologies and boasts experience in excess of 30 years. The company focuses on developing gas injection systems for General Motors engines.
So this is roughly what Fuel Systems Solutions is about. BRC, as a part of the group, develops and supplies technologies and solutions permeating FSS' s other brands, such as GFI. In fact, some of the components used in either company's conversion kits are virtually the same products, badge-engineered for specific markets.
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