The impressive history of Schwitzer turbos

Many companies that began their solo career in the highly competitive world of the turbo either disappeared or joined the organizational chart of other stronger ones, but retaining their brand. Such is the case of the American Schwitzer, officially established in the State of Indianapolis by Louis Schwitzer in 1918. A decade later, this company dedicated to the manufacture of shock absorbers and other components for automobiles begins chain production of its first turbocharger. . In 1952, one of its products was chosen to equip a Cummins diesel-powered race car, and two years later it started manufacturing turbos for Caterpillar. Already in 1962, the technicians of the American company began to collaborate with KKK and Holset, a movement that will result in the integration of Schwitzer in BorgWarner Turbosystems in 1999.

Borg-Warner Turbo Systems is a combination of two turbocharger manufacturers with a rich history in turbocharger design, development and applications. The US-based company USA Acquired by Borg-Warner was the well-known Schwitzer Corporation. Founded in 1918 by Louis Schwitzer, the company started with components and pumps for the cooling system. But one of his greatest legacies that is largely unknown is that Louis Schwitzer was the winner of the first race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909. Not the first 500, but the first. The first race was only about 2-5 miles in length, but at the time the feat was still an achievement. Louis Schwitzer has always been involved with Speedway and his name resides in the automotive industry hall of fame.

This is the chronology of Schwitzer Turbo


  • BorgWarner supplies first turbocharger with integrated exhaust manifold made of sheet metal for gasoline engines
  • BorgWarner opens new production facility in Ramos Arizpe (Mexico) to meet growing demand of the North American market


  • BorgWarner launches first regulated 2-stage turbocharging system (R2S™) with variable turbine geometry (VTG) for a passenger car diesel engine


  • Expansion of the Oroszlany (Hungary) facility to meet customer demands
  • BorgWarner opens a new turbocharger facility in Rzeszow (Poland)
  • BorgWarner wins two Automotive News PACE awards for innovation and environmental sustainability for its regulated 2-stage turbocharging system (R2S™)


  • BorgWarner wins an Automotive News PACE Innovation Award and a PACE Collaboration Award for its VTG turbocharger for gasoline engines


  • Series production launch of the BV35, the smallest member of the VTG turbocharger family by BorgWarner
  • Regulated 2-stage supercharging (R2S) for the medium commercial vehicle segment goes into series production
  • Opening of production site in Pyongteak (Korea)


  • First VTG turbocharger with electric blade adjustment for commercial vehicles is put into series production by BorgWarner
  • First serial usage of regulated 2-stage supercharging (R2S) on a passenger car diesel motor
  • Founding of the joint venture Seohan Warner Turbo Systems in Korea
  • Expansion of the Development Center in Kirchheimbolanden, Germany


  • New BV generation with variable turbine geometry for passenger cars is put into series production by BorgWarner
  • First BV turbocharger with electric blade adjustment goes into series production
  • 3K-Warner Turbosystems GmbH undergoes a name change and is now called BorgWarner Turbo Systems GmbH


  • Opening of a central spare part logistics center in Europe
  • Series production of turbochargers with variable turbine geometry for commercial vehicles
  • Market introduction of R2S™ technology for marine motors
  • Production start for compressors made of titanium


  • Establishment of a turbocharger assembly facility in Oroszlany, Hungary
  • Construction of a development center for the North American market in Asheville


  • The development center in Kirchheimbolanden begins operating
  • The headquarters of BorgWarner Turbo Systems is moved to Kirchheimbolanden
  • Market launch of the new KP series, including the smallest turbocharger for passenger car diesel engines, the KP31
  • Start of production of passenger car turbochargers with variable turbine geometry (VTG)


  • Takeover of Schwitzer by BorgWarner and integration of it in BorgWarner Turbo Systems along with 3K-Warner
  • Inauguration of the new office building in Kirchheimbolanden, thus taking the first step toward concentrating 3K-Warner at the Kirchheimbolanden site
  • Start of construction of the world turbocharger development center of BorgWarner Turbo Systems in Kirchheimbolanden


  • Extension of the production capacity of the Kirchheimbolanden facility to 1.5 million turbochargers a year
  • Production of the 10 millionth turbocharger in the history of AG Kühnle, Kopp & Kausch
  • Founding of 3K-Warner Turbosystems GmbH as a BorgWarner subsidiary, after the acquisition of the supercharging systems division of AG Kühnle, Kopp & Kausch


  • BorgWarner Automotive, the world’s leading automotive supplier, acquires a majority stake in AG Kühnle, Kopp & Kausch
  • Extension of the capacity of the Kirchheimbolanden plant to one million turbochargers a year


  • Market launch of the new S-100 series


  • Market launch of the new K0 series for passenger cars


  • Gradual expansion of the production capacity in Kirchheimbolanden to 600,000 turbochargers a year


  • Expansion of the production capacity of the Bradford, U.K. facility


  • Expansion of production at the Bradford, U.K. facility
  • Start of production at the new manufacturing site in Asheville, North Carolina

1979 -1981

  • Gradual expansion of the production capacity in Kirchheimbolanden to 300,000 turbochargers a year


  • Start of production at the new site in Bradford, U.K.


  • Start of production in Bradford, U.K. and Campinas, Brazil


  • AG Kühnle, Kopp & Kausch takes over Eberspächer’s turbocharger line
  • Development of the K series of turbochargers


  • Collaboration between Schwitzer (U.S.), AG Kühnle, Kopp & Kausch (Germany) and Holset (U.K.)


  • Production of turbochargers begins in Kirchheimbolanden, Germany


  • Production of the first Schwitzer turbocharger for Caterpillar begins


  • Turbocharger development and production start at AG Kühnle, Kopp & Kausch
  • The first Schwitzer turbocharger is used in a Cummins Diesel Racer


  • Schwitzer markets its vibration dampers


  • The first supercharger from Schwitzer


  • Founding of Schwitzer Company in Indianapolis/USA


  • Establishment of the joint-stock company of Kühnle, Kopp & Kausch in Frankenthal, Germany

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