California-based IMPCO Technologies Inc said it has released a premier conversion system programme comprising an OEM-grade fuel delivery, fuel storage and electronic control package that allow the vehicle to run and operate on clean-burning, low cost gaseous fuels.

Brad Garner, IMPCO’s general manager, said: “The premier system is the programme under which our Mexico division is selling fully engineered and integrated LPG Fuel Systems to Automotive OEMS throughout Mexico. We provide the development, applications engineering and systems packaging for the OEM. This allows for a seamless and transparent purchase for the new-vehicle buyer by providing a new-vehicle from the OEM dealership pre-configured with an authorised LPG fuel system that carries with it the new car warranty.”

IMPCO is currently working with: General Motors, Daimler — Chrysler and Volkswagen in a premier programme aimed at broadening the scope of alternative fuel system supply for OEM customers. Prices for the premier system range from $1,500 to $2,500.

The total vehicle population in Mexico is 10 million vehicles with 4.5 million being commercial vehicles. The Mexican automotive industry sold approximately 150,000 new commercial vehicles in 2002; 70% are converted to operate on LPG.

In Mexico, LPG fuel costs approximately 40-50% less than gasoline fuels.

“The Petroleum Mexican Institute (IMP), a government organisation similar to the United States’ EPA, has certified the IMPCO Premier system for use on over fifteen vehicles. The District Federally (DF / Mexico City Government) has also implemented a plan to remove older, more polluting vehicles from the roads by offering a buy-back program which purchases the older vehicle for US$1,500.

“In concert with this program, new-vehicle dealers are offering financing on new LPG equipped vehicles at economic rates to qualified buyers, only when they purchase an LPG vehicle,” said Mr Brad.

IMPCO currently has over 70% of the conversion market in Mexico City where more than 100,000 vehicles are changed over to gaseous fuels each year.

IMPCO Technologies (Nasdaq: IMCO) designs, manufactures, markets and applies products and systems allowing on-highway and off-highway engines to run on environmentally friendly, clean-burning gaseous fuels. IMPCO’s fuel system components, fuel systems and complete engine packages are used for a wide variety of applications in both replacement and OEM markets. The company’s products are used in the transportation, material handling, power generation and industrial market segments worldwide.