SMM 2002: MTU Friedrichshafen marketleader for high-speed ships

Posted on September 25, 2002

MTU Friedrichshafen has further improved its position in the marine sector.
  • 56 percent share of the market for large yachts
  • 60 percent of high-speed passenger ferries powered by mtu
  • Market leadership with patrol boats
  • Good position with military special-purpose ships

Hamburg - MTU Friedrichshafen has further improved its position in the marine sector. In many applications, mtu - including the engines produced in Detroit - is the market leader, holding as much as a 50 percent share or over in some areas of application.

The position of the mtu brand is especially strong in the yacht sector. In the market for megayachts of a length of 80 feet or over, last year 56 percent of all newly ordered ships were equipped with MTU/DDC engines, above all with Series 2000 and 4000 engines. By far the best position is held by the 1,470 kW (2,000 HP) 16V 2000, which, with almost 200 engines sold in 2001, enjoys a market share of over 90 percent in its power class. With almost 150 units sold, the 12V 183, too, with a power output of 970 kW (1,300 HP), continues to be a popular engine which is installed in many yachts .

A total of 540 yacht engines were sold by mtu in 2001, a clear sign of the excellent reputation enjoyed by the name of mtu in the world of yachts. The most important market is Italy, ahead of the USA and the other European countries. Some way behind these comes Asia, which, however, is gaining in importance from year to year. mtu's strength in the yacht market lies at present in the range between 900 and 9,000 kW (1,200 -12,000 HP), where mtu holds a share of over 60 percent of the market. In the power output range between 500 and 900 kW (700 - 1,200 HP), the mtu brand presently holds second position; the power output range is currently being extended down to 350 kW (500 HP).

High-speed passenger ferries: 60 percent powered by mtu

mtu is also very well represented in the area of commercially used high-speed ships. Especially in the field of high-speed passenger and car ferries with power outputs from 1,000 to 3,000 kW (1,300 - 3,600 HP) per engine, the mtu brand is the clear leader with a market share of 62 percent. The propulsion systems in such ships usually comprise two, three or four engines, so that the total power output is between 2,000 and 12,000 kW (2,600 - 16,000 HP). Series 2000 and 4000 engines are in particularly great demand, over 100 units having been delivered for passenger ferries in 2001. Series 4000 engines, with their Common Rail injection system, are very advantageous in terms of economical operation. Common Rail technology makes it possible to keep fuel consumption and exhaust emissions at very low levels, both being important criteria for operators. Series 183 and 396 engines also continue to fare very well. Fifty of these engines were delivered last year to ferry builders. The high number of units sold to this market provides an indication of their reliability, which operators regard as the most important characteristic. Only reliably operating engines provide the guarantee that ferry operators are able to earn money with their ships.

In the ranges from 500 to 1,000 kW (700 - 1,300 HP) and above 3,000 kW (3,900 HP), mtu engines currently hold second position. Particularly in the top power output range between 8,200 and 9,000 kW (11,000 - 12,250 HP), i.e. in the market for large car ferries, a strengthening of mtu's position can be expected, because the Series 8000 now provides an engine which sets new standards with its innovative technology and associated economy of operation. Although the market for ships of the appropriate size (approximately 70 - 150 meters) is presently very subdued, the company nevertheless expects the new engine to be successful. An indication of this is the fact that, since the market launch at the end of 2000, mtu has sold 36 Series 8000 engines for use in yachts, commercial and military ships.

Patrol boats: mtu is the market leader

Measured against the current volume of orders (2001), mtu holds a 53% share of the market for patrol boats, far ahead of its nearest competitor with 30%. More so than others ships, these vessels, which reach speeds of up to 70 knots (130 km/h), require very powerful, yet lightweight and compact propulsion systems. mtu has a long-established tradition with regard to high-speed ships and the engines they require. As early as the 1930s, boats powered by Maybach engines - the predecessor of mtu- were able to attain speeds above 54 knots (100 km/h).

The market for such high-powered boats is presently focused on Asia and Australia, where between 80 and 90 patrol boats are taken into service every year. These ships, too, usually have multi-engined propulsion systems, which means that the power output is normally in the range between 2,000 and 4,000 kW.

Military special-purpose ships: mtu has good position

Highly complex propulsion systems are required for military special-purpose ships such as frigates, corvettes and submarines. Over 60 percent of newly built frigates are powered by gas turbine systems, while, of the other ships, which are equipped with diesel engines or with a combination of diesel engines and gas turbines, one in two is powered by an mtu propulsion system. This is an area in which mtu is able to demonstrate to telling effect its capability as a system supplier, which allows engines, gas turbines, gear boxes and other components of the propulsion system to be supplied from a single source and to be integrated into a single electronic control system.

No less demanding are the propulsion systems which are required for minesweepers and submarines. This is an area in which mtu has for many years held an outstanding position, which it is presently continuing to defend with a share of 53 percent of the overall market. Only few manufacturers are in a position to meet the technical standards required of engines for submarines. Not only must they be absolutely reliable, but they must also be small and light weight, at the same time, delivering a high power output. In addition, their fuel consumption must be as low as possible, because every gram of fuel saved means the greater the distance which can be covered by the submarine. mtu engines not only meet these criteria, but additionally embody a number of features which single them out for use in submarines. These include a sophisticated system of sound- and shock-damping, a tried-and-tested engine concept based not on special designs, but on standard-production engines.