A Birmingham technology group is using its expertise to help carmakers to cash in on the boom in demand for diesel-engined cars.

The Technology Innovation Centre, part of the University of Central England, is helping automotive engineers to develop diesel engine management systems as advanced and sophisticated as those on petrol-engined cars.

The centre claims to be at the leading edge of diesel technology research and has been invited to run technical briefings for Jaguar and Land Rover engineers.

Diesel engines have powered generations of Land Rovers, but Jaguar is relatively new to the sector.

The European market for diesel-engined cars has doubled in under ten years and Jaguar is hoping to gain sales in the luxury sector following the launch last year of the acclaimed 2.7 litre, twin turbo-charged, diesel-engined variant of its flagship XJ saloon.

Sales of the diesel-powered mid-range S-Type - which, like the XJ, is made at the company's Castle Bromwich factory - have gone well and Jaguar now even has an oil-burning version of X-Type built at Halewood.

A recent report by international consultants Frost and Sullivan highlighted the fact that one of the key technologies concerning vehicle manufacturers is engine management systems - an area in which the Technology Innovation Centre holds a leading position.

The centre has been running automotive industry conferences and seminars on the subject throughout Europe and it also works with German company IAV, a leader in complete vehicle engineering which helps manufacturers bring new models into production. ..SUPL: