MIA and Ford encourage closer motorsport and automotive collaboration
05 Oct 2012
A ground-breaking initiative to encourage engineers to share best practice has been welcomed by Ford UK’s Chairman Joe Greenwell at Ford’s Technical Innovation Centre at Dunton (on Thursday 4 October).
Nearly a third of the vehicle manufacturer’s 3,000 design engineers from the Essex site visited the showcase of engineering capability of Motorsport Industry Association members, following similar MIA events at Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan in 2012.
Joe Greenwell, Chairman of Ford UK, said: “we continue to invest hugely and can always learn how to be more efficient and effective. If you bring engineers together, you will always get something good out of it. These guys are here today sharing ideas and learning from each other.”
Adrian Moore, Technical Director of motorsport drivetrain specialist Xtrac, said: “We’re here to diversify our products into the mainstream automotive industry, by demonstrating what we can do to Ford engineers”
Xtrac had success at a similar event organised by the MIA at Jaguar Land Rover earlier this year. The motorsport engineer has previously worked with other specialist manufacturers to develop a government-funded flywheel hybrid for a demonstrator Jaguar.
Chris Aylett, Chief Executive of the MIA, said: “Mainstream automotive OEMs are often very difficult for SME’s to reach, as they don’t fit the normal supply chain matrix. Our series of showcase events provide an environment in which like-minded engineers can get together and talk. This event shows this untapped seam of innovation in UK motorsport engineering is ready to be exploited by automotive OEMs. Most MIA members are SMEs that are used to developing highly innovative solutions and producing them in days, not weeks. These fast-paced skills, honed in the highly competitive world of motorsport, are hugely transferable to an OEM, such as Ford, which seeks constantly to ‘telescope’ its manufacturing processes. Motorsport companies really add value at the concept stage and up to pre-production, where rapid prototyping and fast solution partnerships really count.”