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HORIBA acquires MIRA, moves into vehicle engineering and testing consultancy

Japan-based HORIBA, a leading supplier of automotive test systems, is acquiring the global advanced vehicle engineering, research and product testing business operated by UK-based MIRA. The acquisition enables HORIBA to add new products and services at the cutting-edge of next-generation mobility development in areas such as autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles and ultra-low fuel consumption vehicles.

By this integration, HORIBA can provide a comprehensive solution underpinned by a suite of test systems and advanced vehicle engineering capabilities. Collectively, the two companies have 140 years of experience in their respective fields, with both celebrating 70 years of operation in 2015/16.

The sale will allow MIRA to continue with its plans for growth by building on its reputation in vehicle R&D, engineering and testing. The sale will also allow MIRA to invest in its current facilities and enhance its capabilities on a global scale.

Background. HORIBA’s Automotive Test System business is a leading global supplier of analysis and measurement systems to automotive related companies and national certification bodies, principally in the field of powertrain development. In addition to its established Emission Measurement System (EMS) capabilities, an area in which it holds a dominant share of the global market, HORIBA acquired in 2005 the mechatronics (MCT) for powertrain research and development business of Carl Schenck AG in Germany.

While HORIBA projects that these businesses will keep growing as internal combustion engines continue to play a critical role as a propulsion source for automobiles and other form of transport, the automotive industry, from a longer term perspective, is expected to shift its investment into the energy and safety domains, as well as the area of autonomous driving where IT is of vital importance.

In order to respond to such market changes and develop its business in the vehicle development domain, including safety and autonomous driving technology, HORIBA acquired MIRA’s business to enhance its capability to offer solutions for next-generation mobility development.

MIRA Ltd. was established in 1946 as the government-funded Motor Industry Research Association in the UK. It provides various testing, product design and development research services, including next-generation transportation technology, to the automotive, aerospace, railway and other industrial sectors.

On its 297 ha site in Nuneaton, near Birmingham in central England, MIRA has a high speed circuit and special test tracks which reproduce various traffic conditions, along with a broad spectrum of test facilities. MIRA’s business areas include vehicle engineering consultancy, vehicle testing services, and on-site R&D facility leasing. In addition to serving clients in the UK, MIRA is expanding its business globally, with increasing demand from the automotive industry in Japan, America, Europe and Asia in recent years.

MIRA is based in the Midlands, in central England, a region in which many F1 (Formula 1) and other motor sport vehicles constructors are based. This has led to an accumulation of cutting-edge automotive development technologies and knowhow in the area, with many other automotive companies located nearby.

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