Q&A: John Nelson, Element Materials Technology

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Almost a year since Element Materials Technology acquired Exova, John Nelson, executive vice president of transportation and industrials at Element, reveals how the business has changed since and the benefits seen from both sides.

What benefits have you seen since the merger?

Our coming together has increased our depth of technical expertise, combining the top testing minds of Exova and Element to form an automotive center of excellence in North America. With joint capabilities, our automotive testing services are more complete than ever before.

Whether our customers’ needs are to test a single component or a complete vehicle, Element has a comprehensive range of testing services that help to make certain our customers’ products are faster, stronger, technically advanced, more reliable, and fuel efficient. We are increasing our capabilities, from components to full vehicles, and have doubled our capacity to serve customers in this growing market.

Have any changes been made?

In merging the two companies we have worked hard to keep the transition seamless to ensure our service remains above expectations. We have been able to take best practices from both companies and merge them together to increase our efficiency, ensuring that we are meeting customer needs and providing the certainty they have come to expect from Element.

We have increased our footprint in southeast Michigan, Canada and the UK, and look to continue this growth in the coming years, expanding into new geographies. We want to be where our customers are in order to bring them best-in-class service.

 Do you have any plans to expand?

The outlook for Element in 2018 and beyond is positive as we continue to see the trends around Corporate Annual Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, lighter vehicles, and innovation for autonomous vehicles, and electric and hybrid vehicles continue to dominate the market.

Our goal is to invest and grow with our customers based on their needs, staying ahead of the market. As the automotive industry grows and changes, we will grow and change with it. Whether that’s investing in new technology, capabilities, capacity, expertise or facilities, Element will remain at the forefront in automotive testing.

We look forward to seeing the changes in the sector and its global impact, because at our core we are here to guide and ensure that those products on the road are high-quality, safe, compliant and fit for purpose.

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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