French testing group UTAC CERAM and British group Millbrook have reached an agreement to merge their operations, creating a new vehicle testing, homologation and emerging technologies group for autonomous, connected and electric vehicles. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.
“The highly complementary skills, services and technologies of UTAC CERAM and Millbrook will enable us to extend our offering, which will benefit our customers the world over. In the year of our 50th anniversary, combining the two businesses positions us well to lead the market in technical testing, vehicle homologation and new technology. It is an exciting adventure in which everyone at Millbrook is proud to be involved,” remarked Connor McCormack, president of Millbrook.
Millbrook says that it brings extensive expertise in automotive electric driveline development, in particular through its battery and electric drivetrain test centers in the UK and the USA. It highlights that these services should complement UTAC CERAM’s competencies in ADAS and Euro NCAP testing as well as experience in cybersecurity, connectivity and simulation, as deployed in its Teqmo autonomous vehicle test center.
The group will operate several test centers across the world — in France at the Linas-Montlhéry and Mortefontaine facilities, in the UK in Bedford and Leyland, in the USA in Detroit and California, in Finland at a vehicle test facility with indoor and outdoor winter testing tracks, and in Morocco with a new test center offering a track where vehicles are exposed to extreme heat (scheduled to open in 2021).
The group says the merger will give it the capability to offer a more extensive and comprehensive range of services including: the delivery of complex certification and testing programs, testing of vehicles and tires in hot and cold climates, designing and delivering bespoke customer solutions and working with global partners to develop the connected electric vehicles of the future.
The organization will be headed by Laurent Benoit, the current president of UTAC CERAM, who noted, “The alliance with Millbrook represents a fantastic opportunity for our teams and a decisive step that allows us to continue supporting manufacturers and equipment suppliers along their industrial, societal and technological journey.”