Business and Innovation Magazine have included Xtrac in their annual article feature of the Top 100 Exporters in Oxfordshire & Thames Valley region. Fewer than 10% of UK companies export, but in the Oxfordshire and Thames Valley region there are a whole host of exciting and entrepreneurial businesses that year on year trade significantly with customers in countries around the world. The magazine highlights that the UK automotive industry is a leading exporter with over £33B of cars exported in 2017, and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) recognise that every day thousands of car parts travel to and from mainland Europe to help build the cars and engines that are then exported from the UK, and many of these suppliers are in the region.
Thames Valley based transmission technology specialist Xtrac, operates at the highest level of professional motorsport and High-Performance Automotive including developing the very latest technology ILEV (Integrated Lightweight Electric Vehicle) transmissions for the next generation of performance vehicles. Exports are around 70% of total output every year to the main markets of Europe and the USA and also include Australia, China, Japan and South America with exports from the Thatcham headquarters shipping to over 30 countries. Xtrac supplements its UK base with a technical support and sales distribution operation in the USA at two locations; Indianapolis in Indiana, and Mooresville in North Carolina.
Included in the Business and Innovation feature are several other high technology manufacturing businesses in the region who work very closely with Xtrac, including Prodrive in Banbury, Williams Advanced Engineering in Grove and Yasa in Oxford. All are part of Motorsport Valley, a term coined by the Motorsport Industry Association several years ago to describe the world leading technology cluster that has its roots in the region.
Recent product launches from Xtrac include an ILEV e-axle for the first electric-powered cars to compete in the 2021 to 2024 FIA World Rallycross Championship to augment the already growing number of ILEV transmissions used in the next generation or high-performance road cars. Xtrac is busy recruiting apprentices and machinists as well as student, graduate and professional engineers interested in pursuing a career within the motorsport and high-performance automotive industry sector.
“I’m delighted, of course, that this growing need for our ILEV products around the World enable us to create new jobs within our industry.” said CEO Adrian Moore. Moore foresees an exciting future for Xtrac both within the UK motorsport industry and on the global stage: “We have compelling technology to help make motorsport even more exciting, which also influences the crucial evolution of the next generation of road cars.”
Continuing the company’s substantial capital investment programme, Xtrac has recently commissioned two new test rigs to enhance its end-of-line testing and accelerated duty cycle development capabilities. It has designed each 200kW test rig to a rigorous specification. Supplied by Sierra-CP, they consist of 3-axis and 4-axis rigs. The latter allows twin input drives, essential for testing the latest twin motor ILEV transmissions. Use of a battery emulator in the future will enable testing of complete integrated electric drive unit transmissions with the vehicle’s motors in-situ.
Recent investment also includes Xtrac’s sixth Kapp gear-grinding machine, delivering world-class gear manufacturing capability. The Kapp KX500 Flex adds not only the latest gear grinding precision and quality but also shortens manufacturing lead times. Moore says the machine is state of the art and offers “better capability than any of our direct competitors.”