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15th July 2015 |

Goodbye Mira

Tw Mira
Ok we’re being a little dramatic but at Walton Bridge Garage we’re saddened by the news that Tokyo listed industrial group Horiba, has acquired a corner stone of British vehicle engineering.

The former Motor Industry Research Association (Mira) has changed hands for an undisclosed sum after beginning life 70 years ago in Nuneaton as a government funded test track operator.

Today it has become one of the largest independent proving grounds globally, attracting car makers from around the world and even a trio of local hooligans from a show called Top Gear (or should we say formerly).

A jewel in Britain’s automotive crown, Mira is also leading the way as a partner with Autodrive consortium in the testing of driverless cars!

Mira’s new Japanese foster parent turns over around £767 million in revenue from a multitude of industrial activity and to be fair has already cut its teeth in the automotive research and development sector. They have also been operating in the UK for over 30 years, which warrants a little bit of heritage in its own right.

Mira had been struggling from a dodgy hip due to a pension deficit from two defined benefit schemes, which outweighed their value and threatened their long-term viability. They are in the final stages of a turn-around but it would seem this hip replacement has come at the right time for them.

The deal will allow them to further their reach in the Midlands as well as doubling revenue by expanding into global markets. They view having a parent with a global presence as the ideal vehicle and the combined entity will go by the name of Horiba Mira.

Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it and although nothing major is due to change in Britain, the deal still has that feel about it that we’re losing a piece of our heritage. Like Aston Martin and Bentley, although name synonymous with British motoring, now they’re sort of not.

Oh well, we suppose having your best friend move from Surrey to Salford is better than him moving to Singapore.

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