Multimatic sets up Special Vehicle Operations group


Automotive technology company, Multimatic, has created a Special Vehicle Operations group, named MSVO. The company’s engineering organisation has grown over the past 30-plus years, to include diverse operations around the world; however, it was determined that a bifurcation of the original organisation into specific areas of expertise was required in order to maintain agility and technical focus.

MSVO will be responsible for all of Multimatic’s vehicle engineering developments, motorsports engineering projects like the Mazda DPi, and all race team operations, continuing the use of the Multimatic Motorsports identity. Additionally, low-volume vehicle body/chassis manufacture, carbon fibre part production and low-volume niche component supply will also be incorporated within the MSVO.  Multimatic Motorsports will continue to operate from dedicated facilities on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Multimatic Engineering group will now be led by Jim Holland, an experienced automotive engineering executive, with a focus on providing the industrial manufacturing groups of Multimatic with product and technology development. Holland will have a close working relationship with Larry Holt, leader and EVP of the MSVO, to ensure a two-way flow of expertise, resources and technical culture.

Commenting on the restructuring, Multimatic’s president and COO, Raj Nair, said, “Multimatic continues to grow, in both size and technical diversity, and this restructuring means we can remain true to our decentralised, agile and innovative operating philosophy. Multimatic is capable of engineering and manufacturing at extremely low and extremely high levels of volume; as well as engineering and manufacturing at the individual component level all the way to a full vehicle level; not to mention our capabilities and accomplishments at the highest levels of global motorsports, this now demands a higher level of specialisation and that is what the split will facilitate.”

“This new structure will allow Larry [Holt] to focus on vehicle engineering and motorsports, while Jim [Holland] manages the Engineering Group. Jim brings more than 35 years of experience in the automotive industry at Ford Motor Company and Jaguar Land Rover, where he served in progressive engineering leadership roles. Refocusing our engineering leadership team provides a clear structure that will allow us to continue to deliver on our commitment to ‘Strength Through Technology’.”

“Multimatic’s model has always been to break the growing businesses down into smaller, more agile operations, and so it has become time for Engineering,” added Holt. “After 32 years of continued growth, the size and diversity were becoming limiting. High-volume component and systems engineering ultimately require a different approach to the development of an entire low-volume vehicle and so the management of those types of projects has now been split. However, as in the past, engineering resources will be shared as it makes no sense to try and duplicate functions, [such as]the best predictive methods organisation in the industry; simulation will stay with the engineering group and continue to grow in size and capability.

Holt continued, “I will now focus on what has become a personal passion, and so our motorsports and performance vehicle customers will continue to receive my full commitment. I’m delighted that Jim has agreed to join us to take over the existing engineering operations. It’s extremely gratifying to have a guy of his experience and stature consider it something that he wanted to be involved with. I have known Jim for a long time and can’t think of a better man for the job; I expect to pick-up some wisdom and tricks. We will be working tightly together to move both groups ahead into the future. Although the engineering business continues to work flat-out through the present global crisis, we now need to focus on how to emerge safely into a more interactive world than what we have recently been experiencing, as well as figuring out what it will take to test development vehicles and go racing.”

Holland concluded, “I have worked with Multimatic for many years as a customer and so know what an incredible pool of talent we have here. The opportunity to lead the Engineering Group was something that I just couldn’t refuse. I believe that my experience in high-volume product and technology development combined with the unique capabilities of this outstanding group will lead to a great outcome.”

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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