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MAHLE Powertrain opens new £15m test facility: Investment ‘recognises huge wealth of engineering talent in this country’, says MP

PURPOSE-BUILT testing facilities, the result of a £15 million investment by MAHLE Powertrain in Northampton, are to play a key role in the automotive sector’s move towards decarbonised mobility.

Northampton South MP Andrew Lewer was on hand to officially open the two new facilities that will support customers with every aspect of development for the future of mobility, through the safe testing of vehicles, batteries and hydrogen technologies.

Andrew Lewer is pictured (left) with MAHLE Powertrain’s managing director Simon Reader on his visit to the new facility in Northampton.

The new Vehicle Development Centre allows manufacturers to test both two- and four-wheel-drive vehicles in a variety of conditions and circumstances without the need for a programme of international travel. The centre also supports the testing and verification of next-generation electric and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles.

“We are extremely proud of our new test facilities which complement our end-to-end development process,” said Simon Reader, MAHLE Powertrain’s managing director. “As the industry accelerates the development of a new generation of vehicles that will offer carbon-neutral solutions for the transport sector, it creates a huge demand for testing facilities. Our new centre has been designed with both battery and future-fuelled vehicles in mind and provides a spread of capabilities that is almost unique anywhere in the world.”

The company already employs 160 skilled technicians and engineers on the site. Mr Lewer said: “MAHLE Powertrain’s investment recognises the huge wealth of engineering talent in this country, and this region in particular – a stone’s throw from the heart of British motorsport.”

The £15 million investment programme, which has taken place over the past five years, includes £3.6 million from the UK Local Growth Fund and the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership. The new centre includes a battery testing facility which, thanks to a collaboration with the National Grid, allows battery packs to be developed and tested without wasting energy, returning it to the grid wherever possible.

MAHLE Powertrain is already experiencing high levels of interest from automotive manufacturers across the globe, keen to capitalise on the new facility’s capabilities and the company’s expertise in developing innovative solutions.