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Xtrac celebrates 40 years of high-performance engineering in Thatcham

Employees of Xtrac celebrated 40 years of business on Friday, June 28, close to the company’s headquarters in Thatcham.

Xtrac’s advanced engineering design and manufacturing capabilities accelerated its significant gearbox developments and race-winning over the years, which were displayed before employees and their partners.

Xtrac employees taking a moment to pause, celebrate and contemplate the next 40years
Xtrac employees taking a moment to pause, celebrate and contemplate the next 40years

Today, the company’s focus is about 65 per cent on motorsport and 35 per cent on high-performance road cars – it produces more than a quarter of a million parts annually.

“As we stepped into our fifth decade, we felt we could take a moment to pause and marvel at the incredible journey Xtrac has been on,” said chief executive Adrian Moore.

“Our commitment to engineering excellence, hard work and customer service has propelled us to become the world’s leading supplier of transmissions for top-level motorsport and high-performance road cars.

“It’s a testament to the collective effort that has brought us here and inspires us for the exciting future that awaits.”

President Peter Digby one of the company’s first employees, said: “The journey began with Mike Endean, who developed the G4 gearbox for rallycross star Martin Schanche’s Ford Escort.

“The G4’s success in European Rallycross during the 1980s laid the foundation for Xtrac’s ethos of exceptional products and great customer service.

“It was a pleasure to welcome Mike as our guest of honour at our celebration.”

Xtrac’s early success in the off-road and Group A rally categories resulted in collaborations with significant manufacturers including Mazda and Toyota.

The company’s move into Formula 1 came in 1989 when Onyx contracted Xtrac to develop a transverse gearbox and within a few years, Xtrac was supplying most Formula 1 teams.

Entering the 21st century, Xtrac began securing significant single-supply contracts, and the rapid production of 100 gearboxes led to the construction of a new 88,000-square-foot factory in Thatcham in 2000.

The Thatcham plant includes all the advanced machinery and equipment needed to manufacture gearbox components and houses high-security data systems, transmissions control system software and hardware development, plus a dedicated research and development department.

“We are always looking to the future,” added Mr Moore. “We continue to innovate in technology, with over £3m of new investments made in our manufacturing facility over the past 12 months to ensure we continue to provide exceptional products to our customers to quality and on time.

“As the automotive and motorsport industry evolves, Xtrac aims to remain at the forefront of transmission design and manufacturing excellence.”

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