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COMMERCIAL VEHICLE TESTING


heavyweights O


Testing the


Jonathan Newell visits Millbrook’s Leyland technical centre to find out what the future holds for sustainable heavy transport


nce the home to one of the two great manufacturing powerhouses for buses and heavy goods vehicles in theUK, the town of Leyland in northwest England suffered a spectacular decline in the 1970s, as the


worldmoved on and British Leyland didn’t. Revival attempts following the Ryder report largely


failed except for the shrewd decision to establish a test and development centre for the Leyland Truck and Bus division, a concentration of industry expertise that would live on through privatisation and amanagement buyout a decade later. Automotive industry expertise is something that


theUK is certainly not short of and in the 21st century it is renowned for its nichemarket manufacturing skills, its volume production centres and its test and development know-how, including such giants in the internationalmarket asMillbrook. Keen to continue to expand in a climate of rapid


change in the automotive industry,Millbrook is constantlymaking investments, the latest being the purchase of the CSA Leyland Technical Centre, giving the Leyland legacy a bright future. To find outmore about that future and the


direction heavy transport is taking in an environment of rapid change, I went to Leyland and spoke with managing director,Dr PaulWilkinson.


COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIP With its strong background in commercial vehicles, the Leyland site has never seen itself in direct competition withMillbrook and has spent considerable time as its collaborative partner. According toWilkinson, though some of the activities have converged in recent years, they are still complementary, an example being engine testing, where their combined capacity canmeet the demand expectations of the industry. The company is set up for design specifications


testing rather than homologation. In this way, the Leyland site helpsmanufacturers get good products


46 /// Environmental Engineering /// October 2017


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