Drive to lower vehicle emissions boosts manufacturer’s turnover by £3m

GLOBAL moves to reduce emissions from buses and coaches has helped a Birmingham manufacturer add £3m to its turnover in 2016.

Grayson Thermal Systems, which employs 270 people across four sites in the West Midlands and a US operation in Indiana, has seen sales increase to £28m after securing a string of new orders for its E-Drive electric fan technology and battery thermal management solutions.

Interest in the firm’s innovations has come from across the world, with customers secured in Europe, North America and, increasingly, in the Middle East – all of this achieved despite material cost increases and uncertainty following the Brexit vote.

Stuart Hateley, managing director of Grayson Thermal Systems, said: “The world is moving to low or zero emission vehicles and the bus and coach sector is no different with the introduction of even cleaner CNG engines, hydrogen fuel cells/hybrids and a move to full electric vehicles.

“We are continually working with the manufacturers and operators to ensure we are delivering cooling, heating and air conditioning solutions that are kind to the environment but also deliver the performance required by our clients.

“This approach definitely paid off in 2016, with the introduction of a number of new products helping us stay ahead of our competitors in meeting the requirements of next generation vehicles.”

The firm is charting growth of 15% this year, together with plans to create jobs across a range of engineering and manufacturing positions.

It also believes that innovation will be the key to a successful 2017 and is therefore investing more than £500,000 into its R&D department.

It plans to bring a wave of new products to the market over the course of the year, including a V3 Cooling System Controller to reduce installation time for the OEM, thermal management systems for hybrid and electrical vehicles and, thanks to the design capability of simulation software, new heat exchanger platforms.

There will also be the launch of an innovative Battery Thermal Management system in February, which the company feels will put it in an ideal position to take advantage of growing volumes of electric vehicles.

“We see growth across all areas of the business and in our core exports markets of Europe and North America,” said Mr Hateley.

“There is also a lot of opportunities opening up in the previously untapped markets of the Middle and Far East. If we can make inroads into these territories then 2017 will definitely be one to remember.”