More important in this case were the synergies arising from the merger, such as the expansion of the product portfolio by HORIBA or of the global business by MIRA. Both partners agreed to avoid noticeable changes for customers and facilitate a smooth transition for their employees. Since the acquisition, HORIBA has done a lot to welcome the new member into the HORIBA family and has managed to establish a basis for their common future.
Until today, HORIBA has invested more than 27 million euros (22 million British pounds) into MIRA’s facilities. The money is used for significant upgrades to a number of existing test facilities and capabilities, improvements of the world-renowned proving ground and the infrastructure at MIRA Technology Park. In addition, it covers an about 7.5-million-euro project (6 million British pounds) for an advanced emissions test center – the first project which brings together several companies belonging to the HORIBA Group, including HORIBA Europe, HORIBA Japan and HORIBA MIRA. The new test center will consist of one main test cell with a 4WD dynamometer, three individual climatic soak rooms and an ambient soak room.
Cross-company projects and tight Network
HORIBA did not just invest in HORIBA MIRA in monetary terms: it also supports the company in its approach to building up an international network. All trade fairs and professional conferences since the acquisition were used to present HORIBA MIRA as part of the group. In addition, many senior HORIBA executives took the chance to welcome the former MIRA staff as HORIBARIANS on the day of the merger. Since then, many occasional meetings have given the staff a chance to get to know each other. The teams have built up a working group across HORIBA ATS and HORIBA MIRA to establish a combined strategy for how to support their customers with the European vehicle emissions regulations coming in 2017. In return, the executives of HORIBA MIRA inform their staff regularly about HORIBA topics. So-called “open-box” meetings for the staff of both HORIBA and HORIBA MIRA have been established to allow them to exchange their experiences. “MIRA’s own culture and internal values are very similar to those of HORIBA, so we haven’t really had to adjust in any significant way”, said Dr George Gillespie OBE, CEO of HORIBA MIRA Ltd. “Since July 2015, there have inevitably been many occasions for MIRA to visit HORIBA offices all over the world. Wherever we have visited, we have been warmly welcomed as colleagues, making us feel very privileged to be part of such a friendly company.”
Another major challenge for any company is keeping its customers’ trust after a merger. HORIBA MIRA has not only successfully preserved the confidence of its established customers. The company’s long-standing business partners are very pleased about HORIBA MIRA’s new access to the resources and the international network of such a well-respected company. They are now starting to see the acceleration of exciting plans for new facilities and capabilities which will enhance HORIBA MIRA’s global offering and ensure their customers’ future relationships with both companies. This success is at least partly due to HORIBA MIRA’s communication strategy: from the very beginning, the company has constantly explained the benefits of the new arrangement. On the operational level, the merger has been unnoticeable for HORIBA MIRA’s customers. On the whole, HORIBA MIRA’s customer base is satisfied with the way the company handled the merger, and it is looking forward to seeing the benefits of MIRA becoming part of the HORIBA group over the coming months and years.