Auto Supplier Ricardo Inc. in Van Buren Township Partners with Excel Engineering to Advance Vehicle Testing

Ricardo Inc., the North American operating arm of UK-based Ricardo plc and specialists in advanced propulsion, software, and thermal management, today signed an agreement to partner with Iowa-based Excel Engineering, which includes the sale of Ricardo’s Michigan engine testing and prototype facility.
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Ricardo Inc. signed an agreement to partner with Iowa-based Excel Engineering, which includes the sale of Ricardo’s Michigan engine testing and prototype facility. // Photo courtesy of Ricardo plc

Ricardo Inc., the North American operating arm of UK-based Ricardo plc and specialists in advanced propulsion, software, and thermal management, today signed an agreement to partner with Iowa-based Excel Engineering, which includes the sale of Ricardo’s Michigan engine testing and prototype facility.

The agreement allows Ricardo, with offices in Detroit, Chicago, Silicon Valley, and San Diego, to align with the pure-play engine testing and emissions company to offer expanded engine and vehicle testing capabilities in metro Detroit and, in turn, accelerate its direct North American R&D activities throughout the transportation sector.

For Excel, based in Diagonal, Iowa, it acquires a 30,000-square-foot test facility in Van Buren Township, and retains roughly 30 of its employees. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The facility provides Excel with capabilities in light-duty and heavy-duty engine testing, along with the capacity to test alternative fuels as well advanced battery and hybrid drive systems. Through the partnership, Excel will serve as the preferred testing source for Ricardo internal developments in the U.S. and will handle current and future testing for Ricardo clientele.

“We are restructuring our business to increase (our) focus and investment in future technologies,” says Marques McCammon, president of Ricardo, Inc. “One of our initial steps has been developing a leadership team to help clients in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada close the gap from conventional transportation to a cleaner, connected mobility future.

“The Excel partnership enhances that objective by strengthening our testing capabilities and maintaining continuity with customers. Their pure-play approach to testing will provide scale and focus that extends our capabilities and sustains cost competitiveness.”

Ricardo said it blends its heritage in traditional propulsion with software expertise to resolve challenges in hybrid, electric, and autonomous vehicles and related components. Excel, founded in 2002, tests engines for exhaust emissions compliance, long- and short-term durability, and overall performance.

“The agreement announced today will enable Excel to gain a significant presence in metro Detroit to complement our established facilities in the Midwest,” says Doug Sobotka, president of Excel Engineering. “As a Ricardo preferred partner for test services, we also look forward to supporting the company with high quality testing services to meet its in-house needs as well as the requirements of projects with its world-class client base.”

Ricardo plc was founded in 1915, and today operates as a global, multi-industry consultancy for engineering, technology, project innovation, and strategy that is focused on providing quality engineering solutions on high efficiency, low emission, class-leading product innovation and robust strategic implementation.

Ricardo Inc., based in Ven Buren Township, has been the U.S. subsidiary of Ricardo plc since the 1990s. The collective client list includes some of the world’s major transportation original equipment manufacturers, supply chain organizations, energy companies, financial institutions and governments.

Excel Engineering is an internal combustion engine and component testing company focusing on emissions and durability operations. Excel assists manufacturers to develop robust products that meet stringent customer and regulatory requirements.

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