High performance transmission specialists, Dodson Motorsport, recently hosted the Minister of Science and Innovation, Hon. Paul Goldsmith, at its facilities in Glenfield. In just over a decade the company has emerged as the world's leading manufacturer of dual clutch transmission systems catering to the global high-performance car market – thanks in part to support from Callaghan Innovation, part of Mr Goldsmith’s portfolio.
In 2015, Dodson Motorsport was one of 13 companies awarded a R&D support grant from the Crown entity, and it has put funding to good use.
“We’re a Kiwi success story,” said Steven Parker, General Manager, Dodson Motorsport. “We knew our designs and manufacturing system could make componentry that could compete on the global stage, and we’re pleased to say they’re not just competing, they’re winning.”
“Today we’re an example of New Zealand’s high value manufacturing export economy. And we’re growing rapidly.”
Dodson Motorsport’s dual clutch technology and transmission components have been used to win over 10 US and world records in the standing half and quarter miles. And as the company’s manufacturing and design capabilities improved, so did its export footprint. It now has over 170 dealers in 50 countries.
“Our business is based around adding design intelligence and intellectual property to blocks of high tensile steel, the best we can source,” says Steve. “A block may weigh around ten kilos when we start and cost a hundred dollars. When we’ve finished we’ve removed around 90 percent of the weight and added at least ten times the value.
“It’s like carving a masterpiece from a block of marble. The value is not in what you start with. The value consists of what you take out.”
Minister Goldsmith views it as an example of New Zealand’s transformation.
“When National took office nine years ago, few people would have thought that instead of sheep and dairy, we'd be talking about space rockets and high performance automotive transmissions," he said.
Founded in 2000, Dodson Motorsport began by developing its transmission technology to the Nissan R35 GT-R market. It now delivers its componentry to a range of high-performance vehicles including Porsche, Lamborghini, BMW, Audi, VW, Mercedes and Mitsubishi.