Substantial investment will support initial industrialisation of Torotrak technology

Leyland, 21 May 2012 – Gearless traction drive company Torotrak PLC (LSE: TRK) has signed a co-operation and licence agreement with Univance Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of passenger and industrial vehicle transmission units and other automotive parts headquartered in Japan. The new non–exclusive license agreement allows Univance to develop, manufacture and supply core variator components (discs and rollers) and variator assemblies to Torotrak licensees.

Univance has committed to substantial investment to support the development and initial industrialisation of core component manufacture. Torotrak will contribute its engineering support and intellectual property and knowhow; in return, it will earn an effective revenue share on all sales of Torotrak related parts or sub assemblies. The agreement also supports a joint marketing programme and provides for the supply of components and systems branded under the Torotrak name.

The arrangement supports the industrialisation of Torotrak technology in both the Commercial Vehicle (on and off highway) markets, as well as the passenger car markets. It allows a reliable production source of cost-effective and quality validated parts or sub assemblies. Univance is an excellent partner for Torotrak, with a clearly defined strategy to create value through a focus on innovative technology. The company has a reputation for excellence in terms of quality, with a market focus on commercial vehicles and passenger cars that is very aligned with Torotrak’s.

Torotrak CEO Dick Elsy said: “Engaging a component manufacturer of Univance’s calibre and market reach is a significant step for Torotrak in our strategy to bring our technology to market. Ensuring a high quality and reliable production source for our key parts, discs and rollers, is essential to building confidence in our technology.”

Univance President Michiyasu Muramatsu said: “We are very pleased to have entered this joint agreement. Torotrak is a dedicated and ambitious company to work with, and our programme is already yielding promising results. This is the first step towards providing high efficiency drive technologies together in the future.”

Prior to this new agreement, Torotrak has been working with Univance on a shared cost basis over the last two years to develop production processes for the manufacture of discs and rollers. Univance has developed its processes over several iterations and Torotrak has been testing the components produced on its dedicated rigs at Leyland. Univance has reached full conformity within 12 months.

During the year, at Univance’s request, Torotrak specified, built, commissioned, validated and supplied bespoke test equipment, along with the necessary technical transfer. This enables Univance to conduct their own internal research and development programmes looking at cost-reduced disc and roller manufacturing techniques and processes. At the same time, Torotrak has continued with the on-going joint development programme to reduce substantially the cost of manufacturing, material and heat treatment processes. Torotrak has also made further improvements to the already excellent contact fatigue life and robustness of its variator; this work has already exceeded expectations.

Torotrak Product Director Rob Oliver said: “Univance has a great drive and determination to provide the highest quality components. Their discs and rollers have already been supplied in pre-production form to one of our licensees and have shown to yield excellent results in our customers’ testing programme. We are confident that working jointly with Univance will provide our licensees with highly cost effective and durable variator components and assemblies.”


Torotrak is the global innovator in gearless traction drive technology which increases efficiency and reduces CO2 emissions in vehicles. The company’s variable-drive technology is also being developed for superchargers, engine auxiliary applications and enables energy to be recovered efficiently through flywheels, substantially improving fuel economy.

Torotrak is taking gearless traction drive technology from the test track to the road, putting its proven innovations into mass-production. The company has shown how its transmission technology can reduce CO2 emissions, conserve energy, save costs and significantly boost efficiency.

The company’s engineers deliver world-class technology to its customers that include major vehicle manufacturers and tier-one suppliers. Development has led to customers working on production-ready designs for mass production. The company is fully listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: TRK).