Crash testing is still a good business

Messring produces test facilities for automakers, suppliers, government agencies and insurance companies.

MUNICH -- Crash simulations and calculations are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and yet more and more real-life tests are being carried out.

A little-known company south of Munich is benefiting from the trend.

In the town of Krailling, Messring Systembau MSG GmbH produces complete crash-test facilities and the components for them. It has installed more than 100 large crash-test facilities for automakers, suppliers, government agencies and insurance companies.

Depending on its size and the equipment level, a facility can cost between 2 million and 20 million euros ($2.7 million and $27.1 million).

The owner-managed company prefers to keep a low profile on revenues. It says the 80-person operation brings in about "10 million euros" a year. Its aftertax profit was $385,000 in 2012.

With the demand for the facilities growing, revenue is likely to climb.

"Due to the wide variety of models and the significant rise in regulation and the expansion of consumer protection tests, many more tests per facility have to be carried out," said Dierk Arp, one of the two managing directors and owners.

That means the productivity per facility has to be increased, for example, with improved implementation and analysis software.

Messring provides complete sensor, data capture systems and even LED spotlights to illuminate the test site.

Driver assistance systems, such as blind-spot detection and lane-departure warnings, are also a key driver of Messring's revenues.

-- Gerd Scholz

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