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How Cosworth Went From This To This

PES reveals the amazing story behind the iconic brand’s diversification from cars to turbines – and how it put them back on the road to success.

In Europe in the 1980s, there was only one car to have: the Ford Sierra Cosworth. The family saloon car had been fitted with an engine from a British company that specialised in high-performance engineering and a classic was born.
For more than 40 years, the Cosworth name has been synonymous with motor racing excellence and its engines have powered some of the sport’s most famous names to world championships, including Jackie Stewart, Michael Schumacher, James Hunt and Nelson Piquet.

Four years ago, however, Cosworth ran out of buyers for its Formula One engines and the company was left in crisis. Cosworth had become obsessively focused on doing one thing well, but suddenly nobody wanted that product. To survive, Cosworth has had to diversify and it is leading a trend among British motor sport companies as they seek new markets for their unique skills.

As Mark Gallagher, general manager of Cosworth’s Formula One business, told the Daily Telegraph last year: “F1 can be a fickle mistress. We learnt a big lesson that, if you have all your eggs in one basket, it can cause enormous pain if something goes wrong. We are now developing a multifaceted company and we are not going back to being just an F1 engineering business.

“What the company realised in 2006 was that it had a huge amount of expertise and a knowledge of engineering in really high-end, low-volume manufacturing. We looked around at sectors that had some good synergies for us.”


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