Automotive Cleantech Fallbrook Technologies Relocates Near Austin

5/2/13Follow @bvbigelow

Fallbrook Technologies was founded in San Diego, and it spent 15 years working to commercialize its design for a new type of continuously variable transmission, with the potential to increase fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and improve vehicle performance. The company bills its innovative “NuVinci” transmission as a greener and more fuel-efficient technology for cars, trucks, and other types of vehicles.

After generating negligible revenue through 2009, Fallbrook began to gain some real traction last fall, after the company forged strategic partnerships with three major automotive companies that specialize in transmission design and production. The big three deals helped Fallbrook generate more than $43 million in revenue last year.

Over the past four months, however, Fallbrook has released the parking brake on San Diego. The company has moved its headquarters to Cedar Park, TX, a suburb north of Austin that now lists Fallbrook (with 133 employees) among its biggest employers. Fallbrook plans to close its San Diego offices for good in May, leaving behind just a few San Diego employees who will continue to work at home—with occasional trips to Texas.

“The business has grown so fast and so big that we had to do something to centralize our operations in one place,” said Fallbrook CEO Bill Klehm. “It’s just critical to stay close to the action on a day-to-day basis.”

Fallbrook reached strategic partnerships in September with Dana Holding and Allison Transmission that account for much of the company’s increased business. Dana, based in Maumee, OH, has more than 23,000 employees and is a worldwide supplier of axles, driveshafts, and other components for every major vehicle maker in the global automotive industry. Allison, based in Indianapolis, IN, has 2,800 employees, and makes commercial-duty transmissions and hybrid propulsion systems.

Fallbrook granted Allison exclusive rights to develop and … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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